Beyond the Sea

Beyond the Sea - Keira Andrews Review originally posted at Sinfully.

It’s been years since I’ve read a deserted island romance, and I realized I hadn’t ever read one in the m/m genre, but Beyond the Sea was a great way to start! If you don’t know the classic song, take a listen before you read.

Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waiting for me
My lover stands on golden sands …

A plane crash leaves 26 year old boy band musician Troy and 39 year old pilot Brian stranded on a deserted tropical island somewhere in the Pacific. Troy had just ended his barely breathing relationship with the band’s opening act, Savannah, once he found her enabling his younger brother’s drug habit. Exercising tough-love, he left the band in the middle of their tour and arranged a private jet to fly home, intending to get his mother on board to stop his brother from following in the tragic footsteps of their stage-manager father. Brian’s circumstances are a bit more mysterious. A qualified pilot who refuses to captain any flights, he’s had a failed marriage and something has obviously put him off his love of flying. He moved from the US to Australia, leaving everything and everyone he knows behind and cutting himself off from the world.

This is not a sex-filled romp, but rather a pure romance. In fact the first half of the book is focused on the men setting the stage for their survival, then spending the next days and weeks getting to know each other. We get both Brian and Troy’s points of view and see how both allowed past incidents and decisions to dictate how they live their lives, pushing aside what they really wanted out of fear and complacency. The friendship and affection that develops between them is natural and though they both have some flashes of attraction, neither is willing to share it with the other.

I loved spending time with Brian and Troy as they dealt with the issues that have affected them throughout their lives and realized the important things they lost as a result. They open up to each other and understand each other more than anyone had in their previous life. There are no sex scenes until more than halfway through the book and they just strengthened the connection that Troy and Brian had already formed. Before the island both men had girlfriends, Brian was married and divorced, but neither had experienced the passion and connection that they had together. Troy is quick to accept that his feeling for Brian makes him bisexual. Brian accepts his affection and feelings for Troy, but isn’t as quick to label himself.

When rescue appears the simultaneous feelings of joy at being found and sadness that they were losing their time alone was palpable. After the whirlwind of their rescue the true challenge begins. Was their attraction born out of circumstance or is it a true love that blossomed between two men who got to know and care for each other? Can it survive the reality of their lives after rescue or will they both ignore what happened and return to the way things were? One man is fairly certain of what he wants and feels, but the other thinks separation and return to their pre-island normal is the best for both of them. Both men have the opportunity to pick back up with the women and lives they knew before the crash. Will Troy be able to maintain the live for now attitude he adopted on the island or will he fall back into the pattern that directed most of his life and will Brian once again hide away from the world?

"I was listening to the ocean last night, trying to sleep. Trying not to think about you."

This is the writing I’ve come to expect from Keira Andrews. Creating two characters you really get to know and becoming immersed and invested in the situation. From the mundane routine of their island life to the jarring re-entry into “real life” I enjoyed being with these characters, watching them struggle and watching them fall in love. I may have shed a brief tear or two along the way, and cursed the author in anger at one point, but I also laughed at their conversations and cheered when they got their acts together.

The story itself moved along at a good pace and the epilogue answers the question of whether or not both men were able to take what they learned about themselves on the island and make a change. A perfect ending for a beautiful romance that I highly recommend.