Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: All the Way to Shore
AUTHOR: CJane Elliott
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 181 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 23, 2016
Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.
This was a fun LGBT Caribbean cruise holiday novel by a new-to-me author.
Jonathan Vallen will never be what his dad wants him to be. He will never, ever, be a successful businessman, like his dead brother was groomed to be. He will also never be straight and his homophobic father is determined to make those “unnatural” desires disappear. When his dad brings in a hot shot CEO to help train his son to be a successful businessman, Jonathan sees his golden opportunity to vanish from his business responsibilities. All he desires is the life he was pursuing before his brother’s death. He just wants to work on his beloved classical music, tend to his flowers and live a quiet life on Cape Cod in the small family cottage his mother left him when she died. She knew and embraced the true Jonathan, unlike his controlling and evil father, and she left him set for life.
A year later, in an attempt to get Jonathan out and living again, his cousin and best friend, Andrew, books them both on a LGBT Caribbean cruise. There he re-meets the extremely handsome and savvy CEO, Marco Pellegrini, the man his father had hired to save the family business, and his beautiful sister, Sophia. But Marco has no idea who Jonathon is, since he has lost 40 pounds and changed his appearance. The frumpy Jonathon is now gorgeous. Andrew quickly concocts false aliases, for he and his cousin, so Jonathon and Marco can have a holiday fling. Even though Jonathon can be a newer, freer person with the “Jonah persona”, he feels guilty deceiving Marco and knows this is going to end badly. When Frederick Vallen, Jonathan’s dad and Marco’s boss, stumbles upon their romance, things turn really ugly. “All the Way to Shore” is the story of these two men. It is them trying to see if they can find a way to work through the lies, that Jonathan and Andrew told, to make way for true love.
I loved both men and wanted them to be honest with their feelings and Jonathan to admit his deceit. But I understood how he could “disappear” into his false persona to become a much stronger, more self-assured person. He had lived way too many years under his domineering father. Frederick was just a vile, mean, vindictive, homophobic old man who he could never please.
This was an insta-love story but it took, at times, too long to get to the point. They each fell for the other immediately but then Marco drug his feet painfully long. And when they started to reach out for each other again, after they broke up, it was cute at first, but became a bit monotonous when it continued on a tad too long.
This was a fun holiday cruise book that gave you all the warm fuzzies you need on a long winter’s night.