Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
He sees his chance in Marcus Townsend, a functionally blind Army veteran. Marcus, who refuses to accept his condition as immutable, has a shot at seeing a specialist who might be able to help him—but that doctor’s based on the other side of the country.
When Rye and Marcus meet, they realize they can help each other. Marcus can’t drive, but Rye can. Marcus knows what Rye is, but he likes him anyway. In fact, he more than likes him. Driving cross-country with a near stranger is a daunting task, but Rye’s biggest risk is falling for the gentle, stubborn-hearted soldier—and it might already be too late to stop that.
They plan to part ways when they reach their destination, but plans change as the affection between them grows. Now neither wants their journey to end, but continuing means finding a way to bridge the distance between who they were and who they’d like to become.
The opening scene is pretty typical for the . We get the young man in the right place, at the right moment, ready to save the blind man, who resented the help. But even so, gets intrigued by the first impression the rent boy leaves in his skin and life. From there we moved to learn more about Marcus and his family.
Next, we see how Rye’s and Marcus’s lives get to a point in which a change is needed. They both tried to work to achieve the change but realized they might need help. A chance encounter, at least for Rye, gets them together once again, and they found in each other the answer to their prayers.
Their cross-country road trip takes the majority of the story, and we get to experience the sights with them and through Marcus’s senses. They did several touristy stops and made some interesting findings on their way. Everything they saw or experienced made a difference in their relationship and their next step on the road.
By the time they arrived at their destination, Atlanta, their new found friendship had developed into something more, even when they both wanted to deny it.
Taking the Long Way starts interesting enough, but as soon as they met for the first time, the story slows down all the way to the very end. The situations during the trip are mainly predictable, and the MCs passed too much time inside their heads, letting the lack of communication step between them.
I had taken the coast to coast trip, and the descriptions of the areas were spot on. There’s really not much to see in certain areas, other than farms, fields, and miles upon miles of flatland roads.
I think my main issue with the story is the distance between the MCs. It’s not until the very last part of the story, almost in Georgia, that I felt the real need they had for each other. And at that point, it was too little too late. The same is to be said about the events occurring after they arrived and how they changed their lives.
I enjoyed the last twenty percent of the story, and I wished the author had gotten into that comfortable writing space earlier in the story. Their trip had potential, but it was perhaps too encompassing for a fictional romance in which the characters’ feelings should have been more important than the sceneries they were experiencing.
The cover by Valerie Tibbs goes well with the story and the road trip the characters took from coast to coast.
ebook, 234 pages
Published: February 12, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English