Book Reviews

The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 14-November-2019

Book Blurb

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches...and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton.

Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?

First edition published by the author, April 2013.

Second edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2015.

Book Review

Sometimes it takes a major event to shake us out of a rut so we can get on with our lives. In David McIntyre's case, in 'The Boys of Summer' by Sarah Madison, it was a plane crash. David's life could be considered glamorous to some people, but David took a lot of it for granted. The brightest spot in his job was his crush on Rick Sutton, whose air service he hired as often as possible to search for just the right location for his next production. David and Rick's flight takes a dangerous turn when they end up crashed on a deserted island. This is where their real journey begins.

David is open, gregarious, and talkative. In fact, sometimes it seems like he talks too much about trivial things. David sometime seems like he's playing a game of Trivial Pursuit or 'Jeopardy.' He knows a little about just about everything, especially movies. When he's stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere, his random knowledge comes in quite handy as he and Rick Sutton struggle to survive while waiting to be rescued. It's especially dangerous because Rick is gravely ill and there's only so much David can do. He really steps up and works hard to solve the problems necessary to survival and tries desperately to remember bits and pieces he'd learned especially from the survival show he'd worked with. As he gets to know more about Rick, he realizes that his crush and respect for the man is growing. It's no longer a flirty game for him, it's becoming more real every moment and he's determined to keep Rick alive not only for him, but for Rick's sake as well.

Rick, who would usually be the leader of the two, is relegated to being totally dependent upon a man he has little faith in when his wounds become infected. He begins to see David in a different light. Instead of the flippant, sometime smart ass he knows, to someone who can really step up when he needs to and it changes his feelings toward him. When Rick begins to hallucinate, David takes special precautions, hiding weapons from him and learning to approach him very carefully. Rick inadvertently shows David a side of him that few people have ever seen—a dark, painful place where no one should ever have to go. David wants him to survive more than ever after this, because he wants Rick to have a chance to get over this nightmare and go on to live a happier life, possibly with him in it.

There's a story within a story in which David combines some of the history he's studying, the atmosphere of World War II relics, and his feelings for Rick which plays out in a dream sequence. In this alternate reality, he's a code breaker and Rick is a pilot with the RAF during WWII. It's full of angst and longing because the two men fall in love even though they know being together is hopeless. It's romantic, heartbreaking, and tragic. The dream serves to compare and contrast the way things were for gay men then and the way they are now in a unique way. At first I wondered what was happening and wanted to get back to the main part of the story, but as I became enthralled with the dream, I didn't want it to end. It' became my favorite part of the story.

Although the ending is a bit rushed and improbable, it was still happy and romantic which is, after all, the point of a good love story. I'm hoping that Sarah has another Rick and David tale in mind which picks up from where this one left off. I'd like to see what happens next with these wonderful, sexy men. How about it, Sarah? If you like survivor stories with unique and unexpected twists, sexy men, and happy endings, then you may like this book. Thanks, Sarah, for the delightful reading experience.




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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 202 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-October-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link