Worlds Away

Worlds Away - Alexa Land Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Number thirteen is not unlucky for fans of Alexa Land’s Firsts and Forever series. Sawyer and Alastair’s story contains much of the sweetness that touches all the series’ prior couples. Book twelve, [b:Who I Used to Be|31661030|Who I Used to Be (Firsts and Forever, #12)|Alexa Land||52331753], dealt with some heavy subjects, but Worlds Away definitely falls on the lighter side, concentrating on Sawyer and Alastair falling for each other and doing what it takes to make things work even if an ocean separates them.

Alastair doesn’t resent the expectation that he will take over the family business, in fact he is proud of the family legacy, the many people they employ and the charitable acts that are made possible by their money. What he does resent is the way his family expects him to change to fit their mold. They expect him to return to London when he turns 21 in a few months and to not only devote every waking hour to the business and family name, but to hide his personality and his sexuality. His grandfather told him he needs to marry a suitable woman and if necessary, discretely take care of his homosexual proclivities on the side like it’s always been done.

Sawyer allowed himself to be pushed into the Army by his father, who is not subtle in his disappointment about Sawyer not re-enlisting. Their relationship is tenuous even though Sawyer is currently living with him, but he has an amazing relationship with his father’s ex-wife Sherry who lives on the other side of their duplex. A bad relationship while he was enlisted has left him a shell of who he was. He has given up everything he used to enjoy and is just sort of going through the motions of life. If you paid attention to the brief times Sawyer was on page in the prior book, you probably know that he has a bit of a secret that involves feminine clothing. It’s a side of himself he’s always hidden, even from his closest friends.

Sawyer and Alastair have been nursing crushes on each other since they briefly met a few months back. Alastair finally makes a big move at TJ and Zach’s wedding. Knowing Alastair only has months before he will be moving back to London, the two agree to a casual arrangement that soon goes flying out the window. On paper they are as different as can be, but they fit perfectly and quickly fall for each other as they find they can both really be themselves around the other. In fact Alastair so loves the side Sawyer has always hidden it makes for some incredibly sexy moments. I absolutely adored Sawyer learning to embrace who he is and express himself even if others don’t approve and had no problem picturing his changing looks in my mind. We don’t get Alastair’s point of view, but it is always very clear what he is thinking since these two have no communication issues at all. Even the reappearance of Sawyer’s ex and Alastair’s disapproving family can’t really shake the foundation these two men build.

Alexa Land again works her magic, not only endearing the two main characters to us, but building up some of the secondary characters that have been introduced in the last few books to full-fledged members of the Firsts and Forever family. Sawyer and Alastair become a support system for Darwin, Elijah and Gabriel, all of whom I expect will have their stories told in the future. Of course there are a few new characters that will have you begging for more, especially Alastair’s bodyguard Roger.

Half of the story takes place away from San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten! It wouldn’t be the same without Nana making an appearance. Although she has been toned down recently, she never fails to make an impression and her love still knows no bounds when it comes to her extended and always growing family.

This installment, more than some prior ones, would work well as a standalone since the number of recurring side characters is smaller and Alastair and Sawyer have only had small roles in the last two stories. While I love the emotional punch Alexa Land can deliver with some of the heavier books, it was also nice to read a no-angst story full of romance and fun.