Author: Sydney Blackburn
Book: The Lure of Port Stephen
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: May 22, 2017
Length: 113 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Robbie Wales is young and starting a new job in a new town, on his own. Coming from a split family, he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents and came out as a teen without a lot of fuss, but his father, whom he only saw infrequently, has never known. As an adult, he’s found he’s got a lot in common with his father, and they’re finally getting to know each other. He fears coming out to his father may jeopardize that.
Then he meets Raj Williams, the attractive man in the trailer next to his father’s in a seasonal RV park. Raj is handsome, sophisticated, yet loves to fish and watch silly Disney movies.
Raj finds Robbie equally interesting. But Robbie’s still in the closet, at least in Port Stephen, and Raj’s ex used that as an excuse to treat him as nothing more than a friend with benefits. He’s not interested in a repeat experience.
Robbie finally finds the courage to come out to his father, but was it all just for a summer fling?
If you're looking for a quick, sexy read that's probably a little different than what you're used to, look no further than The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn. A catchy (and oh so brilliant title) along with an eye catching cover put this on my radar as soon as I spied it. At a little under 100 pages, The Lure of Port Stephen was a really nice way to spend an hour or two and left me with a smile on my face.
Set in picturesque Port Stephen, Robbie Wales spends his weekends getting reacquainted with his absentee father and new step mother. In his early twenties, Robbie knows he's gay but is afraid to come out to his dad for fear of upsetting their new relationship. They spend time fishing and camping, drinking beer around a firepit and talking. It's not a scintillating way to spend his weekends, but Robbie is happy with the way things are going and okay with letting everything happen in its own time ...until a Tall Dark and Handsome guy appears in the campsite right next to his dad's. Raj Williams is older than Robbie, sophisticated and sexy and intriguing and Robbie cant stop thinking about the man, or staring at him. Once these two meet, it's intense chemistry central.
The plot of The Lure of Port Stephen is predictable and the conflict between Robbie and his dad even more so, but I found Robbie and Raj rather sweet. For such a short book, we got to know a lot about these two guys and their friends and family. There was WAY too much sex, so much so I skimmed most of those parts, but the attraction and chemistry between the two felt real and genuine. I really can't get over how perfect the title is for the book, and when I realized the link between the story and the title, I smiled like a fool. The book is well written, the plot doesn't get bogged down even though it was predictable. I liked how fishing played a part in both Robbie's relationship with his dad as well as his with Raj. The secondary characters were interesting and fun (well, there was one or two who were annoying, but that's good in its own way). All in all, this was a lovely book and I'll be looking for more from this author.
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