Dana reviews The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison (Published by Dreamspinner Press, December 21, 2015, 200 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This week we chose books for each other for review. Marc picked The Boys of Summer for me. I wasn’t really familiar with the book but I had been wanting to check out this author. I think he did a great job picking for me because I really enjoyed this book.
Blurb: David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film-company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches… and Rick Sutton, the hot, ex-Air Force pilot who is flying him around.
Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries and a lack of food and water mean David has to step up to the plate and play hero. While his days are spent fighting for survival, and his nights are filled with worrying about Rick, the two men grow closer. David’s research for his next movie becomes intertwined with his worst fears, and events on the island result in a vivid dream about the Battle of Britain. On waking, David realizes Rick is more than just a pilot to him. The obstacles that prevented a happy ending in 1940 aren’t present today, and David vows that if they survive this stranding, he will tell Rick how he feels.
The cover and title of this book are interesting to me because they don’t really fit the blurb for the book. Though the image does make more sense later, I’m still not sure if or how the title fits, but that doesn’t take away from the sweet and fascinating storytelling.
David is a location scout for a Hollywood film company, but he secretly wants to create documentaries and/or independent films based on historical times and figures. While in Hawaii, he hires Rick Sutton to fly him around to find the perfect sites for filming. Rick is ex-military and has cut himself off from others hiding in the sky. The two don’t have a lot in common but a strong attraction, at least for David. His attempts to flirt with Rick lead him nowhere, but a tentative friendship is built when Rick is forced to crash land his plane on a deserted Hawaiian island.
I didn’t feel loads of chemistry between them though I did like both of them a lot. When Rick is injured, I think David gets a boost of confidence. He finds inner strength to take care of Rick, and the trivia that he would probably have thought was useless actually comes in handy. One night when David wraps himself around Rick to comfort him and keep him warm during his fever, he has a dream that brings the cover into context. David imagines himself as a codebreaker in England during WWII and Rick as a fighter pilot.
Though it might not be more than a dream, there is a magical feel, as if it was a past life memory. That is how it felt to me, and part of me wants to believe that even if it isn’t what the author intended. The dream does have lasting effects on David and he decides he has to tell Rick of his feelings for him. When they are rescued we do learn more about Rick and he has a surprise visitor that causes a bit of misunderstanding for David at first. He has to break through his fears to have that talk with Rick.
I really enjoyed this sweet romance, and I really appreciated the dream sequence that was packed with it’s own romance and sadness. The ending was good, and it could be considered happy for now. It isn’t a cliffhanger ending, but it’s more of a beginning for the two characters together. I enjoyed David and Rick’s story so much though, that I wish there was a second book or plans for it. If not, it is still enjoyable and I definitely recommend it.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, a big horse, too many cats, and an extremely patient boyfriend. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dog or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. An avid reader as a child, early on Sarah was asked to decide between her creative and scientific interests. Believing that she couldn’t explore both sides of her personality, she chose science, and made a conscious decision to shut away her creative nature. Though she loved her work, she always felt like something was missing from her life, but whenever she questioned that feeling too deeply, she convinced herself that a life without joy was simply the definition of being a grownup. One day she discovered fanficion online, and it was like waking a sleeping dragon. Over the next three years, she wrote over a million words of fanfic, finally deciding perhaps it was time to take the training wheels off the bike and try her hand at original stories. Now an award-winning author of M/M romances, Sarah believes that if she can transport you to another world for a few hours, make you forget your bad day at work, or your chronic illness, or anything that hurts you–even for a little while–then she’s done her job as an author.