Beyond the Sea, by Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Two straight guys. One desert island.
Even if it means quitting their boy band mid-tour, Troy Tanner isn’t going to watch his little brother snort his future away after addiction destroyed their father. On a private jet taking him home from Australia, he and pilot Brian Sinclair soar above the vast South Pacific. Brian lost his passion for flying—and joy in life—after a traumatic crash, but now he and Troy must fight to survive when a cyclone strikes without warning.
Marooned a thousand miles from civilization, the turquoise water and white sand beach look like paradise. But although they can fish and make fire, the smallest infection or bacteria could be deadly. When the days turn into weeks with no sign of rescue, Troy and Brian grow closer, and friendship deepens into desire.
As they learn sexuality is about more than straight or gay and discover their true selves, the world they’ve built together is thrown into chaos. If Troy and Brian make it off the island, can their love endure?
This book has been at the center of a lot of controversy lately, which made it difficult to read without having at least some bias. But I went into this book eager to like it, because the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ve heard great things about the author.
On the whole, Beyond the Sea is a really well written romance with fantastic pacing and realistic (well, for a romance novel!) emotional responses and events. For a book about two “straight” dudes crashing a plane on a desert island and falling in love, it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
You’ll note, however, that I put straight in quotes. Which leads me to the two things I disliked about this novel.
The first is the summary. Specifically, the first line. Two straight guys. This is touching on the whole “gay for you” debate, which I won’t rehash here. But it really bothered me that the story rubs the GFY trope in your face from line one. And this may be that bias showing through, but I think I would have been bothered by that aspect even if it hadn’t been the center of a genre-wide debate.
MINOR SPOILER IN NEXT PARAGRAPH, PLEASE SKIP IF YOU WANT TO AVOID!
But the biggest NOPE for me was that they killed off the one woman. The plane takes off with three people, but the female pilot must die in order to let the two men have feelings for each other? That pissed me off. If you wanted a genuine romance, keep her alive and show that the men can fall in love even with a woman around! Otherwise it feels skeevy and lazy to me.
END OF SPOILER.
So should you read this book? Yeah, if you like M/M with angst and slow-build romance, odds are you’ll like this one. But I do see some problems with it, and those shouldn’t be ignored just because it’s an enjoyable read.
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, paranormal and fantasy 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.”
You can buy Beyond the Sea from the following retailers:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Sea-Romance-Keira-Andrews-ebook/dp/B01CTEO5XM/
Amazon Global: http://mybook.to/BeyondTheSea_KA
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.