Things have been rocky for Owen and Sebastian for a while now. There’s no doubt they love each other deeply, but Owen knows he hasn’t been the easiest to live with. The shoulder injury he sustained is making him feel his age, and the lack of sleep due to pain makes him cranky. Not to mention, he can’t do what they’ve always done together. Owen fears Sebastian will leave him for a fitter, younger man. Things finally come to a head when Sebastian lays things out: Owen can’t keep shutting him out. To give them both time to think, Sebastian heads to their vacation house on the coast. But just as Owen realizes exactly what he wants and how lucky he is, the tsunami hits and the men might lose everything before they can fix their relationship.
The Storming Love series books can all be read as standalone as it’s only the impending disaster that ties each book together. The thing I like about this kind of series, which Starr does really well in this book, is that there’s a sense of emergency and immediacy with the natural disaster looming that brings people together. At the same time, I really liked that, in this case, Owen came to his revelation just before the tsunami hit. I liked that it wasn’t just the tsunami that made him realize he needed Sebastian. I raised the stakes for me to know how Owen felt, and then being on that journey as he tried to get to Sebastian and not knowing what he’d find.
This story throws us right into the struggle these guys are having. Over the first half of the book, we see their ups and downs, how they trying to stay connected but how Owen’s issues are causing trouble. Owen is self aware enough to realize he’s the bulk of the problem, but he doesn’t quite know how to fix it. Intertwined with this, we see the love these guys have for each other. So even as they have trouble, there’s no doubt that they can make it, if they can just figure out how to move forward. In this regard, Sebastian’s decision to take a step back makes sense. I loved that Sebastian made it clear that he was not leaving and he was not walking away, but instead giving them just a few day’s space so they can both be sure.
Of course, this separates them just as the tsunami hits. This felt just a tiny bit contrived, but the author totally makes it work. Owen’s desperation as he hears about the tsunami, tries and fails to get a hold of Sebastian, and then races to get to him, had me flipping pages quickly, reading fast, just so I could see how it turns out. Even though I knew how it was going to end up (it is a romance after all), my heart gave a little thump as the events played out. I wanted these guys to be reunited, to find the good place in their relationship, and I was pulling for them the entire time.
So yeah, I really liked this novella. Owen and Sebastian captured my heart, and I thought the author did a particularly good job of placing the reader in the story and making us feel what the characters did. The ending was particularly satisfying and this was a great, quick, and enjoyable read.