Title: Port in a Storm
Author: Douglas Black
Publisher: Loose Id
Pages/Word Count: 274 Pages
At a Glance: Port in a Storm is a book I couldn’t put down.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Alex is stuck in a rut. He’s facing a big decision about his future, namely, what to do with it and so far he hasn’t managed to come up with an answer.
Until he meets Jake.
Jake blows through Alex’s world like a hurricane and Alex falls hard and fast for the perpetual traveler with a penchant for secrets and a perfect smile. Jake wants Alex, but life isn’t as simple as that. Jake never settles in one place for long and already their long-distance relationship is driving a wedge between Alex and his family. With no compromises on offer, Alex’s decision about his future becomes a decision about Jake.
For Alex, the idea of losing Jake doesn’t even bear thinking about, but choosing him looks like it will mean throwing away everything Alex knows, including his relationship with his parents. And so, Alex finds himself with another question to answer: how much is he willing to give up, to be happy?
Review: This was a book I really wanted to like. It opens with a strong hook. Handsome guy is in a bad relationship and meets a hot stranger who sweeps him off his feet. Emotions run strong in this book, something I truly enjoy. And despite the secrets both protagonists keep, when they do communicate, they are brutally honest. You can’t help but love Alex and Jake individually and as a couple. The scenery is beautifully developed, and I can’t help but believe that this author has experienced many of the places in the story firsthand. And the sex. Let’s just say Mr. Black is masterful and trigger the reader’s g-spot, all of this wrapped up in angst. As a reader, I found myself walking along a tightrope for the duration of the book, wondering how these two characters would finally manage to break down the wall separating them and arrive at their happy ending.
That said, I found it frustrating how each character held back when they knew talking was the solution. Each character had painful issues from their past which colored the way they viewed other people and their own futures. Each man knew that revealing their deepest secrets would pave a way for greater understanding and connection. But they remained silent, withholding rather than giving the thing the other needed.
As the book ramped up towards its climax, the issues begin to surface, secrets are revealed, and even then, one of the characters makes a stupid choice (which the character acknowledges), continuing his pattern of taking an easy route of problem-avoidance as opposed to taking the reins of his own life and destiny. It was hard to feel sympathetic when this character only needed to buckle down and grab hold of what the other offered as opposed to waiting until he almost lost everything.
Still, Port in a Storm is a book I couldn’t put down. I needed to see how their journey would end. These two men, originating from the same hometown, yet so vastly different from one another, were like a whirlwind of heat and excitement.
This is a great exploration of living one’s own life, tossing aside the shackles of expectations and obligations. It’s about living life in the now, learning to appreciate what is instead of dwelling on what was or what might be. It’s about forgiving oneself and healing. And ultimately it’s about embracing love, accepting that living honestly, leads to happiness.
You can buy Port in a Storm here: