Title: Past the Breakers
Author: Lucie Archer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 Pages
At a Glance: A nice balance of humor and seriousness and relatable characters, all in all I really enjoyed this story.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.
Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades, he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.
With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?
Review: Myles and Casey have had a bit of a rough go of it: Myles, because he drowned and found out he is dead and stuck in the Between—and his cryptic Uncle won’t tell him what he needs to do to move on; Casey, because his dream burned to ashes before his eyes, and then his girlfriend bailed when his depression became too much.
They both end up in the same little cottage by the ocean. Myles can’t leave, and Casey won’t because he has nowhere else to go but to his childhood hometown. Now see, Myles is a wee bit territorial at first because he doesn’t have much going right now, but the beach house is his and Casey shouldn’t be there. Casey thinks he has finally lost his marbles and is hallucinating the entire experience, and thus begins the two’s journey.
I love a well-written story that can find a happy balance between seriousness and humor; lighthearted in moments and heartbreaking in others, Lucie Archer managed to pull it off very well. From the beginning where my heart broke for the two men, to their first sort-of meeting—Myles trying to get the frumpy and grumpy guy inhabiting his beach house out—Past the Breakers had me laughing as I pictured the entire thing occurring in my head.
As time progresses, Myles becomes more of a tangible ghost, and Casey helps him push his boundaries and learn of better ways to communicate. They develop a routine and help each other not to feel so alone and in doing so, fall for each other. Myles gives Casey the nudge he needed to get moving forward and not be stuck in the moment where his world fell apart. Casey helps clarify for Myles truths he didn’t want to face, and opens his eyes to the blinders he had on before he died.
There are definitely some obstacles going on for the two because, ya know, ghost and stuff. But it’s clear they are both emotionally attached to one another, and as a reader I really hoped they would find a way to be together.
The focus was on the blossoming romantic relationship between the two MCs, which I was totally into, but there is also the mystery surrounding Myles’ death; tid-bits of information are dropped, creating a bit of a secret to uncover. That part was so-so for me. I genuinely liked the idea of the mystery, but it fell a little flat since it really took a backseat (or, was maybe even shoved into the trunk) while Myles and Casey’s bond was being built. Honestly, there were times I would altogether forget about it, only to have it pop up periodically throughout, and then I felt when it all came together it was pretty rushed. I liked the idea and think it had a good foundation to build on, but overall it lacked in execution.
Even though the mystery missed the mark for me, I was quite happy with how it worked out in the end, and found the characters were relatable. I loved watching them both grow from the shared experience, and was entertained by their dialogue and interactions. The balance between seriousness and humor was great for my mindset, and all in all, I found this to be an adorable story.
You can buy Past the Breakers here: