Monday, May 22, 2017

Release Day Review: Farlough by Xavier Mayne

farloughTitle ~ Farlough

Author ~ Xavier Mayne

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 22nd May 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Newly turned thirty, Cameron North is preparing himself to spend his life alone. When he inherits his great-aunt's teashop on the remote island of Farlough, he returns for the first time in more than a dozen years to a place where memories—and demons—flit close to the surface of his mind. There he meets Gwyneth, a sassy barista who becomes his instant best friend—until Cam discovers she’s the wife of his first love, Matthias. She has only the best of intentions when she arranges a reunion between the two men, and it forces them to finally discuss why Cam left the island so long ago.

With his heart broken anew, Cam retreats to his great-aunt’s house—where he learns he is not alone. Someone—or something—has pledged an oath to look out for Cam, and as he investigates the presence, he uncovers wounds that both he and his mysterious guardian sought to escape by coming to Farlough. Now Cam must figure out how to heal them—and himself.



Freya’s Review

Have you ever wanted to read one of those stories that completely immerses you into a community, in such a way that you feel part of it and come to care for the characters? Well, this is one of those stories.

Aunt Hilda was the first lady of Farlough. While there, she touched everyone’s lives for the better. When she died, she left strict instructions to her last surviving relative – Cam – that, if he wanted to inherit, he was to follow them, literally to the letter.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, death at the start of a story makes the first chapters somewhat bleak. But it is this well-written loss that makes one appreciate what one has later. As well as losing Aunt Hilda, Cam has lost his job, too. But, there’s a reason he doesn’t want to go back to Farlough. The reason for his broken heart still lives there. All the same, he needs the money, so returns 12 years after he left.

The journey to Farlough is dour, filled with memories, sights, smells and sounds.  However, what Cam finds when he gets there is just why his Aunt wanted him to return. There were things he needed to face, other things he needed to feel, and some he needed to see in order to heal and be at peace.

Farlough is a slow burn story - an almost day to day account of Cam’s time on the island, with quirky characters and old traditions. The dialogue has a charming lilt about it and an inevitability that everyone will eventually get to know everything.

It is one of those stories that creeps up on you. Even while I was at work, I couldn’t help thinking about some of the characters and lessons conveyed. It was like travelling to a different out of the way part of the world and languishing in its heritage for a while. Some will agree that it’s their cup of tea, some won’t. Nevertheless, even in the back of beyond, fireworks happen.

Upon his arrival, Cam moves into his Aunt’s cottage. While there, he discovers someone is looking after him, Cam likens the person to a spirit. I thought, more like the Scarlet Pimpernel – Cam seeks him everywhere but can’t find him anywhere. No one knows who it is, either. But, this person, cleans, fills his fridge, does laundry and the garden, but Cam has never seen the person. He’s even more elusive than Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. This elusive person, known as T, is another arc in the story that I won’t spoil.

Cam has an openness and frankness in everything he says that is endearing. He finds a best friend in Gwyneth, a light, cheery soul, who seems to have taken up Aunt Hilda’s mantle of being able to read people – whether they like it or not – and taking charge. Oh, and the Misters are adorable.

As I’ve already said, even out the back of beyond drama can happen. Some storylines I could see coming – after all, the blurb leaves a pretty big hint. The anticipation though made me read faster to get to where I wanted to be. The emotional anguish that Cam experiences went straight to my heart. Hearts are wrenched, and events rehashed before closure can be had.

Occasionally, I found it hard to tell who is talking, even when there were two. And, the odd body part had a mind of its own. However, in this long and in-depth venture into the world of Farlough, it shows that it is the simple things in life that cause pleasure, a flower here, a note there. So, if you are the type of person who likes to immerse yourself in a community, that has the adventure of life rather than drama of the cloak and dagger type (or at least a different cloak and dagger!!!!), then you will love this.

Purchase Links



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Meet Xavier Mayne

By day I work as a writer for a large tech firm in the US Pacific Northwest. By night I'm the author of the Brandt & Donnelly Capers series, as well as standalone works such as Husband Material and The Accidental Cupid. I like to write about men who've always considered themselves straight falling in love with another man. Oh, and I like readers to laugh, not cry. You can now count me among the refugees from academia. I was a professor at a public university in the American midwest for a decade before returning to the high-tech industry. Tenure was nice, but so is getting a paycheck that actually pays the bills! I miss teaching, which is why you'll find vocabulary in my works that you won't find in most romance novels (crenelated! gantlet! obstreperous!) because if you can expand minds while exciting the senses, why not?



1 comment:

  1. This book sounds like a great, wonderful story.