Over the weekend I read Harper Fox’s gay romance, Driftwood.
What the tide washes in, the past can sweep away.
All Dr. Tom Penrose wants is his old life back. He’s home in Cornwall after a hellish tour of duty in Afghanistan, but while the village is the same, he isn’t. His grip on his control is fragile, and it slips dangerously when Flynn Summers explodes into his life. The vision in tight neoprene nearly wipes them both out in a surfing mishap—and shatters Tom’s lonely peace.
Flynn is a crash-and-burn in progress, one of only two survivors of a devastating rescue helicopter crash that killed his crew. His carefree charm is merely a cover for the messed-up soul within. The sparks between him and Tom are the first light he’s seen in a long, dark tunnel of self-recrimination, which includes living in sexual thrall to fellow crash survivor and former co-pilot, Robert.
As their attraction burns through spring and into summer, Tom must confront not only his own shadows, but Flynn’s—before the past rises up to swallow his lover whole.
This is Fox’s second book; the first was Life After Joe, which I talked about a little here.
I enjoyed this book a bit more than LAJ, but think that Ms. Fox’s writing is just not for me: she ladles the angst on with a very heavy hand, and angst is not my favorite flavor.
Tom is a functioning alcoholic; he’s sober for most of the book binges periodically when things get to be too much. He’s drinking to forget Afghanistan and personal mistakes he made there. Flynn…is a bit of a mystery. Beautiful, suicidal, masochist, his POV probably would have made him more sympathetic; as it was, he verged on TSTL. Once again, the rush to HEA felt premature to me. Love can work wonders, but AA and therapy probably would be good for Tom and Flynn, too.
I do appreciate that unique settings are used, and the settings are important for how the plot develops. Cornwall in this case, Cumbria and North Sea oil rigs in LAJ.
Actually, after I finished LAJ, I mentally compared it to Brockmann’s Infamous, which also as an alcoholic hero. TBH, the idea of a HEA/HFN seems more believable for AJ/Infamous than for Tom and Flynn, maybe because AJ is in a different phase of dealing with his illness.