Author: Vastine Bondurant
Genre: Historical (1930)
Length: Novella (53pgs)
Publisher: Self-published (24th April 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: A lonely stretch of beach becomes a hiding place for two men who, when their paths cross, are determined not to be ships just passing in the night.
Purlman “Purly” Gates—dark, brooding, mysterious, hiding from his past and the hefty price on his head—is hopelessly attracted to the young man who strolls the beach every morning. At the risk of his own exposure and its deadly consequences, Purly succumbs to his desire and sets out to lure the beautiful enigma into his lair.
Lucky Cleary wants the swarthy stranger who watches him from the shadows of the cottage deck, and his morning promenades finally pay off when the man steps out onto the beach and into Lucky’s life in a move to bring their paths together.
But Lucky has a secret as well—a past mistake following close behind him, promising certain death if it catches up with him.
When each man discovers the other’s identity, the truth forms a powerful bond between them and fans the flame of their passion.
But is the meeting of these two lonely souls a beautiful destiny or merely a cruel twist of fate in which their desire is nothing more than the kiss of death for them both?
Author also published under C. Zampa
Review: Purly is a man in hiding. He has done things, in his past, that people want him to pay for and if they catch up with him…well, then he is a dead man. But, while staying at the beach, he sees a man every morning, but fights his attraction for him. Lucky is also in hiding and every morning he passes a man standing on his deck smoking a cigarette, he finds the man attractive and is trying to find a way to speak to him.
This is a lovely gentle novella of a time when you used subtle words and actions to find out if a man was gay. Purly is lying low until he can move on. When he becomes enamored of a young man who walks along the beach every morning. Lucky is that young man, but Lucky is also lying low, but the man on the deck draws him to him daily. When the two first speak there is an attraction between them and although it is what they both want, Purly finds that he can’t go through with it and backs off.
This is a nicely written story, although I wasn’t too keen on the writing style (too much italic for me), but it could be beautiful and lyrical. I did enjoy the storyline, Lucky was genuinely attracted to Purly right from the start and it had taken him a lot to build up courage to speak to Purly. And for Lucky it was an added bonus that Purly could take him away from his exile and also keeps him hidden, because that is exactly what Purly has to do as well… stay hidden. Lucky seems to be a fragile young man, he has been abused in the past and we get a flashback to that time. Purly comes across as a cultured gentleman, but his past is shady and his life is in danger.
The ending had me on tender hooks, but I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. So, I will recommend this to those who want a more gentle, tender romance, low on sex, but high on feelings, with an interesting past for both main characters and a happy ever after.