Driving into the SUn by Dev Bentham is above anything else a beautiful story of love, growth, and starting over. It’s romantic and tugs at your heart’s strings without leaving out the hurt, the bad decisions, and the moments of doubt each human being faces. A 10 pots of gold read!
Bad choices. We all make them, some more than others. Dusty’s choices have left him unemployed, broke and practically homeless. Despite the major issues he has with his family, his only rational choice is to sell everything and move into his parents’ basement. At thirty. Looking for a ride west, he answers a phone ad. The voice at the other end of the line flows like dark, rich honey. Finally something to look forward to—listening to Joe’s voice all the way from Illinois to Idaho.
Rather than the hip crooner of Dusty’s fantasies, Joe turns out to look more like a panhandler. Is that because Joe dresses down, or are Dusty’s preconceptions about Native Americans clouding his vision? Joe is silent more often than not. He has a complicated past and still has amends to make. But he is ready to move on. Dusty feels trapped. Two damaged men, one small car driving two thousand miles into the sun—sometimes things need to break down before they can get fixed.
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This is a beautifully written story. It starts with a Dusty who’s hit rock bottom and is now selling everything he owns to move back home, to his homophobic father and brother, hoping for a place to stay and for a job, both of which he’s bound to hate. As money is tighter than this former wealthy financial adviser has ever experienced, instead of flying home or getting a bus ticked, he decides to share the expenses and the long drive with a man he’s found on an ad board. Although he connects instantly with Joe, his Native American companion for the road, he is temporarily distracted by a seemingly fun, yet dangerous cowboy and his own fears and ideas of himself, most of them influenced by his former lover and core reason for his current situation.
As they drive together and Joe rescues him time and time again, Dusting and his new friend form a bond stronger that they’d ever imagined. Their road trip to Dustin’s home is a journey to healing, seeking acceptance and forgiveness, opening up to new feelings for both himself and Joe. The bumps in the road, Dusty’s wild night, their car accident, people’s reactions to Joe, they are all very real and not sugar coated in the least. Both men have to learn to trust both their relationship and themselves, find a new way and start over with whatever life has to offer them.
The fact that anyone can have a low point, just as these two recovering characters, makes the story very relateable and enticing. It definitely hooked me from the start and kept me up late till I finished it. A great read that I wholeheartedly recommend.
About the author
Dev Bentham lives in Northern Wisconsin with two cats, a dog and one wonderful guy. She’s published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and has worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now writes m/m romance out of an intense fascination with love, courage and gender. Picture her, during long cold winters, at the kitchen table dreaming of heart-warming romance and hot, passionate love.