Every year James escapes from the world to his favorite island retreat. A month in a remote cabin with no one to talk to is just what he needs to unplug from his stressful life as a famous Hollywood actor. When Rudie, a fellow actor and former co-worker, shows up, James reluctantly shares the beach and the solitude.
James also shares his rum and one drunken night leads to a frenzied, primal, and lust fueled encounter that shakes up James’ world and cracks him open. Denial is what James uses to cover up his fear, panic, and basic self loathing for what occurred. Rather than face Rudie, James thinks the best plan is to run back home and forget. But Rudie may just be the man to show James that life and love and passion are waiting for him if James can just embrace who he is.
This book arrived in my inbox when I was not expecting it and all schedules were immediately shifted to accommodate the latest offering from Bey Deckard.
This book introduces James, who tells himself he is content to be alone each year on his holiday, but he is a bit of a mess. When Rudie appears, James is at first annoyed with the intrusion but that is quickly replaced with interest. Deckard offers a glimpse of where both men are in their lives, but James has several layers that are slowly revealed. The island resort is lovingly described as it remains James’ favorite hideaway, even though it has fallen into disrepair and is past its prime and Deckard excels at placing subtle, visual details to bring the location to life.
James and Rudie’s first encounter is one of want and need and may seem one sided and harsh, but you must read on. Deckard writes the intimate moments with his unique style that perfectly captures the scene at hand and puts you on the island and in the room with the characters. The immediacy of the situation is well described as James is truly unsettled down to his core about what is happening and what this means for his life. It’s a tough place to be where James has intense inner turmoil about continuing on the path he started with Rudie and his shame is wrapped around him. The point of view is solely from James and more of Rudie’s thoughts regarding the whole situation would have only further enhanced the story and the connection.
Rudie is German and his dialogue appropriately captures that. The men were at times formal with each other in their speech, but that pretense did not carry over into the bedroom. There was some focus on the ages of the characters leading back to where they were in their lives, but for the number of times it was brought up, their age was never disclosed and some of these minor personal details kept the characters at a further distance for me. However, the tie-in and brief shout out to characters from Deckard’s previous book in this series were completely appreciated.
The story takes place solely on the island, allowing James to work through his internal conflict away from the trappings of reality. Deckard creates a moment in their lives, perhaps the most important series of moments for James to attempt to begin living a freer life and embrace his true self. Every book to date by this author is a recommended read