Title: Driving into the Sun by Dev Bentham
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Bad choices. We all make them, some more than others. Dusty’s choices have left him unemployed, broke and practically homeless. Despite the major issues he has with his family, his only rational choice is to sell everything and move into his parents’ basement. At thirty. Looking for a ride west, he answers a phone ad. The voice at the other end of the line flows like dark, rich honey. Finally something to look forward to—listening to Joe’s voice all the way from Illinois to Idaho.
Rather than the hip crooner of Dusty’s fantasies, Joe turns out to look more like a panhandler. Is that because Joe dresses down, or are Dusty’s preconceptions about Native Americans clouding his vision? Joe is silent more often than not. He has a complicated past and still has amends to make. But he is ready to move on. Dusty feels trapped. Two damaged men, one small car driving two thousand miles into the sun—sometimes things need to break down before they can get fixed.
Driving into the Sun by Dev Bentham is a beautiful romance of healing and new beginnings for two men who have finally begun to triumph over their disastrous pasts. This incredibly engaging story is an interesting study in contrasts between the men, their backgrounds, and their careers but the one thing they share in common is how much their personal choices have cost them both professionally and personally. It is also very fascinating that although their issues are completely different, the emotional impact is very similar.
Driving into the Sun opens with Dusty Walker at his lowest point as he begins preparations to leave Chicago and return to his hometown in northern Idaho. Unhappy does not even begin to express his feelings about moving back in with his parents, but he gets a bit of a pick me up when he hears the sexy voice of the man he will be riding with on his trip home. Joe Black has worked hard to repair his career and now with a clean slate, he is on his way to Seattle where he is looking forward to beginning a new job. But while Joe has made huge strides in his professional life, he is still carrying some pretty heavy emotional baggage in his personal life.
Both Dusty and Joe are fantastic characters and while both are immensely appealing, Dusty is still a frustrating mess in the beginning of the story. He has not really dealt with the fallout over the spectacular crash and burn of his career and he is continuing to make some pretty horrible decisions. Fortunately Joe is pretty unflappable and easily forgives Dusty’s questionable choices, but it is his calming presence that makes the biggest difference for Dusty as he sorts through his tumultuous emotions. But Joe’s past is not completely resolved and it is a huge shock to Dusty when his offhand suggestion leads to surprising revelations from Joe and their side trip leads to an unanticipated outcome for both men.
What makes Driving into the Sun such an refreshing read is the backdrop of the road trip as Dusty and Joe literally and figuratively travel from the past into the future. Joe knows what is ahead for him and he is eager to embrace what lies ahead. Dusty also knows what is next for him but he is dreading what is waiting for him at the end of his journey. Since Dusty has not fully reconciled his mistakes, he sees no other future for himself and this leads to a bit of anxiety regarding his relationship with Joe.
A richly developed and believable romance that resonates with strong emotion, Driving into the Sun is a superb novel that is quite captivating. Dev Bentham brings together two very complex and damaged characters who find love despite their insecurities and rather messy lives. The close confines of the car and the stops along the way provide an intimate setting for Dusty and Joe to divulge their secrets and explore their attraction. The sex scenes between them are exquisitely detailed and are a perfect blend of sweet and sexy.
Driving into the Sun is an outstanding novel that I highly recommend to readers of contemporary gay romances.