Book Reviews

All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore 1) by CJane Elliott

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 06-January-2020

Book Blurb

What happens when a cruise ship romance crashes on the rocky shores of reality?

Poor-little-rich-boy Jonathan Vallen is the heir to Vallen Industries, but is more interested in music and gardens. He clashes with new CEO Marco Pellegrini, a self-made man and rising star in business, who is brought in to salvage the company. Jonathan gladly leaves Vallen and moves to Cape Cod. When they meet again on an LGBTQ Caribbean cruise, Marco doesn’t recognize Jonathan, who has spent a year transforming from an ugly duckling into a very sexy swan. After Marco shows interest and sparks fly, Jonathan reluctantly assumes a false identity, egged on by his cousin Anthony. None of them expect a shipboard fling to deepen into true love.

Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2016.

Book Review

This novel contains a lot of my favorite elements: realistically flawed characters, a dream-worthy romance that manages not to develop along a “standard”, straightforward path, a villain who made me want to wring his neck more than once, and some outstanding, quirky secondary characters who might have stolen the show if the two leading men hadn’t been so fabulous. Jonathan struggles with his self-confidence and how to step out of his overbearing father’s shadow, and Marco is a super successful CEO who worked his way out of poverty and for whom winning is everything. The result of these two men interacting is explosive – in more than one way!

Jonathan is an amazing man, if only he could see and believe it himself. He was never good enough for his macho father, and he has let that rule his life ever since his older brother – the destined heir of the family business, Vallen Industries – died, followed by his mother. Jonathan is a talented musician, but was not allowed to pursue his dream career. He is a compassionate man with a big heart, but trying to become the hardened executive his father wants him to be has resulted in depression. Once he decides to walk away from it all, now that his father has hired Marco as a temporary CEO, things begin to look up. Then Jonathan runs into Marco again. Marco doesn’t even recognize him, he has changed so much. Faced with a choice between enjoying the gorgeous man’s company on a weeklong cruise and telling him the truth, Jonathan is tempted into pretending to be someone else – with disastrous results once Marco finds out the truth.

Marco comes from poverty, but he has never let that stop him. Winning is everything for him. He is one of the youngest CEOs in the industry, and being hired to turn Vallen Industries around is right up his alley. A year later he has done what he promised, goes on a vacation, and meets the love of his life – not realizing the man he gets to know as Jonah is the made-over version of Jonathan, his boss’s son. Once he finds out in the worst way possible, Marco is devastated and angry. But he also begins to ask himself what is more important – his pride or admitting that he can understand why Jonathan behaved the way he did. After all, Marco has gotten to know Jonathan’s father in the year he has worked for him – and he is less than impressed.

This tumultuous story of “soft-hearted musician meets hardened business executive” has it all: mistaken identity, a beautiful cruise to exotic locations that provides some very romantic settings, supportive friends who can be as aggravating as they are well-meaning, and a villain who starts out being pretty awful only to grow into a full-on repulsive, homophobic, unethical, amoral…. you get the picture. I was glued to the pages, entertained, and outraged in turn as I followed Jonathan and Marco on their path to love, watching each of them grow into a better man by the end of the story.

If you like sweet romances with a bit of angst and a few twists and turns, if two men who are made for each other yet almost miss that fact since they’re hiding behind masks life has forced them to wear, and if you’re looking for a read that is in turn funny, emotional, suspenseful, and always super romantic, then you will probably love this novel as much as I do.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 195 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-January-2020
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link