Book Reviews

Under the Australian Sky by A.J. Kelton at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Time Travel / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 15-May-2013

Book Blurb

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself transported back in time?

Being a farmer in the 1800's is hard; being a gay farmer even harder. Ethan has given up on finding his soul mate until a strangely dressed man wanders onto his land spouting nonsense about phones and cars. Jack is King of the one night stands, refusing to give anyone his heart until a chance encounter with Christian, a matchmaker longing to earn his cupid wings, sends Jack back in time. Can Jack give his heart to Ethan or will he become another conquest? Will Christian ever earn his cupid wings? Will they find love under the Australian sky?

Book Review

Do we go through life dissatisfied until we meet our soul mate, the person we fit with perfectly in every way? It certainly seems that way for Jack of 'Under the Australian Sky' by AJ Kelton. Jack is rude, condescending, and plain old obnoxious. He treats people there to serve him, i.e., the maid, waiters, chauffeur, etc. as if they barely exist. He even treats his lovers with a callousness and disregard that is appalling, but many of them put up with his aberrant behavior because the one thing Jack does have is plenty of money. He reasons that he can treat people in such a horrible manner because they aren't interested in him, per se, they are just interested in what he can do for them. That may be true, but his behavior is totally unacceptable and he needs to be taught a lesson in humility.

Christian is a celestial matchmaker who is assigned to help Jack meet up with his soul mate, Ethan, who lives back in the 1800s. Christian, however, didn't expect to be so physically compatible with Jack and is compelled to dabble with him for a while before sending him back in time. Needless to say, this seriously impairs Christian's ability to remain impartial, but he really wants to earn his cupid wings, so he goes on with his mission despite his feelings for Jack. He doesn't, however, give up on Jack which causes some serious problems between Jack and Ethan.

Ethan is an absolute doll. He's one of the kindest men anyone could ever know, but he's chosen to live as a hermit because he realized at a young age that he favored men over women. He's seen how this can hurt him, so he's never acted on this impulse. When Jack shows up on his doorstep, Ethan welcomes him with open arms and tolerates Jack's ravings about what awful conditions Ethan is living in and asking for things that don't exist in the 1800s. Ethan has an enormous amount of patience with Jack and has trouble fighting his attraction to him. Jack doesn't quite know what to make out of the situation, but uncharacteristically, Jack finds himself wanting to help Ethan instead of sitting back and complaining while Ethan works. The more he does, the more he realizes that he actually appreciates the peace and quiet and most of all, he appreciates Ethan. He's always used people, but finds that he has a great amount of respect for Ethan besides being physically attracted to him, he feels something more, something he didn't even know he wanted. Christian pops in from time to time to help but also to stir things up and to try to seduce Jack again. Even though it's Christian's mission to see that Jack and Ethan bond, he can't believe Jack has changed that much and no longer wants him. Ethan's goodness has rubbed off on Jack and he's a new man, content to be with Ethan.

I've always enjoyed stories about finding your soul mate and time travel has always fascinated me. The premise behind the story was good, but I have to admit that the inconsistent pace and the degree to which Jack was an arrogant jerk reduced my enjoyment. Ethan, however, was absolutely perfect just the way he was. Even with all the trials that Ethan and Jack had to face, including Christian's unheavenly behavior, the book ended happily, so all is well that ends well.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 46000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-January-2013
Price $5.99
Buy Link