Review: The World Traveler by Claire Castle

WorldTravelerRating: 3.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


How would you like to travel the world? To see new cities, visit new continents, compete in challenges against other teams, all to win one million dollars? It’s the game show Adam’s best friend, Anderson, loves with a passion. When the chance comes up for the two of them to enter, Adam can’t bring himself to say no to his friend’s dreams, especially when it does sound like fun. It’s a way to get them both out of their ruts and to get Anderson’s mind off of his breakup.

Taylor and his sister, Jessica, own and operate a small web design firm. Taylor is estranged from his parents due to being gay and Jessica is the only family he has left, so when she suggests they apply to The World Traveler in an attempt to show off their company — and show off themselves — it doesn’t take much to make Taylor say yes.

Two teams of people looking for adventure, and two men who can’t seem to keep their eyes off of each other. When a twist in the game puts Taylor and Adam together, it seems like fate. Can they keep their minds on the game and their eyes on the prize? Or will they win something more important than money?

I used to watch The Amazing Race (the show The World Traveler is very loosely based on) all the time. That helped me fill in the blanks left by the book as it breezed over the actual adventure. Those who aren’t fans of that show or who aren’t as familiar with it may find the premise a bit thin here since the game itself is only barely a part of the overall story. The main focus is the growing relationship between Adam and Taylor.

Adam is a nice guy, a self-professed geek who wears superhero T-shirts — flamboyant and gay superhero T-shirts, such as Superman kissing Batman — and isn’t shy about his sexuality. Adam thinks he’s kind of hot and when he sees Taylor, who may be just a little bit hotter, he’s quickly smitten by the man’s good lucks and slight scruff.

Taylor happens to agree with Adam; the pair of them make a handsome couple — not that it’s all about the physical, of course. Even though he’s exchanged only a few words with the other man before falling in love with him. It’s less than a day after their initial meeting before it’s “my Adam” and there are feelings of jealousy when Adam and his best friend wander off to talk or share a hug. It’s love at first sight and two explicit masturbatory scenes in the first 15% of the book as the two of them think about each other. Every stage of the race, be it on a plane, on a train, or in a hotel, the two of them have a hard time keeping their hands off each other. Fortunately, neither of them seem to be aware of or mind the cameras catching every touch, every kiss, every lingering look. Or so I assume, since cameras are only mentioned here and there.

I found it hard to believe the extreme and passionate relationship Adam and Taylor shared. Nothing had happened for them to earn the instant trust and devotion. It wasn’t even a growing sort of love, tested by the travel and adventure of the show. It was love at first sight, perfect, deep, fairy tale love. Not that I mind such stories, but a bit of rationale or a bit of character development as to why these two fell so hard from one another — aside from the superficial hotness they both shared — would have made it stronger, for me.

As for the game show itself, there were a few mentions of challenges — go here, do this, look for that — but there was very little attention paid to the actual efforts the two men had to go through to solve them. It didn’t matter what they did or how well, since all they wanted was to get back to the hotel and crawl into bed with one another, but it left me as uninvested in the story as Adam and Taylor were.

It’s a quick, light read. It’s not badly written, but I won’t be remembering these characters or this book for long. If you want pure fluff and fun sex, you could do worse. But if you want a story to draw you in or two characters falling in love while on an adventure, I’d look for something else.

elizabeth sig

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