Book Reviews

Stolen Summer by S.A. Meade at Pride Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-August-2017

Book Blurb

The horror of Evan and Colin's stolen summer may be over but the nightmares remain. Can their love survive the fallout?

The last thing journalist Evan Harrison expects to hear, when he returns from covering the war in Afghanistan, is that his best friend, Colin Williams, is in love with him.

Colin, an Oxford Professor with a poet's soul and a roving eye, turns out to be a temptation Evan can't resist. What he discovers is that sex with Colin is hot, wild and relentless. The two of them embark on a passionate affair and Evan knows he's going to spend his days with Colin - after one last assignment.

A western journalist in Pakistan is too tempting a target for local insurgents. Evan's 'Oh-shit' sense fails dismally when he is taken hostage and spends four months refusing to let his captors grind him down by clinging to memories of the lover he left behind. Freedom from captivity, however, doesn't bring freedom from terror. The legacy of Evan's ordeal results in meltdowns and nightmares that threaten to destroy his life with Colin. He can't even seek comfort in lovemaking because the pills intended to save his sanity kill his desire.

Evan seizes a chance to put his nightmares behind him by taking one final assignment, covering unrest in Jordan. Colin sees Evan's decision as the end of a relationship he fought hard to save. If Evan makes it back to England in one piece, winning Colin back will be the toughest assignment he's ever faced.

Book Review

This story has a very “real” feel to it, and an extremely “real” message behind it: do not take your life for granted, and never assume your lover will understand or accept your priorities and decisions. One of the things that fascinated me about this book was the difference between Evan’s point of view (not to mention his lack of readiness to change it even the tiniest bit) and Colin’s opposing opinion which, to most people, seemed the more rational of the two. Yet every time I got to see things from Evan’s point of view, he seemed as rational as Colin.

Evan is a photo journalist who is stubborn, tends to shy away from confrontation, and is loyal to a fault. He follows his nose until the story is written, but because he cannot give up, he also puts himself into danger professionally. He is so focused on his job that there is almost no time left for a personal life, and Colin is one of the few partners who accepts that. When Evan finally manages to officially break things off with his girlfriend (whom he hasn’t been close to in a long time – he just didn’t want to face her), the relief of being with Colin is palpable. They are truly right for each other. The description of Evan’s time in captivity during his kidnapping in Pakistan is awful, his recovery is long and painful – and then he goes back to another dangerous assignment? I was yelling at him not to be so stupid. He is one of those people who think they are invincible – even though the episode in Pakistan should have taught him better.

Colin is an amazing man who clearly loves Evan more than his own life (or sanity). The way he takes care of Evan and helps him recover marks him for sainthood, as far as I am concerned. At the same time, he also enables Evan to continue with his (sorry) idiotic pursuit of covering “just one more story”. Yes, he may have gone on this last assignment for the money and so he never has to go back – but to Colin (and a large part of me) those are all excuses.

This is a great book, with characters that have a lot of struggling to do before they can find a balance. Evan’s growth is significant, and, unfortunately, comes with a lot of pain. I liked the realism of the story, the depth of the emotions both Evan and Colin go through, and the fact that it wasn’t easy for them to figure out how to make it work. If you like struggling, flawed characters, men who know what they want but have to accept that their goals may need to change, and if you want to follow them as they battle it out both inside and outside the bedroom, you will probably like this novel.





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

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 209 pages/74644 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-August-2011
Price $4.99 ebook, $15.88 paperback
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