Tom has one rule: don’t sleep with the crew. A second chance with a younger, gorgeous deckhand tempts him to break it.
After a busy season as a charter-hire skipper, Tom yearns for some downtime. His lonely heart also aches for adventure with someone special, but paying his bills has to come first. A surprise sailing contract and huge bonus offer his first glimpse of freedom for years. There’s only one catch: he must crew with Nick, a deckhand who jumped ship once already.
Nick’s as young and untested as the new yacht they’re contracted to sail, and he’s just as gorgeous. Forced to spend a month as Nick’s captain, Tom discovers depths he hadn’t noticed. He’s captivated, and happier sailing with Nick than he’s been in forever. However, their voyage is finite, and both men keep soul-deep secrets.
As the contract draws to an end, they must get honest about what’s in their hearts if they want to share a life at sea, and love, forever.
Featuring an age gap that’s only a number, forced proximity that makes hiding attraction impossible, and a yacht that’s nothing but trouble, His Compass is the second novel in the His MM Contemporary Romance series from Con Riley.
♥ This shared-world series starts with His Horizon, but each book follows a different couple, and can be enjoyed as a standalone novel complete with a fulfilling happily ever after. ♥
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
If I could give this book more stars, I would. I adored it. It was one of the most moving, emotional reads I have read, and it will go onto my favourite ever lists. Yet for all it’s emotion and depth, it still has a lightness and humour that stops you feeling like you are being dragged through the mill. The author balances the two sides, beautifully. It draws you in, grips your heart, and makes you fall in love with two guys who so deserve to find their HEA. The elements of disability that are portrayed in the story are also done with sensitivity and absolute accuracy (I work in this area), and to see it well written—not simplified or sugar-coated for a change—is a real credit to the author.
We met Tom in His Horizon (absolutely a must-read, but this stands on its own and is not linked plotwise), and gained a sense of his loneliness and isolation. Yet, he hides it well behind a gruff exterior and dedication to duty. He also hides what drives him and why he must stay at sea. He is offered the chance of a sizable pay packet, during the offseason, if he tests a new yacht for his company. However, he must take on Nick, a young man who has worked for him and seems to be unable to commit or follow even the simplest of tasks.
There were so many directions this book could have been taken, but I did not expect it to go the way it did. The absolute joy from Nick, as someone shows even the smallest faith in him, left my heart aching. It soon becomes clear there is far more to Nick, and he, too, hides secrets. His attempts to be honest with Tom are rebuffed, and they agree only to look forward. Before they set off, Tom weakens as Nick persuades him that as they are not yet crewing, they can break his rule of not having a relationship with his crew. Despite their connection, as they set off, Tom refuses to let it continue, and instead starts to help Nick become the sailor and captain he sees he can be. The story is a slow build; it is full of sweet and funny banter, as well as heartfelt conversations. As they reach England, secrets are shared and Tom opens up about his life. Their connection blossoms as they start to see in each other the possibility of more.
It is hard to review without giving away spoilers. There is one moment, though, when happiness is in their grasp, that my heart breaks for Nick, and as I read, tears rolled down my cheek. What I loved most is that Nick is not portrayed as weak or broken. The journey he takes, with the support of Tom, is immense. The faith that Tom shows in him gives him the strength to stand tall and not collapse when all seems to be lost. His acceptance of who he is, difficulties and all, is humbling.
I loved both of these characters, and their journey was a beautiful journey. The settings are as beautiful as the story. I cannot recommend this book more to you.
Buy it, read it, treasure it.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***
This story did not start like I was expecting, but built into a beautiful story of seeing past first impressions and building trust. I felt for Tom. He’s lonely, but thinks he has no choice to meet his responsibilities. He loves his job, but the constant worry over money is taxing. When he thinks he’s about to get fired, and instead ends up doing a sea trial with an old deckhand, Nick, it was easy to see how conflicted Tom was about Nick.
Initially, it was a little hard to see what was going on with Nick. I loved how he took to the tasks that Tom sets before him, learns to ask questions, and how to be honest once he and Tom strike a deal (a poorly thought out deal on Tom’s part). I understood him so much better once it was apparent how badly his confidence in himself was never given a chance to blossom. Nick was incredibly thoughtful, and it was wonderful to see how he soaked up the information and training Tom provided. I loved how Nick helped Tom with Justin so much and helped him see their situation in a new light. Tom and Nick are both flawed and made mistakes, but they fought through things and found solutions.
This story had some great side characters. I loved Brodie for helping Nick find a place for himself and for providing good advice to both Nick and Tom when they really needed it. Tom’s friend Jude and Jude’s partner Rob were great as well, and gave Tom the push he needed to accept that Nick made him happy. Mitch was an amazing character and the way that he stood by Justin and Tom was wonderful to see.
I have not read the first book in this series, but I didn’t have any issues reading this one, other than wanting to go back and read His Horizon soon. I was seriously intrigued by Jude and Rob when Tom and Nick stop to see them for a few days.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, and was happy to see them find a future that worked for them, together.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
CON RILEY lives on the wild and wonderful Welsh coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe.
When not people-watching or reading, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her — she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: amazon.com/Con-Riley/e/B00F8GT35O