The Wanderer

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Originally reviewed for BMBR on May 25, 2017

3.5 Stars

I’ll start this off by warning everyone that although this is the first book in the series, there is another book, After the Scrum, that provides more of a backstory with the supporting characters and even introduces Graham. It would have been nice to understand the backstory for some of their friends but I don’t feel my reading experience was affected by not starting there.

The very beginning of The Wanderer starts off with a bang. Literally…err, or a “wank.” The MCs are at a wedding and give each other the “eyes” across the church and then it’s on like Donkey Kong. There’s a closet, two hot men, some “bollocks” and some mutually beneficial meeting of the minds. After, they don’t get names and continue on to the wedding festivities.

Eventually, both men find out who the other is and we are properly introduced to Graham and Boyce “BC.” Graham is a travel writer that spends his time going from country to country. He is most happy living his life going on adventures and experiencing other people, places, and the local cuisine. BC is an ex-rugby player who has inherited his uncle’s inn located in England and is now running the place. Both men are incompetent with matters of the heart and relationships. Both men would rather run away from problems instead of meeting them head-on. Both men have meddling family and friends. Both men are intrigued by the other.

”The man intrigued him, and his sudden disappearance to parts unknown had only increased his interest. Who didn’t love a good mystery? A mystery he wanted to thoroughly unravel. Thoroughly fuck as well. He’d always had a thing for gingers.”

Graham is a ginger. *growl* BC calls him Ginger Spice. *giggle*

Graham has been tasked with writing about all the sights and eats around his “home” which makes his twin brother book him a few days at Fisherman’s Refuge, BC’s inn. Over these three days, Graham and BC find comfort, chemistry, and humor together.

“Always wanted to be a Jedi. Thought my lightsabre would be a tad longer.”
BC slid his fingers along the contours of the redhead’s muscled abdomen.
“Are you the chosen one?”

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This newfound non-relationship spooked both Graham and BC. Graham takes off without saying a word and moves on to his next travel destination. BC is left unsettled and after a while, decides to meet up with him on one of the adventures. BC’s willingness to seek out Graham is the foundation on which their relationship builds. Shortly after BC meets up on a couple adventures, Graham gets bad news. Really bad news. He is sick and his diagnosis knocks the wind out of his sails. Literally. BC steps up in a huge way and Graham finds refuge with him at the inn. From here, they embark on a journey of recovery and self-discovery.

I specifically didn’t say a journey of love. This was one of the frustrating points of the book. There was such a lack of depth in their emotional connection throughout. They had chemistry and so much potential in the beginning of their “relationship” and when the diagnosis hit, their progress stalled and never recovered. They reminded me of friends with benefits.

“I’m trying to figure out how this turned into a relationship when both of us are shit at them. We do sex, not feelings. When did it change? Did it?”

At 82% “I am in love. Graham is in love with me. Neither of us is emotionally mature enough to want to discuss this beyond our initial…confession. So, essentially, we’re completely buggered and not in the fun way.”

“If I were soppy, I’d have flowery words of love and gratitude. I’m not, so—thanks, wanker.”

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I get it. I like humor, jokes, and locker room banter just as much as the next guy. Did their interactions stay consistent throughout the book? Yes, which showed a lack of relationship evolution. Were they emotionally handicapped? Yes. Did they work well together? Sure. But, give me something. Anything. The lack of proclamations and relationship on either side highlighted how amazing BC was throughout the story to become Graham’s pillar of strength.

As for some technical aspects, I didn’t notice any major editing errors. There were blank pages before every chapter which drove me crazy. I’m a cover whore. *shrug* I love the cover of this book and it is very fitting to the story. This book is more of a HFN and not a HEA. Outside of the sickness in this book, it was relatively low angst.

This book came out with guns blazing but slowed down right after the closet time. It seemed like it took a year just to reach 50%. However, it was enjoyable and kept my attention despite my frustration with their relationship.

“Love is like the perfect summer day in London. It’s never guaranteed, always worth the wait, and occasionally happens when you’ve given up on the clouds parting. Enjoy it. Don’t run away.”

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