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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara

Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, BDSM, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Austin thinks driving a 1989 Geo Spectrum fourteen hundred miles in the middle of winter is a bad idea. But he would never forgive himself if the man he loved, Zach Roth, got himself killed in Idaho, so he agrees to go.

Besides, he has something to prove. He wants Zach to know it's more than just Zach’s deliciously wicked body he adores. And if it takes spending Hanukkah in Zach's grandma’s old hatchback to prove it, then so be it.

Ever the optimist, Zach believes everything will turn out for the best. But bad weather, robberies, blown gaskets, run-ins with the police, and motel bedspreads of questionable cleanliness seem to conspire against them, and they may need eight days of miracles just to keep each other...and their romance...alive.

What better way to test a relationship than a road trip during the holidays? Zach has been dating Austin for several months and everything is going well. So well in fact Austin wants the two to move in together. Zach is not quite ready for that but decides to drive his grandmother’s car home with his mechanic boyfriend. Little did either of them know their trip would be filled with obstacles.

Love Ahead: Expect Delays is a wonderful, romantic story wrapped up in a quick, entertaining road trip. Zach and Austin are an established couple that are thinking the relationship may be “the one.” Zach has some trust issues since he always seems to pick the worst men. Austin seems perfect but his explosive temper worries Zach. At the same time Austin is so careful with Zach, wanting only to protect and care for the man. Together they have a very lovely, engaging dynamic. Their relationship is punctuated by snappy dialogue and hot chemistry.

The road trip portion of the story moves along quickly from disaster to disaster with each problem realistic and interesting. The culmination of so many problems together may be a bit much but the skillful writing keeps the story entertaining. Zach and Austin reveal both their characters and what makes their relationship work in the small touches and words not said. They don’t have to proclaim their love constantly but the affection and emotion between them is evident. Zach’s family, especially his football loving grandmother, is adorable and a nice late addition to the story.

This is one couple I’d definitely love to read more of and hope the author revisits their relationship in the future. Road trips are a staple trope in romance fiction and while the themes are familiar, the story is fresh and fun to read. I easily recommend this for readers and the holiday theme is subtle enough to please without overwhelming. Feel free to read this at any time and enjoy a great story.

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