Sunday, March 13, 2016

ARC Review: Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews


Even if it means quitting their boy band mid-tour, Troy Tanner isn’t going to watch his little brother snort his future away after addiction destroyed their father. On a private jet taking him home from Australia, he and pilot Brian Sinclair soar above the vast South Pacific. Brian lost his passion for flying—and joy in life—after a traumatic crash, but now he and Troy must fight to survive when a cyclone strikes without warning.

Marooned a thousand miles from civilization, the turquoise water and white sand beach look like paradise. But although they can fish and make fire, the smallest infection or bacteria could be deadly. When the days turn into weeks with no sign of rescue, Troy and Brian grow closer, and friendship deepens into desire.

As they learn sexuality is about more than straight or gay and discover their true selves, the world they've built together is thrown into chaos. If Troy and Brian make it off the island, can their love endure?

Dani's rating:

Two men. One island. A love story for the ages.

Fed up with his brother’s drug abuse, Troy hires a private plane to take him from Sydney back to the States, world tour be damned. He is a pop star after all and can afford such luxuries.

Brian treats Troy like any other passenger. He could care less about a boy band idol. For Brian, this is just another job.

Just another job, just another day … just another flight.

Until the plane falls out of the sky.

Stranded on a desert island somewhere in the Pacific, Brian and Troy have to work together to survive. They figure out how to build a shelter and start a fire. They spell out SOS with rocks. They learn how to crack open coconuts and cook the pulp.

There are fish to catch, wood to chop, and clothes to wash. Fortunately, papayas are plentiful. Unfortunately, the parrots are damn loud and star squawking at an ungodly hour every morning.

Troy isn’t the spoiled rich boy Brian expected, and Brian knows that as far as being lost in the middle of nowhere goes, he could do much worse than Troy.

Brian and Troy take care of each other. They talk and dream and laugh. They name their island Golden Sands after this Sinatra song.

Troy has always been a people pleaser, and he’s still catering to the ghost of his dead father, a real showman who pushed his sons to succeed and snorted their money up his nose. With Brian, Troy can finally sing for himself.

Brian, emotionally scarred by a past tragedy, has been existing, not living. Isolated from friends, Brian has been hiding from the world in his nondescript Sydney flat. He feels guilty for surviving, especially since the pilot, Paula, who tried to be a friend to him even as he pushed her away, perished in the island crash.

The first half of the book is about the mundane day-to-day tasks of staying alive. There are no lingering glances, no unfulfilled sexual tension. The men are too busy catching rain water and staying dry to worry about getting off.

But there are moments of awareness, Troy looking at Brian’s hairy chest, Brian attempting to masturbate to an image of two women only to have his thoughts stray to Troy time and again. Troy offers to get Brian off, and then there’s kissing and caressing and raw, passionate sex.

This isn’t a GFY story, not really. The men don’t spend time fantasizing about women and talking about exes. Troy realizes that if he’s sexually attracted to a man, he must be bi. But it isn’t about labels. It’s about friendship and trust. It’s about love.

I adored Troy’s close-knit, supportive Filipino family, especially his mother, all five foot nothing of her, who calls Troy “Bongbong” and asks him if he’s had “the sex.” Troy’s little brother finally gets his ass into rehab and never gives up the search for Troy.

There is no melodrama here, no homophobia, no big internal struggle over sexual identity, no bitchy ex-girlfriends. This book is fuckery free!

Instead we get: sex in a lean-to, the most erotic shaving scene ever written, two gorgeous men who spend most of their time naked, and an epilogue worthy of an Grammy.

Get the book:


I read because one life is just not enough for me.
~Abbas Al-Akkad

An ARC of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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