Title: Getting off the Ground
Author: LA Witt
Length: 20,000 words
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m contemporary
After being stood up at the altar, compulsive over-planner Elliott Chandler decides to turn a honeymoon on Oahu into a vacation for one. Fate puts a hitch in his plans, however, when the airport is snowed in and his flight is delayed.
In the airport, the jilted groom catches the eye of another stranded traveler—the laidback and very sexy Derek Windsor. Derek breaks the ice and strikes up a conversation, and as the temperature drops outside, the heat between them rises. Pity they’re both going to different islands, but if their flight doesn’t leave soon, Mr. Calm-and-Cool may just tempt Mr. Play-It-Safe to do something reckless.
And that plane isn’t going anywhere any time soon…
Less than 24 hours previously Elliott had been standing at the altar waiting for his lover to appear. He didn’t. Now Elliott is sitting in the airport terminal waiting for his delayed flight to Hawaii, determined to take advantage of a paid for honeymoon even though it’s just him going on his own. As the plane is delayed by snow over and over again he strikes up a conversation with the man opposite to him, Derek. Derek is almost the opposite to Elliott, being laid back and not interested in long term relationships, but there’s still an attraction between them which Elliott is hoping could lead to more.
This story really worked for me for several reasons but mostly because I sympathised with Elliott to a great degree. He’s been hurt and humiliated and I liked that instead of hiding away, he’s determined to take the holiday and forget about his ex-fiancé. Elliott’s the sort of detail focused person who likes to plan things down to the minute, so he’s a bit fed up when his plans are going awry before he even gets on the plane. Derek is very different to Elliott but this works because Elliott admires the free and easy way he views life. Elliott’s life isn’t working too well for him at the moment so it seemed realistic that he would attempt to do things Derek’s way for a change. The way that Elliott goes about this over the course of the story was delightful to read.
Another aspect which worked was the sizzling sexual chemistry between the two men. They spend quite a bit of time flirting and getting to know each other and the build up is wonderful. When they finally get to act on all that buzzing sexual desire it’s explosive, but also surprisingly emotional and tender. The way the story concludes leaves us at a turning point for Elliott and I’m happy to see that there’s a sequel coming out next week (although it’s going to be too long to review here, unfortunately).
My one niggle was that I felt that perhaps the way that Elliott moves from almost being married to jumping into bed with Derek was a little sudden. The author does try to address this in the book, and it sort of works with the explanation we are given, but it did make me feel a little uncomfortable.
Overall though, that slight niggle wasn’t enough to ruin what was a pretty terrific story of chance-meets and the promise of more and I’d recommend it for those looking for a hot short with sympathetic characters.