Book Review: Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

Stranger on the Shore by Josh LanyonTitle: Stranger on the Shore
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: Romantic Suspense, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: May 5, 2014 by Carina Press

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He's none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce's objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Stellar mystery that kept me guessing how the conclusion I expected would arrive. Though the romance is secondary to the mystery, it was enough for me to thoroughly enjoy this book. 

The Set Up: Griff is a journalist researching the twenty year old kidnapping of the young heir to a wealthy Long Island fortune. Griff is trying to do his research among the eccentric family but is thwarted by Pierce, the family lawyer who suspects something is amiss with Griff’s story. Pierce and Griff may have an attraction but the Arlington family’s skeletons could destroy both of them.

What I Liked: I’m a squeamish mystery fan and find myself rushing to the end to figure out what happened and that’s exactly what I did here. I kept saying aloud, I know XYZ but I gotta figure out how it unfolds (and no, I’m not telling what XYZ is because it would ruin the suspense for you!) I really enjoyed the set up of Griff going to research this kidnapping at the Long Island estate of the Arlingtons. This plot gives plenty of characters to wonder about their role in the kidnapping twenty years before and how they fit in with Griff’s present day story.

What I Also Liked: Griff is a great character and since the story is essentially his story it was critical that I related to him and his struggle. Griff is a loner with intimacy issues so I enjoyed his attraction to Pierce. I especially liked Griff’s attempts at keeping his relationship with Pierce simple and how that unraveled around him. The best thing about this author’s romances is how real and layered they feel. Sure, there is some eroticism but most of the intimacy is of an emotional nature as Griff and Pierce circle their tentative relationship.

What I Didn’t Like: I felt the relationship conclusion was too rushed. So much happened plot wise in the final few pages that the relationship between Pierce and Griff felt added on instead of concluded in its own way. It was fine but it wasn’t the relationship denouement I want in my romances.

IMO: Even though I didn’t adore the relationship’s conclusion, the mystery and the characters were so great that I really recommend this book. This author is one of the best in the gay romance genre and this book is just another example why.


J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Great review as usual, J9! That's exactly how I felt about the book. It was heading towards a five star review, but then everything felt so rushed at the end. I still thoroughly enjoyed it though! I even bought a copy for my mom as an introduction to m/m romance since she loves a good mystery. :)

    1. Wooo! Let me know what she thinks of it! I think it'll hold its own as a mystery.

  2. I tend to have an issue with his endings over all, they just never feel concrete to him. I still read his books, but I always want more from them.


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