Title: Honeymoon for One
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Release Date: September 27, 2018
Page Count: 286
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.0 stars out of 5
The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.
Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.
Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.
Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.
Honeymoon for One is a gay romance by Keira Andrews featuring a May-December age difference, a slow burn of newfound friends to lovers, first-time m/m sex, and of course a happy ending.
Blurb sums up the plot quite well so I won’t rehash. This is a hurt/comfort, May/December, coming out romance. It was also the authors intent (based upon her preface) to highlight the difficulties of a hearing-challenged individual. Given that there’s a lot being covered in this, I’ll break my review down.
Hard of hearing/late-deafened. This explores what many of us have experienced with perhaps, say, our parents, a spouse, or a friend. Ethan is in his late 20s and finds himself adjusting to hearing aids. As the author portrays, the world becomes a scary place when you’ve relied on this sense and now it’s mostly gone. I could see Ethan’s day-to-day struggles and I feel I came away with a better understanding of what *I* need to do if I notice someone in hearing aids (or if I’m speaking to my close friend). I appreciated that insight. However, some readers may not like a book that is also a lesson in hearing etiquette.
May/December Romance. In the span of 10 days, our two main characters go from just having met to full blown romance. We have some insta-love happening. While I understand insta-love as a plot device, not my favorite. With the exception of a particular scene toward the end where we meet Clay’s daughter, the May/December aspect felt a bit understated.
First time m/m sex. I was not comfortable with how this played out. I would have preferred Clay to have been bi or knew going into his marriage that he was gay and because of where he grew up and societal expectations, kept his sexuality under wraps. As for what did happen, I’m thinking there should be some therapy involved here, that this change would not have been quite the transition as portrayed, and that’s where I was uncomfortable.
THAT being said, I was also taken aback by Ethan’s change in personality in the bedroom, so to speak. On this trip, he’s a nervous wreck, wracked by anxieties, still reeling from the traumatic dissolution of his previous long-term relationship… and BAM! Now he’s a tiger in the bedroom. On top of what I noted above, did not work for me.
So putting those three things together, I found the first two-thirds of the book a tich slow and repetitive: Ethan has problems hearing and understanding, he’s learning to be on his own, he has anxiety issues, he’s in a rough place emotionally. Clay is patient, kind, and confused about what he’s feeling toward the young man he just met. Last one-quarter of the book was where the relationship kicked into high gear and the ripples roll out from there.
Lest I seem overly critical, I did enjoy the book. It just took me a bit longer to get through it than I expected.