“Don't let other people choose your path for you. Deep down you know the right way to go, so do the right thing and follow your heart.” ~ Unknown
Adam Chambers loves music, but country isn't particularly his first choice When he hears about a Country Music Jamboree he decides to go. Adam is on a slightly aimless journey to decide if he wants to continue working with his father's somewhat shady business, or do something more fulfilling. When he meets Joey Callaway, he begins to see why he was so drawn to the festival.
Joey is at the festival on holiday because he needs time off from his grueling job of managing a hotel and a bar. He and Adam meet up at one of the local bars, just drinking and casually talking, but having a delightful time. The sexual attraction is there, but there's something even stronger as well. It's a feeling of contentment and ease neither usually have. Adam enjoys being with Joey because he can be himself. Joey doesn't make demands or expect anything in return. Joey is honest and open; there isn't a pretentious bone in his body. It's refreshing. Joey likes Adam for the same reason; he can relax and be himself. When Joey realizes that Adam has nowhere to stay, he offers to share his room. Adam graciously accepts his generous offer and just like that they are roommates. Once they establish that they are both gay, they experience a very passionate, yet genuine experience that involves sharing more than just a bed. The Festival is exceedingly more fun with someone to share it with. Things are going very well until Joey gets a call that his mother has fallen and he leaves Adam to rush back to her. Joey's departure is so sudden, he's unsure of where to leave things with Adam so he decides the best thing to do is to be casual about it, to exchange phone numbers and invite Adam to visit Joey's town. Although Adam promises do so, Joey sadly figures he'll never see him again.
A week or so later, Joey is stunned to see Adam come through his bar door and even more surprised when Adam tells him that he's there because missed Joey so much. Joey has missed Adam too although he doesn't tell Adam just how much. As different as it is for Adam, he begins to realize he actually enjoys being in Joey's home town and he's even more sure about how much he enjoys being with Joey. Their intimacy deepens, but Joey holds on to his heart because he's convinced Adam would never want to stay with someone as boring as he is. He tries to ignore all the signs that he and Adam are perfect together and that he is in love with Adam. After some soul-searching, Adam admits, at least to himself, that he loves Joey and doesn't want to leave. However, before he can do anything about it, Adam's decision is made for him when his father has a heart attack and Adam has to leave Joey and return to Sydney.
This is an endearing love story set in Australia, giving it a more exotic feeling, at least to us not in Australia. The characters are wonderfully developed and admirable. Adam, with his conviction to live and work honestly, and Joey's 'realness' and charm, make their relationship even stronger. The secondary characters, especially Joey's mother and Adam's grandmother, are wealths of wisdom, whose advice help Adam and Joey sort out their priorities and decide what's best for themselves. If you enjoy a story with country music festivals, bars, handsome Aussie men, Aussie slang, hot sexual encounters, small towns, character growth, determination, and a happy ending, then you may like this book. Thanks, Nic, for a great story with two lovable men who are easy to admire.