When Judge a Book By Its Cover Week for the 2019 Reading Challenge Month came up, I knew quickly I wanted to find a cover that intrigued me and investigate whether or not the cover came close to reflecting the plot of the novel. I couldn’t really have struck gold any more easily then when coming upon Dahlia Donovan’s The Wanderer. Not only did the drawing of two men holding hands behind the face of a compass tweak my curiosity, the title of the story did as well. I must tell you that the author’s cover artist, Claire Smith, really hit the nail on the head with this one. Not only does it allude to so much of what this story is about, it is really a beautiful cover and Donovan writes a gorgeous story to accompany it.
When Graham goes the wedding of one of his best friends, little does he imagine his time there will end with him shoved tight into a closet with a perfect stranger getting each other off. But the guy who catches his eye during the ceremony is just too good looking and sexy to pass up. Since Graham doesn’t do long-term relationships, the chance encounter is the perfect diversion for him. As it turns out, it was for his partner in crime, Boyce, or BC as he is nicknamed, as well. But afterwards, neither man can get the other out of their minds. As Graham jets off to yet another exotic place to do his photography and travel journal article and BC retires to a small country inn he has inherited from his uncle and is trying to sort out how to run, both guys keep thinking back to that heady encounter wishing they had taken the time to at least get contact information on each other.
Luckily Rupert, Graham’s twin brother and BC’s friend, is able to help get them sorted and before long, a weekend together cements the fact that these two are a match made in heaven. Unfortunately they are also aces at running from their problems and emotional entanglements. For Graham, a relationship in the past left him scarred with guilt and for BC, life had never meant for him to really have to work at anything and so he tends to just drift on comfortably. But their instant friendship morphs into deeper feelings, allowing for them both to reexamine just how they have avoided settling down with just one person and pursuing happiness and love. Then Graham gets news that will shatter their idyllic thoughts of a future together and set in motion a hard journey that could very well end in tragedy.
This novel was really incredibly romantic and tender. There wasn’t this sense of insta-love, but rather a real connection with another person who just seemed to fit and who complemented the other. The author doesn’t sugar coat Graham’s problems, nor does she offer up some instant solutions. Instead, what is laid out is a true struggle that will alter the trajectory of Graham and BC’s lives forever. But there is so much love—so much care and tenderness along with family support that often left me in tears. Then there was the humor, the teasing and the very real support for Graham that gave this novel such hope and even joy in the midst of a terribly hard journey.
While I can’t go in to more detail, I can tell you that I really loved this novel. It will definitely be a reread book for me and it has sparked my interest in grabbing up the others in the Sin Bin series. The Wanderer is a beautiful romance and one I can highly recommend.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Judge a Book By Its Cover Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of two sets of 3 audiobooks (or ebooks if preferred) from Riptide Publishing! Commenters will also be entered to win one of our three amazing Grand Prize book bundles. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Judge a Book By Its Cover Week here.