Book: Open Road
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: July 25, 2016
Length: 207 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Angus has been with the same guy for ten years. When his boyfriend breaks up with him the night of his thirtieth birthday party and announces his engagement to a twenty-two-year-old less than ten hours later, Angus is… a mess. To put it lightly. He spends days in bed, drinks himself into a stupor every night, and ends up losing his job and his apartment. His best and oldest friend, Reece, decides it’s time for an intervention. And a change of scenery.
Reece and Angus take off on a buddy trip across the US. They don’t have much of a plan; they just start driving. It takes Angus a couple of days to do much more than grunt when Reece talks to him, but slowly he opens up. They drive, talk, heal, shout, drink a bit too much sometimes, dance, meet new friends… and somewhere between Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, they fall in love.
Which was the last thing in the world Angus expected.
Best friends turned lovers, a road trip across the country, and plenty of interesting sights and people along the way make Open Road by MJ O'Shea truly a delight. There is just that something about best friends who develop into more that gets me every time, and whatever it is that's so appealing in on display in full force between Reece and Angus. They've been best friends since they were little, their families are extremely close and even though Angus's boyfriend doesn't like Reece ... at all ... it doesn't stop these two from being the go to person for the other. However much Brad, Angus's boyfriend of 10 years, wishes it was different, Angus knows Reece will be there for him, even if they don't spend as much time together as they used to. Angus never needs Reece more than when Brad callously and heartlessly breaks up with Angus—on his 30th birthday!—and then announces his engagement to a much younger man.
What follows is a drastic downward spiral for Angus. He loses his job, his apartment, and most importantly himself as he falls into a deep depression. One that only Reece can get him out of, and what better way to do that, than to take an unexpected road trip. At first Reece decides to head south from Portland, Oregon along the coast toward California. It takes a few days of mostly tense silence from Angus before things start to improve, but once Angus clears his head a bit, he realizes he has much to live for … and be grateful for.
MJ O’Shea has done a wonderful job making this story of best friends to lovers refreshing and fun. Angus did grate on my nerves more than a few times, but once he got his head out of his ass and noticed the world around him, I fell completely in love with him. Reece of course grabbed my heart right from the get to. He’s strong, fiercely loyal, and his heart is a huge as the entire country. I loved these two together, and how Reece knew just how to handle Angus—from cajoling, to lectures, to keeping things light and fun and when to be serious. Not surprising when he’s loved Angus for most of his life.
This is a story that's been told before, but MJ O'Shea does a brilliant job of giving each stop Reece and Angus make a special feeling, capturing all the ambiance and character of each city they visit. I found this especially appealing. The idea of jumping in a car and going wherever you wish is a dream for many and by the end of Open Road I have no doubt you'll add many places you must visit to your list. I know I did. This is a really fun, romantic, and sweet story that will leave you with a huge smile on your face once you get to the end. Don’t miss this one people, trust me you’ll be sorry if you do.
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