About the Book
Author: Caraway Carter
Length: 142 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Publication Date: October 26, 2017
Categories: Gay, Contemporary
Looking back, it was kind of crazy to put a down payment on a fallen-down train depot I’d never actually seen, in a state I’d never actually been to, and use it to build a life with a guy I’d never actually met, but love makes people do crazy things. If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.
But before the plane had landed, I found out that Sam—the guy I’d met online and had been talking to for four years—wasn’t really Sam. He wasn’t even a guy.
I already own the little train depot, and I can’t go back to my old life. And Fairville is such a lovely welcoming town. Did I mention James? He’s made sure that I’ve had a really warm welcome.
All I want is to build a great little bookstore, and have a relationship based on humor, honesty, and hardbacks. I see some tough choices ahead of me.
Or maybe I don’t have to choose…
This is a fairly quick read full of quirky characters, a down-on-his-luck narrator, and a train depot that becomes almost personified. It’s a bit of fluffy, sexy fun with a side order of drama that’s more humorous than angsty.
What I loved: The town and its people. The descriptions often had me laughing. It reminded me of a somewhat gayer version of the old show Newhart. Except in this case, it’s Gus, the main character, who plays the straight-man to the town’s wacky brand of humor. These people are great, and I could revisit them over and over.
What I liked: The storyline. It didn’t feel forced to me, creating this scenario. Was it a bit over the top? Sure. It leans toward unlikely that a guy could have a four-year relationship with someone with all the things that followed, but I still enjoyed it. The setup worked well with the off-the-wall situations and characters. In a book where everything is just a bit exaggerated, it feels exactly right. And after all, this is told in first person, so Gus may not be the most reliable narrator. This lends the perfect amount of realism to the situation.
What I could’ve done without: The bisexual characters. Since I’ve read the author’s other work and know that this is only one book in a sea of many fine others, I wasn’t too bothered. But looking at it from the perspective of someone unfamiliar, I can see how it would make some people bristle. So this comes with a warning that there are no well-developed bi people in this book. There are multiple who lie and cheat, often coming across as willing to hop in bed with just about anyone. And there’s one who starts off identifying as gay and later says he’s bi (and it’s very confusing whether he was out or not at the start of the book; there are some inconsistencies with this in his story). Obviously these things happen, but there really isn’t anything to balance it. I thought it was all right, given the humorous nature of the story, but your mileage may vary.
Even so, I still found the book to be a fun diversion. It’s well-paced and doesn’t focus too much on either the characters or the remodeling of the train depot. There’s a good mix of the two. Gus is likable and well-crafted, honest and self-aware. He deserves every minute of his happily ever after.
For a quirky cast, plenty of playful humor, and a dash of sweet romance, this gets 8/10 fountain pens.
About the Author
Caraway Carter has worn numerous hats. He’s been a furniture salesman, a dresser, a costumer, an actor/waiter, a rabble rouser, a poet and most recently a writer. He married his husband on Halloween and they are the loving parents of an adorable cat, named Molly. He loves words and stringing them together, he loves sex and sexy men. He loves seeing how far his muse will take him and he’s looking forward to entertaining you.