Jonas has snuck out of a family party for little peace and quiet and ends up falling asleep in the back seat of his sister’s car — only to wake up and find someone has stolen the car with Jonas inside. With a dead phone and no idea where he is, Jonas is definitely worried. The guy could be a killer for all he knows. But that doesn’t stop Jonas from noticing how hot the lumberjack-looking man singing 80s pop tunes in the front seat truly is. When Zane realizes that Jonas is in the back seat, it could mean some serious trouble. Or, it could mean the start of something really great.
Accidental Detour is a light, fun, and pretty adorable short story. Part of the enjoyment comes from untangling exactly what is going on that got Zane and Jonas into this situation, and things develop with some humor and absurdity. I mean, yes, the explanation for everything is kind of crazy, so you just have to roll with it. But it fits with the tone of the story, which is light and frothy. Jonas talks non-stop and pretty much everything in his head comes out his mouth. He also breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to the reader about his thoughts on what is going on. Honestly, Jonas could have been a lot to handle in a longer book, but I think he works well here. There is a quirkiness and light-hearted tone that works nicely in this short format.
I think Sutton does a good job grounding the characters with a backstory and character development that helps to give a foundation for their somewhat crazy behavior. This is a short story, so don’t expect a huge amount of foundation laid here given the number of pages, but it was enough that I could see why the men behave as they do. Still, this book is short and so there isn’t relationship development as much as instant attraction and two guys acting on it amidst a chaotic situation.
This story was originally a freebie as part of a big winter giveaway, and has since been expanded and offered for sale. The free short covers about 24 hours, with the epilogue taking place four days later on Christmas Eve. So like I said, this is more a snapshot of Jonas and Zane getting together than a fully developed relationship. The newly expanded version adds about a 6,000-word chapter to the end that serves as the new epilogue and that jumps ahead by four years. I found the transition between the old and new endings to be a little rocky, as the first book had a “ending” feel after the original epilogue and then it just picks back up with a new chapter in the new version. The new epilogue almost has its own plot and just feels somewhat awkwardly tacked on. I wish Sutton had finessed the transition between the old and the new a little more. But I do think it adds enough to the story that I appreciated the longer look at Jonas and Zane’s relationship and it pulls things together well.
I found this one a fun and easy short. It is silly and quirky and a fun style. The length doesn’t allow for a ton of development, but Sutton does give enough character background to give the story some foundation. If you are looking for light and easy, with a bit of a holiday flare, consider checking this one out.