With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.
As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.
But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.
Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.
Justin’s dad was the only one (besides his best friend Landry) who “got” him. His conservative mother certainly doesn’t. He’s gone to college, gotten the degree and now he’s slated to go work for her, for her campaign as the manager, this fall. But before he consigns himself to a future he hates, he and Landry go on a cross country trek spreading his dad’s ashes at his favorite places.
Along the way Justin realizes he can’t keep hiding his true self. He’s an artist. He’s gay. He’s in love with his best friend.
Unfortunately, he makes a lot of mistakes along the way, fortunately Landry’s the forgiving sort.
I really, really liked this story. I loved how real and sincere Landry was and how realistically the couple acted and responded. They both screwed up – ran away, lied, hid, did other stupid things – they’re kids! But in the end they make the right choices and “man-up”.
The sexy-times were appropriate to the age level – some but definitely not the focus.
I also liked how – sort-of- Justin’s mom comes around. It felt authentic.
The writing is excellent, the characters were great and fully developed and the romance so sweet and touching!
My only complaint was that I got a bit fed up with Justin’s waffling. There were times when I thought he’d figured things out but since the story still had places to go he waffled some more… but that could be my own impatience with wanting the happy ending to come quickly!
4.5 of 5 hearts