Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/17/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Sequel to A Heart Without Borders
Without Borders: Book Two
Dillon McDowell, an infectious disease specialist, jumps at the opportunity to work with Doctors Without Borders in Liberia. But when he arrives, things are very different than he expected, and he’s out of his depth. Will Scarlet takes him under his wing and helps him adjust. A hint of normalcy comes when a group of local boys invite Dillon to play soccer.
Will’s family rejected him for being gay, and he’s closed off his heart. Even though meeting Dillon opens him to the possibility of love, he’s wary. They come from different worlds, and Will plans to volunteer for another stint overseas. But Will realizes what Dillon means to him when Dillon becomes ill, and they can no longer deny their feelings.
When Dillon’s soccer friends lose their parents and aunt to disease, Will and Dillon must work together to ensure that the boys aren’t cast adrift in a society that’s afraid they might be contagious. They must also decide if their feelings are real or just the result of proximity and hardship.
The first thing I want to say is I really did enjoy this book. It was a great book to curl up with and lose myself in. There was a lot of major improvements over the last book. But despite all of that, I still couldn’t give this book a very high rating.
The first reason is because it utterly fails at what it’s goal is. It’s supposed to be a contemporary romance, which it doesn’t. To be an actual romance, it needs to have certain elements. It needs growth in the relationship. It needs progression. It needs ups and downs. The focus should primarily be on the relationship.
This book lacks those elements. Sure, it has an HEA, but that’s only one requirement to be a true romance. Without the rest of the elements, this is just a slice of life book with romantic elements. It’s not a romance novel.
A lot of the focus is on the disease, the job, and the Liberian boys the MC is trying to help. The relationship is secondary, like an afterthought. They just kind of fall in love, without any real progression in their relationship.
The other thing I don’t like is that, because the relationship is pretty much an afterthought, the sex comes at bad times. When’s the best time for our new couple to have their first fuck? Immediately after they find out about another major ebola outbreak.
It honestly felt more like the author was trying to capitalize on the recent ebola crises around the world to sell more books. So the focus was on the disease and the doctors fighting it, rather than focusing on writing a contemporary romance.
I also wasn’t fond of the ending of the book. With the vast amount of time and focus on the three children, the book naturally wanted to go one way, but the author took it in another direction for seemingly no reason. It felt forced and rushed, like there was no true ending, no closure. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never came.
Okay, so now let’s talk about some of the things I did like about the book.
I like the relationship the MC had with the three boys. It showed a lot of empathy and emotion and really helped you connect with them. Each of the boys felt unique and had their own personality. They weren’t cookie cutters like side-characters have in a lot of books.
The book also wasn’t saccharinely sweet like in the previous book in the series. Sure, nothing bad truly happens to any of the major characters, but there is still that looming threat of danger. Things actually could go wrong, and disastrously wrong at that. I’d have liked to see the author work more of that into the book, but didn’t knock any points off for it.
And the thing I appreciated most from the last book is there was no magic hand-waving character that fixed all of the problems. There was no mysterious spy who could fix everything behind the scenes with no explanation. All of the problems they faced were solved on screen, with logical reasons. Sure, the problems weren’t all that severe, but I preferred that to hand-waving solutions.
Despite the low rating, I really did enjoy reading this. If you don’t mind the book not being a true romance, then definitely give this a chance. It’s a great way to escape reality into another world, another culture. You can experience the differences first and third world countries first hand with Dillon.
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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