Title: Setting the Hook
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Grey is an excellent writer and puts his characters in plausible situations. These characterizations draw you in, and the men in his books become real people Grey just happens to be telling a story about.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: It could be the catch of a lifetime.
William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.
Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.
William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.
Review: I enjoy Andrew Grey’s books. If you look on my kindle, it would take multiple hands to count the number of books I own by this author. This one is no exception; I loved this story. Oh, and the cover is spot on. I TOTALLY appreciate a cover that accurately depicts the book, and this one does. This book is a mature romance between two men who have established lives and livelihoods. They live miles and states apart, and yet they meet, fall in love, and shed familial and societal barriers to come together. I am a huge fan of mature romances, and this one will go down as a favorite.
William and Mike generally meet up twice a year. Mike runs a charter boat service and whenever Williams family and his job obligations get too overwhelming, he’ll call up Mike and they will go fishing. William comes from an old business magnate family, and he’s been groomed from a young age to take over the helm whenever his father decides to retire. He has a contentious relationship with his parents who, at times, are distant and only concerned that he follows through on his obligations. He was raised in boarding schools, with nannies and a cook at home. Twice a year, he lets a ray of sunshine, a little warmth, into his life—Mike and his boat. If William picked the first excursion for the boat, the succeeding charters were all because of Mike.
Mike Jansen loves his job. He better. With a daughter and his mother to support, he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. His business lives or dies by the locals in his sleepy little town on the Gulf Coast, and the word of mouth customers they bring in. Coming out has never been an issue with him because the answer was an unequivocal “No”. That is, until William. He has wanted the man for years, and when a hurricane and the subsequent fallout strand William at his house, Mike is helpless to resist.
Grey is an excellent writer and puts his characters in plausible situations. These characterizations draw you in, and the men in his books become real people Grey just happens to be telling a story about. I appreciated the secondary characters here; each do their job moving the plot forward and providing interest and humor to round out the storyline between two very intense men. I appreciated the maturity given Mike’s ten-year-old daughter, and the addition of Lloyd with Mike’s mom. While Mike and William may fall hard and fast once they move to a more physical relationship, it is the foundation of years of friendship that buoys them and solidifies their HEA.
“I’m not like you,” Mike retorted. “I’m not pretty and toned.”
“No. You work for a living and it shows. Your skin is colored by the sun and your face etched by the water. You’ve lived, and it’s all written in the color of your skin and the lines around your eyes.” William leaned closer. “You’ve lived an honest life of hard work. Not one that’s plucked, sculpted, shaved, and wears a mask so big that no one can see behind it.” William admired that. Mike was a real man with no pretension, just what was in front of him, eyes glassy and breathing ragged as William held him on the edge. Nothing was better…..
This is truly a male romance. There are no hearts and flowers, but the depth of feeling Grey portrays between these two is solid, and the way they each have to compromise, change and put the other first, is plainly portrayed. I will say that I didn’t get the transformation of William’s mother or his willingness to just forget years of neglect in the space of a boat ride—that was a little hard to swallow—but that’s my only criticism. I highly recommend this one!
Once he had the lines secured and they were away from the dock, William stood behind Mike, looking out the front window at the sea ahead of them. Their future was bright and expansive as the stretch of open water. Mike put his hand in William’s, and together they headed for whatever lay ahead.
You can buy Setting the Hook here: