Review: H.D. Nels – Destination Elk Pond

destinationAuthor: H.D. Nels
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Summary: No sooner does flight service specialist Sam Hare take up his post in Elk Pond than he’s warned to watch out for handsome pilot brothers Brett and Randy Edmond. As he settles into his new job and gets to know Brett better, his meddlesome landlady is taking bets on which brother he’ll fall for. When Sam finds out about the wager, he’s furious and humiliated and decides to resign. But a serious accident sends him and the brothers on a rescue mission, drawing them closer together.

Then Sam’s best friend Mike comes to visit and falls in love with Randy. In the meantime, Brett’s relationship with Sam deepens. Suddenly it isn’t so easy for Sam to leave town. With clear skies ahead, will Sam stay grounded in Elk Pond or will he take flight?
Review: Sam is a newly graduated flight service specialist and he’s submitted his preferred stations, none of which he gets. What he does get is the rural Elk Pond, where everyone knows everyone and your business isn’t necessarily your own. He had a nosy landlady, Edna, and pretty much everyone knows who he is. Edna warns him about some of the people, including Brett and Randy Edmond, pilots.
I’m not sure if I missed it being stated but I’m thinking this novella is set in the 1980s or 1990s, since Sam heads to the video store, where they remind him about rewinding his VHS tape. Brought back some memories, that did.
I did like Sam’s inner voice. “Man 3, Penis 0. I grinned and felt very smug. I had to be the only human male on the face of this earth who was not ruled by his dick!” The Edmonds, especially Brett, come on really strong. Sam keeps getting weird vibes from the townspeople about him and the Edmonds, including Subway coupons, which made me laugh. Brett also made me smile, particularly when describing his trip to find wild mushrooms.
I had problems with the story, however. We get the supposed “why” behind the wager but it really didn’t make sense. Not only was Daniel not really a stranger here but the Edmonds are living and thriving and no one is doing weird things about them. They’ve been there six years (stated by Edna) so why this all of the sudden? And no, this wasn’t acceptance of Sam. I agree.
The biggest problem I had with this story is that everything happens nearly immediately: moving to Elk Pond, meeting the Edmonds, finding out about the bet, the serious accident (which BTW does not send Sam out on a rescue mission with the brothers) and then Mike coming to town an falling in love in one evening. Everything is REALLY fast. The insta-love is instant, for both Sam and Mike. Sam gives up a lot for a guy he barely knows, which honestly seemed like if they couldn’t handle that, the relationship was doomed anyway. Maybe for fans of insta-love but this one just didn’t work for me.



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