Book 2 of The Traveler and the Tourist series …
Author: Zee Kensington
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Sequel to Krung Thep, City of Angels
The Traveler and the Tourist: Book Two
After one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.
Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.
Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.
The story of Chris and Marco takes place over several years. They initially meet as tourists, and have ten romantic and sexy days together in Bangkok. They are both changed by their brief and intense affair, but they go their separate ways. Four years later, Chris looks up his old lover when he’s in Los Angeles, and he finds Marco to be a closeted hot mess. Marco is so fearful of his family discovering his sexuality, he is insulting and rejects Chris in the presence of family. When Chris must suddenly return to his own estranged family, Marco musters up the courage to be honest with his family and goes to be with Chris.
Finally Home is a story that I expected to love – it has the angsty hurt/comfort vibe that usually trips my happy trigger. There are some books and characters with whom I immediately connect; however, this book and the characters Chris and Marco are unfortunately not among these. This does not mean that the story is bad – it certainly is not bad – but it’s a story that doesn’t really move me emotionally in the way I expected.
Chris is a good guy – he’s interesting, sexy, and comfortable in his own skin. He’s living as an out gay man even in the face of family drama. Marco is a character for whom I have mixed feelings. His sweet happiness during his ten day affair is sadly poignant since he feels he has no choice but to return to his closeted, stressful life. However, Marco’s verbal attack of Chris when Chris shows up at his home in Los Angeles is frankly disappointing and classless. I have a difficult time forgiving this behavior, even though he more or less comes to his senses and regrets his actions.
Overall, Finally Home is a story that merits reading, but it isn’t perfect. The character Marco isn’t authentically likable throughout the book, and at times the story seems to drag a bit. However, it’s impossible to not want Chris and Marco to work through their troubles, and to emerge with the knowledge that if they are together, then they are truly finally home.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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