Book Reviews

The Road to Amazing (Russell Middlebrook: The Futon Years 3) by Brent Hartinger at BK Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 03-April-2016

Book Blurb

“I think gay guys like weddings more than anyone. And it's not because we want to destroy marriage, like some people say. It's because we really, really want to get married!"

Russel Middlebrook is gettin' hitched!


The wedding is taking place in a remote lodge on an island in Puget Sound. Russel and his husband-to-be have invited all their close friends to spend the whole weekend together beforehand. 


And for the first time in his life, Russel is determined to not be neurotic, and not over-think things.


But that's before things start going wrong. Who expected a dead killer whale to wash up on the beach below the inn? And what's this about a windstorm approaching? Then there's the problem of Russel's anxious fiancé, who is increasingly convinced the whole thing is going to be a disaster. 


Meanwhile, the wedding is taking place near the ruins of a small town, Amazing, where, a hundred years earlier, the people supposedly all disappeared overnight. Why does it feel like the secret at the end of the road to Amazing has something to do with Russel's own future? 


Can Russel's friends Min, Gunnar, Vernie, and Otto somehow help him make it all make sense?


Book Review

“Amazement awaits us at every corner.” ~  James Broughton

After all of the experiences they've had over the last ten years, Russel and Kevin, of 'The Road to Amazing’ by Brent Hartinger, are ready to take the next step in commitment and be married. They want the wedding weekend and the ceremony to be perfect, with everything happening just as it should - but as everyone knows, things don't always turn out exactly perfect regardless of how well we've planned.

Russel is trying his best not to ruin the mood by overthinking everything and looking for trouble when it isn't there. Kevin is usually the positive one who sees a silver lining in whatever may happen. It's an odd situation for both of them. Russel isn't worried about Kevin not loving him enough to marry him, but he is concerned because Kevin seems to be convinced something awful is going to happen to ruin everything. It's hard to solve a problem when you don't know what it is. There's a vague feeling of something out of place, but Russel is not sure what it is. He just knows he feels different, not quite himself and uncomfortably detached from Kevin. But it's not only Kevin's negativity that bothers him, it's also all of their friends who are invited for a long weekend.

As the weekend proceeds, and things start going wrong, Russel's faith that everything will turn out right begins to wane. Even though the people in the group are all very different, they are Russel and Kevin's friends for a reason. They have always been there for them. Through introspection, each member of the group accompanies Russel and Kevin on this amazing journey, remembering an important saying: the destination is not as important as what is learned on the journey itself. This is what changes us and help us grow. As the weekend goes on, the group faces several obstacles that are overcome by teamwork and a real desire to make this weekend as wonderful as they can for their good friends.

There is so much character growth that takes place in this story, not only for Russel and Kevin, but for everyone there with them. Everyone takes something positive from the experience, something they had struggled with beforehand that will hopefully help them in the future. With a bond such as Russel and Kevin's, I don't think they will have much of a problem finding something amazing in their lives together. Thanks, Brent, for a great, introspective story, helping me remember that the possibility of finding something amazing may be right around the corner.





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 and print
Length Novel, 236 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-February-2016
Price $5.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
Buy Link