Title: Under the Australian Sky
Author: A.J. Kelton
Cover Artist: Deana C. Jamroz
Publisher: MLR Press
Buy Link: Under the Australian Sky
Genre: Time Travel
Length: 46,000 words
Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: Underdeveloped characters and battling storylines made for a disappointing read.
Blurb: What would you do if you suddenly found yourself transported back in time?
Being a farmer in the 1800’s is hard; being a gay farmer even harder. Ethan has given up on finding his soul mate until a strangely dressed man wanders onto his land spouting nonsense about phones and cars. Jack is King of the one night stands, refusing to give anyone his heart until a chance encounter with Christian, a matchmaker longing to earn his cupid wings, sends Jack back in time. Can Jack give his heart to Ethan or will he become another conquest? Will Christian ever earn his cupid wings? Will they find love under the Australian sky?
I’m going to be blunt, I didn’t like it.
Jack is a love them and leave them type of guy. Apparently, he’s so rich, so handsome, so well endowed, and so unbelievably talented in bed, that he is constantly being harassed by his past lovers begging for a repeat performance. He’s not the easiest guy to like or connect with. That’s a big part of why he is the final test for Christian. If Christian is to be upgraded from matchmaker to full fledged cupid, he has to get Jack together with his soul mate. Unfortunately, the soul mate, Ethan, is stuck back in the 1800’s. That makes it a bit more difficult, but Christian is up to the challenge.
Christian goes about it in an unconventional way. He approaches Jack at a bar and Christian decides to sample the sexual prowess he has heard so much about for himself. Christian takes one night to enjoy the domination and humiliation he craves and then sends Jack on his way back to the 1800’s to meet the love of his life. That’s where we meet Ethan. He’s a gay man terrified of being found out after seeing another man lynched for being gay. In order to protect himself he has built a life of isolation in the Australian Outback. Jack has a lot of barriers to break down if he wants to get in Ethan’s bed and on top of that he has their sexually frustrated matchmaker begging him for another go.
Does this seem like a lot to take on is a 130 page book? Yes it is, and that’s the problem. It’s an interesting idea for a book but it didn’t really work. It came out as a disjointed story which didn’t flow well. The combination of the rough BDSM scenes between Jack and Christian and the developing romance between Jack and Ethan didn’t work. The two storylines battled each other rather than building off one another. The characters were equally as problematic. They weren’t developed enough to allow me to connect with them. I wasn’t interested their lives. I didn’t care about the romance between Jack and Ethan and I didn’t find Jack believable enough to enjoy the scenes where he was dominating Christian.
I had to force myself to keep reading in order to finish this book. I don’t recommend it.