Sex & Sourdough by A.J. Thomas

18841858Title: Sex and Sourdough

Series:   NA

Author: A J Thomas

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Novel (266 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 13th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Anders Blankenship never intended to hike the Appalachian Trail alone, but when his boyfriend cancels, Anders steels his courage, leaving the abusive relationship to tackle the long-distance hike. Though a hiking virgin, he’s glad he made the decision when he receives threatening messages from his ex. Luckily, Kevin, an experienced backpacker, takes him under his wing. 

Kevin Winters isn’t looking for a hiking partner, let alone a fling with a cute man on the rebound. After learning he has the autoimmune disorder that killed his father, Kevin left his family to wander remote trails. Convinced his future holds only pain and death, Kevin refuses to get close to anyone. The family sourdough recipes he recreates over a campfire are his only solace. 

In the wilderness, Anders and Kevin discover a lot of common ground. While the future holds uncertainties they may not be ready to deal with, it might also hold the chance for happiness.

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Review: So let’s start the story with two broken men from totally different backgrounds who begin a journey and after four months find themselves both totally changed.  The story is a case study in the m/m romance genre of broken men who must dig within themselves to find their own strength if they are going to be able to even embark upon a relationship.  Anders must exit an abusive relationship, rebuild his confidence and determine what to do with his life. Kevin must deal with the tragic loss of his father, his youth and the onset of a life-threatening disease.  There is absolutely no reason for either of these men to bond and find anything in common with each other.

What instead happens is these men become each other’s ying and yang playing off their individual strengths and weaknesses and thus forming a rather firm bond.  They will be separated and events will become tragic and melodramatic, but they will find each other and both learn to grow from their pain and experiences into a strong partnership.  Anders will find a man who really understands and values all that he is; and Kevin will find a man who is not afraid of his illness and who does not see him as any less than a strong man.

The book explores a multitude of themes:  Living life to the fullest and family and it is done while exploring the word of hiking.  The reader will learn much about hiking along the Appalachian Trail and nothing about the story seems forced or pretentious. The men take on the trail as a metaphor for how they will need to take on their own individual struggles. For Anders, he’s finally taking control of his life and happiness while Kevin is learning to enjoy having someone to share that journey with despite his fear of relationships and his seeming self-reliance.

This is a great read that blends great visual scenery, social studies, ecological conservationism, heat, passion and a touching love story.