Release Blitz and Giveaway: Road to the Sun: Keira Andrews

Road to the Sun
Keira Andrews

Add to Goodreads
Release Date May 22, 2017
Buy Amazon US | Amazon UK (Also Kindle Unlimited)

A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.

Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.

Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.

Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?

Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Once upon a time in Romancelandia, I heard much talk about how readers should expect a slew of stories with hot and heroic park rangers in the near future. Whether or not this will be the case is something that only time will tell, but Road to the Sun is the first time I’ve read a romance where one of the main characters fits that description. It’s also my first exposure to author Keira Andrews. While I enjoyed the setting and pairing a good deal, the background story is the star of this one. Unfortunately, that meant the romance portion left me a little wanting.

When teenaged Jason Kellerman decided to raise his baby daughter himself after the tragic death of her mother, everyone told him he was too young. Even his well-to-do parents fought for custody of Maggie because they didn’t approve of the choice. Now twenty-five, Jason’s hard work and frugal living mark his unwavering commitment to his daughter, but he’s left very little time to think about himself let alone date. So when they go on her dream vacation to Glacier National Park, questioning his sexuality because of a friendly park ranger wasn’t part of the plan. After spending nearly half his life with his now married ex-boyfriend, Ben Hettler is forty-one and alone. He loves his career and being in Montana, but the prospects of fulfilling his dream of raising a family with a man he loves are hopelessly low. Jason certainly catches his eye, but there’s a laundry list of reasons why getting together could never be work long term.

If you’re like me and forget blurbs between reading them and reading the books, the prologue of Road to the Sun makes it crystal clear that something bad is going to happen at some point in the story. What starts as a simple and often cute meet-and-flirt between Jason and Ben, pushed forward largely by Jason’s precocious daughter, suddenly takes a dramatic left turn when Maggie is kidnapped by a murderer on the lam. While this very easily could have turned into an overdramatic sequence soaking up a third of the pages, it was so well written that I couldn’t put the book down during it. Not only was it a gripping plot, it served well to establish a powerful bond through adversity between the men.

If only this had been the end of the drama, and the guys could have focused on building on that bond to develop a wonderful romantic love, I would have floved this story, but there was a lot more drama to come. Road to the Sun really is more Jason’s story than Ben’s, so the additional drama revolves around both his realization that his admiration of men is more than that and his devotion to Maggie. And it’s that devotion that makes Jason such a compelling character. During the aftermath of her kidnapping, Jason’s raw emotions were incredibly and powerfully realistic, even to someone like me who doesn’t have any kids. But this devotion also causes Jason to have some bad reactions to things at other places in the story, some of which really didn’t come across well to me. Unfortunately, I can’t go into details without spoiling, but if you pay attention to blurb, you might be able to figure out some of what the later drama is on your own.

Ben, too, is a good character, a rational and supportive rock during Jason’s turmoil. I wasn’t entirely convinced, though, about why Ben falls hard for Jason (other than, of course, the fact that he wants to be a dad.) The bulk of the novel lasts no more than a couple of weeks, and much of this time is dealing with the kidnapping and its aftermath, so while I understood the emotional bond that formed because of the traumatic events, I didn’t quite understand so much how that translated into the romantic bond. That being said, the epilogue to this story is all kinds of warm fuzzies and puppies and kitties to make a perfect ending. It would have been even better if I had felt the love more before I got to the epilogue.

The only other issue I had is one that I often have with books containing children who are more than bit characters. Maggie is supposed to be eight. Rarely did her character read that way though. Most of the time, I thought she was more like eleven or twelve. Granted, a lot of this was her precociousness—she has an unreal amount of knowledge about the park, for example, to the point where I was half expecting something to come out of her mouth that Park Ranger Ben didn’t know. But then there were episodes where she acted more like she was four. Eight may be the average of those, but that’s not good enough when it comes to making a child character feel like a real character instead of a convenient plot-driving element.

While Road to the Sun didn’t quite convince me of the romantic bond, it is certainly a recommendable read. I have seen Keira Andrews’s books in the past, but for one reason or another, the timing never worked for me to read one of them before now. This one definitely makes me interested in reading the rest.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Road to the Sun in exchange for this fair and honest review.

Keira Andrews
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...