Sand & Water
Dreamspinner Press, August 15, 2011
Widower John McConnell gets along fine raising his daughter on Georgia's Tybee Island, though he wouldn't exactly say he's happy. Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, John hasn't considered dating again until he meets Bryan Simmons in the park. It isn't long before John realizes that what he feels for Bryan could be something real, but how will he know he's ready to move on?
As John soon discovers, Bryan carries some heavy emotional baggage of his own. With John's help, Bryan starts to put his demons to rest, and together they lay the foundation for a relationship. It looks like they might finally leave their tragedies behind them-until John takes a misstep that could turn a magical night together into their last.
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Widower, Family
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3
Reviewed by SharonS.:
John lost his wife during the birth of their daughter five years ago. He spent the first year trying to drown his sorrows in meaningless sexual encounters with men and women. He finally decided to make a new start and moved in with his aunt on the beach. He deals with his pain by keeping busy with work and raising his daughter Beth.
Bryan, who is openly gay, shows up in the small beach town to help his sister and her family, renovate an old Bed and Breakfast. He is also running from a relationship that has left him with an incredible amount of guilt and heartache.
Unfortunately, this story fell short for me. It touches on many highly emotional issues like moving on after the loss of a loved one, homophobia, and even church views on homosexuality, but there wasn’t much depth to it. I didn’t feel like the characters ever left the shallow end of the pool and the characters’ conversations on emotional issues were too neat and tidy if that makes sense. This is a very light read except for the scene where Bryan takes John to meet his ex. Their situation is heartbreaking.
I also felt this would have made a better novella. There were too many scenes with secondary characters doing mundane things without really moving the story along. I ended up skimming parts to get to John and Bryan’s story. My favorite part was when John and Bryan gave in to their needs. They had been taking things slow because they both had so much baggage, but the need to connect and feel love again was to strong. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen till the last 1/3 of the book.
This is just my opinion on this story and there are others who loved it so I suggest checking out some other reviews before deciding if this book is for you.
Check out Shae Connor’s website
Buy Sand & Water here