Monday, September 04, 2017

Release Day Review: The Hike by John Inman

the hikeTitle ~ The Hike

Author ~ John Inman

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 4th September 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Suspense/Thriller





Ashley James and Tucker Lee have been friends for years. They are city boys but long for life on the open trail. During a three-hundred-mile hike from the Southern California desert to the mountains around Big Bear Lake, they make some pretty amazing discoveries.
One of those discoveries is love. A love that has been bubbling below the surface for a very long time.
But love isn’t all they find. They also stumble upon a war—a war being waged by Mother Nature and fought tooth and claw around an epidemic of microbes and fury.
With every creature in sight turning against them, can they survive this battle and still hold on to each other? Or will the most horrifying virus known to man lay waste to more than just wildlife this time?
Will it destroy Ash and Tucker too?


Debra’s Review

Ash and Tuck are two lovable citiots from San Diego who decide to take a three week hike through the desert, with their two dogs, for no reason other than to spend some time together. At least that was Ash’s ulterior motive in suggesting this trip. The two best friends spent one drunken night in Tijuana having sex a few months back and have awkwardly avoided it since. Ash plans to use this time to reconnect with Tuck and share his deeper feelings. So maybe they aren’t complete citiots; they planned well and outfitted themselves for the trip and Tuck is a bookworm with a vast knowledge of the area’s flora and fauna among other things. This comes in very handy when their trip suddenly turns into something out of a Stephen King story.

The first part of the book revolves around Ash and Tucker’s relationship and they are really adorable together. Tuck is a bit self-conscious of his body, but Ash can’t stop staring at him and won’t have any of Tuck’s shame. Ash is in awe of Tuck’s knowledge and abilities on the trail. The two both obviously want each other, but keep side-eyeing the other and starting to say things and changing their mind until they finally give in and talk about it. They have good banter, and obviously love each other very much. Their trip is going well, even better once they get romantic and decide to become a couple. Good thing both of them thought to bring certain supplies just in case!

The two have stayed off the main trail to avoid the crowded paths, but they do have some human contact including the reclusive Melvyn, who they meet up with off the trail and another hiker, Casey, who also has been avoiding the main path. It’s not long after their detour with Melvyn that they realize things are very wrong with the animals they have come across. It’s here in the second part of the story that the tension ratchets up and the men, their dogs, and everyone else in the area are soon fighting for their lives. I’ll tell you right now, not everyone makes it out of the book alive.

I always enjoy John Inman’s writing. Although the story is told from Ash’s POV, Tuck’s thoughts and feelings were conveyed just as well. You can tell he’s pining for Ash just as much as Ash is for him and when things get rough their protectiveness of each other is also very clear. There were one or two spots where Ash and Tuck made references that made them sound older than their stated ages but other than that I enjoyed their conversations. The nature the men are hiking through is well described from the desert to the hills, to the shacks in the woods and helps add to the feel of the tale.

This was on the less intense side of some of the suspense/thriller stories I’ve read from the author, but it still has its fair share of gore and shocking moments and a climactic, tension-filled ending. The Epilogue of the story wraps things up and it’s a touch bittersweet, but also romantic. Another fine read from John Inman.

Purchase Links




Meet John Inman

john-inman-55c8cdf6e485cJohn Inman has been writing fiction since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He and his partner live in beautiful San Diego, California. Together, they share a passion for theater, books, hiking and biking along the trails and canyons of San Diego or, if the mood strikes, simply kicking back with a beer and a movie. John's advice for anyone who wishes to be a writer? "Set time aside to write every day and do it. Don't be afraid to share what you've written. Feedback is important. When a rejection slip comes in, just tear it up and try again. Keep mailing stuff out. Keep writing and rewriting and then rewrite one more time. Every minute of the struggle is worth it in the end, so don't give up. Ever. Remember that publishers are a lot like lovers. Sometimes you have to look a long time to find the one that's right for you. Email:




  1. Whether it's the dogs or the men that don't make it out, how wonderful and heartbreaking all at once does this sound? The banter, their affection for each other and the loveliness that comes with two people into each other figuring each other out, you know? I like that. And then the gory parts come!

    1. Sounds like this would be a perfect story for you Verushka. Let me know how it works for you whenever you do get to read it.