Series: Under the Southern Cross
Author: Isabelle Rowan
Genre: MM / Contemporary
Length: Novella (114 pg)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 13th, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: An ex-soldier and an urban Goth walk into a desert. It sounds like the start of a joke, but for Sam Collins and Daniel Evans, it is the beginning of their story. Daniel walks to shed his drug-filled past and make himself whole. But Sam, who hides the demons of war behind a smile, needs Daniel more than either man knows. An old stockman’s wisdom sends them on their journey together, a long hard road to find Australia’s sacred Red Heart and—perhaps—each other.
Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.
Review: Daniel’s dreams are constantly pushing him forward toward the desert, or should I say dream. It is, after all, the same over and over again. It makes no sense to him, but the feeling that he needs to reach the Red Heart. While driving toward his goal, he meets Sam, a drover, and feels a certain connection with the man. That in itself is odd since there has been quite a long time that Daniel has felt anything, for anyone beside his family. The mysterious ex-soldier appeals to Daniel in ways that frighten him. How can such a man like an ex-junky, Daniel doesn’t know, but Sam keeps sticking nearby and lending him warmth and courage.
Almost like in a dream Daniel and Sam decide to walk toward Daniel’s destination through the desert and the two men discover their similarities hidden beneath the layers of their appearances and the hole in their heart starts to fill with feelings they both had forgotten. And while Daniel seams the person to need help the most, he finds out how the smiling, warm; almost boy-next-door Sam has demons of his own and is in desperate need of something. Something Daniel is more than willing to give.
I loved this title. It started with a near creepy feeling, lots of event seemed like a coincidence that in deeper thought well all related and that gave somehow the notion of Fate putting things together.
The characters were very interesting and quite developed for such a short length story. Each of them unique, each of the adorable and lovable. Daniel with his strength fighting his addictions and trying to make it one more day at a time, and Sam with his unyielding character, something almost “never give up- never surrender”. They were indeed perfect halves of a story, and while there is a low heat level for this one their chemistry and attraction were quite palpable. The magic was there and I loved it.
The author’s way of describing their walk in the desert deserves praising, too, I loved reading it and hell, I so want to visit Australia even more now. Uluru would be such a great destination. Admittedly, I loved her voice and would very much like to read more of her.
I’d love to recommend this book to those who love contemporary romances placed in wonderful parts of Earth and suffering characters trying to make reason out of chaos. A very worth reading novella in my opinion.