The Station Paperback – January 16, 2018
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About the Author
- Publisher : KA Books (January 16, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 220 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1988260280
- ISBN-13 : 978-1988260280
- Item Weight : 11.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.56 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #874,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Colin Lancaster, at 19, is captivated by his father's stable master, Patrick Callhan, a tall, muscular 28 year old. But when he tries coming to Patrick's rescue after Patrick is found with another man, both end up accused of sodomy and transported to Australia. The four month journey is grueling and dangerous, with hard labor and sweltering heat waiting for them when they land. They end up indentured to Emily, a 38 year old widow, who runs a hard scrabble station, or ranch, with her hired hand, Robbie, a highly skilled and effortlessly competent 21 year old.
Stories rely on imagery to make words come alive in a reader's mind, and small changes to the words can result in significantly different reading experiences. The words and sentences in this novel feel rushed and clapped together, even as the imagery - the grimy, disease infected underbelly of a prison ship, the heat emanating from a bleached-out Australian holder - clamber for more nuanced, thoughtful descriptions. Too many scenes, in this otherwise strong and fascinating book, aren't very interesting, and are frequently filled with the most eye-rolling boilerplate.
It's not that the author hasn't done her job in almost every way that counts. Characters are clearly drawn, the plot is engaging and well-paced, and the descriptions do their jobs. There's tension, passion, and friendship. I cared about the characters. There's also history, and at least some representation of others besides Caucasians. Also, Andrews gives us plenty of sex, mostly integrated into the plot or presented in ways that says something about the characters. For my tastes, I'd have liked fewer such scenes, as the tropey writing became nearly groan worthy in several intimate encounters.
Throughout, I had the feeling that this story was a child of the author's imagination crying out for love and attention. It's as if the story knows it's worth more than the slapdash word-cliches on which the author relies too many times.
Nevertheless, I very much liked The Station, as I have other books by Keira Andrews. I just wish she'd had time for higher quality word-craft in a novel that generally hits all the right notes.
What you won't know is that in a way the cover is a bait-and-switch because the entire narrative is from Colin's POV, though in the third person. We get to know every single thought of this wonderfully grounded, totally infatuated and irredeemably devoted young British peer, but not all that much about his somewhat elusive, highly erotic, and somewhat insatiable love interest.
Yet the writing, and the neatly laid out plot which includes Emily and Robby, their cohorts on their march to the Outback, grabs you from the start in England and will not let go of you until a somewhat surprising, and totally satisfying, ending.
Once again Keira Andrews delivers--this time with all the brilliance and heat and compassion for which she has become duly known and loved.
I just love this author and I've always loved Australia so this book was a double dose of love for me. It doesn't hurt that the story was very good and I loved the characters, even Patrick (though he tends to act like a bit of a prig at times). I'm not sure exactly when this book takes place but Australia was a penal colony between 1788 and 1868 so it could have been anytime during that period but I suspect it's more on the latter end of that time-frame.
Colin was born to a well-off family in England. He wasn't the best student but worked hard at his studies so he could get into Cambridge like his family expected. Colin didn't enjoy his studies but figured when he was away at Cambridge, he'd have some freedom and be able to "find himself". Colin tried to find an interest in women but instead, found himself fighting urges that could get him killed.
Patrick is an Irish born man that works as a stable master for Colin's parents. Patrick has always had an attraction for men but let himself fall in love once and got burned by it. Since then he just worked hard to save money and has only had physical relationships, never letting himself get emotionally involved with anyone.
Colin and Patrick used to be friends when Colin was young but when Colin saw Patrick and a groundskeeper together, it brought out all sorts of feelings in Colin that shamed him. He started avoiding Patrick and not knowing the real reason, Patrick thought the worst. Just before Colin is supposed to be leaving for Cambridge, Patrick is caught with another man and sodomy wass considered a killable offense back then. Colin is desperate to save Patrick and yells out that if they kill Patrick they'd have to kill him too. This causes some consternation and Colin and Patrick don't get hung...instead they're sentenced to be sent to the penal colony in Australia.
Regardless of Colin's actions to save Patrick, Patrick is still standoffish towards Colin for most of their journey to Australia but some things do happen that bring them closer, even if Patrick wont admit it. In addition to the prisoners, the boat had settlers on board as well and a typhoid fever epidemic on the boat killed some, including Mr. Grant, who was moving to Australia with his wife to start a cattle station. Mrs. Grant needed some workers so Colin and Patrick lucked into working for her instead of the normal prisoner experience. Colin finds his new life hard but also learns to love working a cattle station. Things between Colin and Patrick are difficult because Colin wants love and Patrick is very resistant to anything resembling emotions. Regardless of Patrick's attempts to keep their relationship physical, emotions do escalate between Patrick and Colin. There's some angst and such to get through but once all is said and done, the story ends with Colin and Patrick together and accepted so they can start a HEA together.
I greatly enjoyed this story. I've always love Australia so I was thrilled to find out that this story took place in the pioneer days of Australia. Colin was a really good character and I was so happy he found his pace in life...and eventually found his place in love as well. Patrick was so standoffish that I kind of wanted to slap him at times but down deep, I could understand his reasons for his defenses. Overall, I loved the characters and through the story was great so I'd definitely recommend it. :D
Top reviews from other countries
This was utterly heartbreaking in parts, and admittedly had me tearing up occasionally. I felt so angry on behalf of both men, but even more so for young Colin, as he had virtually never been outside of his privileged home in his 19 years, never lead any kind of life yet and had even been home-schooled. To say he was traumatised being carted off in chains as a criminal and dumped onto a ship bound for the other side of the world alongside ACTUAL criminals, without as much as a goodbye from his own parents, would be a massive understatement. But what I so loved about Colin was his amazing inner strength to survive, that he himself wasn’t even aware he possessed. And as much as I understood Patrick’s hesitancy to befriend Colin at first, as he had been burned by a previous lover and was wary to trust again, I was also so mad at him for ignoring such a lost and innocent young lad like Colin. But he more than redeemed himself in my eyes, when he showed his deep affection for Colin by saving him from a gang of fellow prisoners on board the ship.
And as much as this was an entirely believable and real slow build of not only a beautiful romance but solid friendship also between these gorgeous men, I have to say the world-building stole the show for me in this one. Such wonderfully descriptive writing of both the horrors on board the ship and the undeniably beautiful but equally deadly and almost uninhabitable Australian outback, and not forgetting the seemingly never-ending epic journey to The Station itself of course. It gave the reader a glimpse of how dismal and bleak these times could be coupled with a strong sense of new beginnings and hope at the same time. This was an utterly captivating story, with main characters you just champion one hundred percent from beginning to end, and some equally intriguing secondary characters who you come to really care for also. A harsh read at times, but it’s ultimately an uplifting tale of love and happiness against the odds. This one's a real keeper.
Unable to fit in with his aristocratic friends, Colin secertly lusts after his fathers stable master, Patrick. Unaware of his admirer, Patrick has a string of liasons with other servants, he clearly does not take enough care over not getting caught. WHen the enevitalbe happens Colin leaps to his defence and finds himself in the dock too.
Sentenced to transportation to Australia, Colin and Patrick must leave every thing familliar behind. What they find is a hard life in a strange land, but it also is liberating and rewarding in unexpected ways.
There is just too much of this story that was far to unbelivable - I am happy to suspend disbelief up to a point, but this takes it too far. I didn't really buy into the chemistrty between the two main charecters either. This was a shame because I really thought that this could be a great story, it shattered so many of the norms of what can sometimes be a very formulaic genre.
I adored Colin from the start at times I wanted to throttle Patrick for his stubbornness, they truly are one of my favourite couples, Keira really transported me to the ship and the outback. I would recommend this to anyone who likes historical romance, opposites or just enjoy a romance.