A lonely stretch of beach becomes a hiding place for two men who, when their paths cross, are determined not to be ships just passing in the night.
Purlman “Purly” Gates—dark, brooding, mysterious, hiding from his past and the hefty price on his head—is hopelessly attracted to the young man who strolls the beach every morning. At the risk of his own exposure and its deadly consequences, Purly succumbs to his desire and sets out to lure the beautiful enigma into his lair.
Lucky Cleary wants the swarthy stranger who watches him from the shadows of the cottage deck, and his morning promenades finally pay off when the man steps out onto the beach and into Lucky’s life in a move to bring their paths together.
But Lucky has a secret as well—a past mistake following close behind him, promising certain death if it catches up with him.
When each man discovers the other’s identity, the truth forms a powerful bond between them and fans the flame of their passion.
But is the meeting of these two lonely souls a beautiful destiny or merely a cruel twist of fate in which their desire is nothing more than the kiss of death for them both?
What I loved about Purly Gates is for 99% of the book it’s just Purly and Lucky, which gave me a very intimate read about how two men meet and become lovers. It’s a perfect setting—on the beach—and the descriptions are very vivid and luscious to the point you’ll hear the waves, feel the damp sand between your toes, and smell the brine. What you’ll also do, due to the lovely prose, is feel everything else too. You’ll take a good look around the cabin, smell the air inside, study the record player, and see/feel everything the characters do. It’s an incredibly good book where I was zoomed into the surroundings and felt right at home.
Purly comes across to Lucky as a surly, somewhat terse man—Purly is brief with his words—yet when in Purly’s point of view I got to see he doesn’t mean to be like this, but life lessons have taught him to play his cards close to his chest. What is delightful is Purly has the same insecurities as anyone else, and to see beyond the façade and be allowed to find out what makes him tick is a pleasure indeed.
Lucky is understandably nervous around Purly, but something about the man makes him want to return. To see him again, be with him. That pull is strong, and grows stronger the more time they spend together.
What I see when I close my eyes and think of this book is the beach, Lucky with his dogs, and Purly standing on the sand watching him. I hear the sea, some gulls, and feel the need to take a deep breath so I can steady myself to watch this couple take tiptoe steps around one another. It’s beautiful, a heady rush of wonderment and love, and I can’t recommend this book enough.
Verdict: The writing and voice is enough to make me buy everything Ms Bondurant writes in the future. That I’d also undoubtedly get a wonderful tale and a breathtaking romance as well is just icing on the cake.