Two men battle the wilderness—and desire.
It’s 1793, and Simon Cavendish needs to get to his station at Fort Charlotte, a fur-trading outpost in the untamed Canadian wild. The fort is only accessible by canoe, and there’s just one man daring enough to take him on the perilous, thousand-mile journey from Montreal this late in the summer.
Young Christian Smith, the son of an Ojibwe mother and absent English father, is desperate for money to strike out on his own, so he agrees to take clueless Simon deep into the wild. As they travel endless lakes and rivers, they butt heads.
Yet the attraction between Simon and Christian, two men from vastly different worlds, grows ever stronger. Locked in a battle against the wilderness and elements, how long can they fight their desire for each other?
Point of view:
3rd person. Entirely from Simon’s perspective.
I usually love Keira Andrews, but this didn’t work for me. I think my biggest problems were (spoilers):
1. It’s short. I mean, I knew that since the audio is only two hours. However, this felt like an outline/first draft that someone meant to go back and expand. There isn’t much to the story to substantiate the “I love you”, “let’s defy society and live together forever”, or an HFN/HEA. The story is only 85% of the ebook – the rest is excerpts from another book.
2. It’s only from Simon’s POV. Christian barely talks. Which makes it feel even less supportive of HEA. It might have helped to have more from Christian, either from his own perspective or through Simon.
3. There’s a scene that I’d consider a sexual assault. Christian feels like Simon’s “interest” is merely random sexual need mixed with only other human available. That if there were women around Simon wouldn’t be interested. So Christian attacks Simon without consent. While ultimately it was what Simon “wanted” it’s done fairly violently and without invitation. It really killed the mood for the rest of the book for me even though they talk it out.
It won’t keep me from listening to more of Andrews work in the future, mostly because this wasn’t consistent with any of her other work.
Joel Leslie was solid here. Good differentiation between the various characters and their accents.
About the author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”
You can connect with Keira Andrews here:
About the narrator:
Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.