Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
All his life Benicio Quispe has dreamed of being a guide on the Inca Trail. He gets his chance when the top travel agency in Cusco, Peru hires him. Alberto Salazar, his assigned mentor, fits Benicio’s idea of a perfect guide, but he’s also everything Benicio never dared to dream of in a boyfriend.
Alberto learned a long time ago to be discreet about his sexuality. It’s a necessary sacrifice to keep the respect of the guides and porters whose help is critical in a successful hike. So he pushes aside his attraction to his new junior guide and goes on as usual. But when a group of old friends arrives to hike the trail again, they convince him a relationship with Benicio is worth pursuing. His newfound resolve is enough to get them on a first date, but no amount of courage can change the attitudes of their family and friends. The risks on the trail are easy compared to finding a path through the challenges keeping them apart.
When Benicio Quispe finally gets the opportunity to fulfill his passion of becoming a guide on the Inca Trail to the mystical Machu Picchu, he isn’t prepared for the attraction he feels for his mentor and trainer, Alberto Salazar. As they develop a business partnership on the trail and off, their personal chemistry begins to grow into something beyond friendship. Ignoring their feelings can only go on for so long, yet even as they navigate the difficult waters of a new relationship, they must be cautious of professional, familial, and cultural obstacles that stand in their way.
Ariel Tachna takes her reader on an enjoyable adventure along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in this lovely m/m romance. Her descriptions of the daily rigors and sights along the path are well balanced with interesting Peruvian culture and history, and I found myself transported along with the tourists in the story. As Benicio and Alberto display their skills and impart their knowledge, the reader is given valuable insight into the business and personal aspects of taking strangers under one’s wing and sharing with them a passion and respect for a country vastly different from their own. I also enjoyed seeing the contrasts between days on the trail and the busier city life of Cusco. The pages resounded with descriptions of the food, customs, and people of Peru, ringing clearly with the author’s love for the culture.
Benicio and Alberto are a sweet couple and endearing in their reticence to make advances towards one another. The slow build of professional partners to romance is satisfying and realistic, though I felt a bit more of the sexual attraction than the deeper, more emotional side of their personal lives and their relationship. Their love scenes are both tender and passionate, reflecting the experiences, or lack thereof, brought to the bedroom by both characters. Secondary personalities are lively and charming, adding further layers to the author’s descriptions of the flavors and textures of Peru. I found myself wanting to taste everything and to try a bit of salsa dancing, as well.
Overall, The Path drew me in with its rich detail of Peruvian life and history. Along with that, Benicio and Alberto are likable and interesting characters that help to make the culture of Peru come alive within the pages. It is a gentle, romantic escape that meanders through the ancient, mystical traditions of this fascinating country while embracing its modern lifestyle. I highly recommend it.
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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