Coasting by Yvonne Trent

Coasting by Yvonne Trent
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What happens when you need something but don’t know what it is? Why not look in a place you never heard of?

Out and proud elementary school teacher Cal Hamilton thought he was happy in Philadelphia, but after a breakup, he steps back to reassess his life and discovers something is missing. He gets in his car and drives south with no idea what he hopes to find. The flip of a coin leads him to a small town in Mississippi—practically a different world from the city where he grew up.

Police officer Billy Labarre keeps his sexuality mostly to himself, but he knows just what he needs to fill the hole in his quiet small-town life: the right man. Unfortunately attitudes toward gay men still leave a lot to be desired in the rural South, and it’s hard to meet someone. It’s not likely his perfect match is just going to show up out of the blue….

After the break up of his five-year relationship, Cal decides to just drive and get away from everything, to stretch his wings and see where he lands. In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Billy is a police officer and more than interested when he first notices Cal. With all the hotels fully booked for the summer tourist season Billy takes a chance and offers Cal his spare room. Can this be the start of something longer than a summer fling?

I really enjoyed the slow paced, almost sweetly romantic feel to this story. Set in a small coastal town this lovely story read to me like an older fashioned story – one where the reader is really able to get to know the characters before they jump into bed. I really felt that all the sight-seeing and extended “getting to know you” period between Cal and Billy made it just that much hotter and more emotional when they finally did become intimate. I loved how the slower pace let me get attached and more comfortable with the characters – and the extensive cast of secondary characters – and this made the plotlines and story far richer for it.

I was a little nervous that the falling in love part of the story happened too quickly, though I must admit I was pleased that the speed wasn’t completely overlooked. Both Cal and Billy pondered about the speed with which they met, got to know each other then fell in love and this helped ease me a little. Instead of making me feel like it was some insta-love style of story the reflections and acknowledgement of the short timeframe made it seem more fate or just good fortune for the guys. I could understand if some readers, however, don’t feel quite the same as I did. For me personally though, I felt it was well handled and very emotionally written – even if it wasn’t particularly realistic.

A fun, lighthearted and very warm story, I loved the mixture of spicy M/M romance and erotic intimacy the author balanced with a really small-town feel of a story. I felt this was a lovely modern story and one I will happily indulge in many more times to come. A great, romantic read.

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