We read and review for the love and joy of books.
While Blythe Harris is nervously awaiting the departure of his first flight to the US, he gets up to get a drink of water from Marc, the cabin steward with whom he had chatted and flirted earlier. The flight has been delayed even though all the passengers have already boarded, so when Marc meets him in the galley at the back of the plane, he gets more than the water he came for.
The two head to the lavatory for a brief, hot handjob, and what they hope will be the start of something more when they land. But the flight never does land— at least not conventionally— it crashes in Ireland.
Bly was unconscious from a hit on the head, and he had a badly broken leg, so he spends quite a bit of time in the hospital. In fact, by the time he becomes more aware of everything around him, he learns that Marc survived and was a hero in the way he helped get everyone off the plane. But Marc is back in the US now, and Bly has to recuperate, and it’s not just his leg that needs to heal. His hands don’t seem to be cooperating with him, causing him pain and being uncoordinated each time he tries to do something that requires dexterity. And that’s sad because he’s self-employed as an upholsterer, and he must have manual dexterity to work.
He decides to continue to recuperate in Ireland for a while and rents a home recommended by one of the nurses who has befriended him. There he stays, trying to come to terms with his inability to work, when he’s suddenly confronted with a visitor from the US. Marc has come back to see him.
Marc isn’t very forthcoming about his reasons for returning until he’s there for a while and finally relaxes in Bly’s presence. Marc is suffering from PTSD and nightmares of the crash in which his guilt over surviving is making it difficult for him to come to terms with his own existence. He hasn’t returned to work yet, and really doesn’t want to. What he does want is to continue to get to know Bly better. Bly feels safe to him and together they face the challenges of surviving that horrific event.
Marc helps Bly recover his dexterity by giving him hand massages until Bly slowly works his way on to doing repair work. Bly helps Marc slowly begin to come to terms with his “flashbulb” memories of the crash. A flashbulb memory is one in which you remember something that happened to you more vividly because of your strong emotional reactions at the time. While with Bly, Marc’s nightmares recede and become almost non-existent. However, reality has to intercede in their relationship and Bly has to return to England while Marc has to return to the US.
It seems hardly possible that the two will ever be able to find a way to be together since neither man is the type to fight for what he wants— until they realize that’s the only thing they can do if they want the happiness they deserve.
I enjoyed this story of two men who appear to be polar opposites, yet have one strong common bond— one thread that links them together enough to forge ahead and build a long-lasting relationship. This book is perfect for a beach read or for spending the afternoon curled up before the fireplace on a cold winter day. A sweet M/M romance, I recommend this to all who enjoy hurt/comfort, opposites attract, or just a light romance complete with HEA.