Author: Julie Bozza
Publisher: Manifold Press
Cover Artist: Instinia Photography, Dreamstime.com
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly.
However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found.
As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it…
So, Aussie land, a snarky flirty mysterious Nicholas, and Dave. Oh, Dave, here we go…
I love the way Dave & Nicholas’s personalities are slowly revealed. Organic dialogue and natural reactions show Nicholas’s humor with an underlying layer of seriousness, and Dave’s confidence and sweetness convey a change he’s just entering in his life.
I also liked the quiet way this story begins. Nothing unnecessarily grand or overblown, they’re just two blokes making their way towards the outback, trying to figure each other out.
About a quarter of the way through and I was sucked in. One particular scene at this juncture caused a shift in the story and I sat up, took notice, and excitedly settled in. This story is all about the characters without wandering into the land of overly internalized. The supporting characters also help with this. Charlie is one sly dude in the best way.
The story of how Nicholas and Dave begin this journey is lovingly and lovely built. As I continued to watch everything gently and surely grow, I’d get a well-placed jolt of “Oh, my…” as something important was revealed quietly but with such heart and grounded truth.
Sometimes, it wasn’t all about the destination.
Coming from someone like Dave, who spends his days, sometimes months at a time, leading someone else to a destination as his profession, that’s a pretty important idea. It kind of opens the slow rolling floodgates.
This thing between Dave and Nicholas is beautiful and sensual and clumsy and, frankly, captivating. It’s not an exaggeration or overwrought metaphor to say that their connection unfurled just like one of Nicholas’s butterflies breaking free to be it’s true self.
Dave is experiencing a number of firsts and the story would have benefited from further exploration of these. On the flipside, Dave has very good instincts, in general, and they serve him well. He questions these things as he encounters them, with Nicholas, but he also trusts his own reactions. Good on ya’, mate.
Aspects of the writing style, along with editing that left a few things needing a bit of tidying up, allowed some repetition and halting dialogue to creep in now and then.
Still… happy sigh <<< that’s what matters. Not even halfway through this book and I knew I’d want to spend more time with Dave and Nicholas. I knew I’d want more of the quiet and oh so lovely atmosphere surrounding and running through them.
I want more, I need to find out what’s in store, I want to see how Dave and Nicholas handle their next leg of this journey. 🙂
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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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