The Station by Keira Andrews: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR
Two men exiled to an untamed land must capture love.
Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.
Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, but he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin despite himself.
From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.
Historical? Australia? Cowboys?
The Station begins when Colin is just a boy of 13 and a new stable master, Patrick (22) is hired on at his parents estate. Colin quickly becomes enamored and visits Patrick any chance he can get away. Years go by and when he’s 16, Colin spots Patrick getting it on with another man. It turns him on while at the same time spooking him. Colin has to come to terms with his sexual identity and isn’t able to face Patrick after. Pressure from Colin’s parents keep him indoors for much of his teen years. They are determined he attend university while Colin would much rather work with his hands. And Patrick. On Patrick. To Patrick. He isn’t picky, by age 19, Colin wants Patrick.
Patrick is an Irish stable master with a prickly demeanor. He’s been screwed over by people in his past and trusts no one, believes love isn’t real, and sex will only ever be about release and never feelings. Patrick also doesn’t understand why Colin stopped visiting all those years and becomes very cool to the young Lord Lancaster.
Patrick is found “buggering” a man in the stable. Colin steps forward to save Patrick and admits to having a “sinful nature” as well. Both men are spared death and end up on a prison labor ship that’s going to help colonize Australia.
Colin is such a bright eyed man who’s relieved that his inclinations are revealed and that he isn’t heading to college. On this long journey, Patrick and Colin form a tentative friendship with benefits but Patrick remains clear that there’s nothing more to their interactions. Trust no one.
Because they have male interests, both men hit the prisoner lottery and end up escorting a widow and cattle to her station. It’s on this station that both men find their footing- happiness, purpose, friendships, and love. It’s a slow progression with Patrick being of the anti-love and physical release only mentality. Colin wears his heart on his sleeve and Patrick is closed off but cares much more than he lets on. It’s beautiful to watch each man find themselves as individuals and then together as lovers and partners.
**Please pardon this review interruption for some gratuitous Aussie cowboy pictures. NSFW**
The secondary characters. *heart eyes* I adored William, Robbie, and Emily. My face sprung a leak as Colin said goodbye to his cousin William. Legit tears. I think it seemed so profound because all of Colin’s family were against him and although William didn’t understand, he still loved him. Isn’t that all that should matter? *sniff* Emily, the widow is a strong, independent woman that kicks ass and takes names- usually with a rifle by her side.
This is a captivating and unique story. The part that had me a bit disappointed was the historical element. The first part of the story that took place in London had the language and feels I crave in historical romances. Once they left London, my enjoyment level remained but the historical element seemed to vanish. The language was modernized and it didn’t read any different than some of the non-historical Australian outback romances I’ve read. Again, I very much enjoyed this but historicals are my preferred drug of choice and this read didn’t fully provide the fix I was jonesing for.
I thought this would be angsty AF. It wasn’t and I’m so glad I put on my big girl pants and took a chance. When conditions were miserable, Colin still had hope, found happiness, and felt the relief of a new day, being true to himself, on an unknown Australian adventure. With Patrick. Definitely recommended.
Copy provided for honest review.