Author: Dev Bentham
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Standalone Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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.
Review: This book takes two strangers on a road trip. Dusty hitches a ride back to his family to admit to them he’s now a persona non grata of the investment community after his ex was busted stealing peoples money. He’s been cleared legally but public opinion isn’t in his favor. Nobody will trust him with their money anymore. So he doesn’t really want to go but has no choice. He’s broke and jobless. Soon to be homeless as well.
Dusty puts in an ad asking for a ride west. The guy who answers offered to drive Dusty to his parents if he shares the costs name is Joe. A phone call between the two has Dusty hoping his appearance matches his fantasies conjured up. Joe is of American Indian decent. Which Dusty finds mildly uncomfortable and is surprising. More out of not being familiar than anything else. And maybe a little sprinkle of prejudice passed on by his father in his youth. The third joining the road trip is a sexy bad boy type that Joe doesn’t like right away. Dusty tries to stay neutral. Joe finally has enough and tells the guy he’s getting out when they stop for an overnight stay. Dusty makes the brilliant decision to go with a stranger to a dilapidated house to party. Things go badly. He’s doped up and robbed. Joe comes to his rescue making Dusty finally see the man standing in from of him.
This was a nice easy read. Kind of slow and steady like a long trip in a car. Yeah there are bumps but that’s just part of the journey. A lot of the book is dealing with what’s going on in Dusty’s head. He used to live large and have power. Now he’s shunned and has to crawl back to his parents and admit he lost it all. Be the failure his brother always hoped he’d be. That’s a lot for a grown man to deal with. He also has some issues with Joe’s heritage that he had never really thought about. Not filled with hate but stereotypes he projects onto Joe which keep him from see the beautiful man Joe is in and out.
Joe and made some real mistakes in his life. He’s a recovering alcoholic that lost it all. In this book he’s taking charge of his life. Joe is a nurse practitioner and after 5 years of earning his respect back, he’s starting a new life on the west coast. His character was very endearing and charming. Kind of like a big strong sexy teddy bear who wants to fall In love. But he’s also afraid to admit it. How do you not adore him? Dusty struggles a little bit more. They finally give into the attraction but Dusty still has some stuff to work out. He really doesn’t want to start a life with Joe as the fractured lost man he’s become. Dusty does find some of his old self. Before the verbally abusive and manipulative ex. Before the career that died with the guilt by association. It was nice to see him crawling out of his abyss while the guys got busy across America.
I think this was a really good book if you like great character development. It’s a slow build but the romance was very sweet. There are many obstacles and self doubt to keep it balanced. Although things happen pretty quickly for the couple it really doesn’t feel too fast. It feels right. Which is high praise considering how much insta love I’ve read about. This is my first but won’t be my last book by this author. I recommend this book.