Title: Lost and Found
Author: Ashley John
Series: Surf Bay #1
Release Date: August 31st 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Sometimes it takes love to truly find yourself
When 18-year-old Charlie’s unreliable mother tells him they are moving across the country to live with her mysterious Aunt Evelyn in the sunny town of Surf Bay, he isn’t surprised. After spending most of his life moving around the country with his mother and younger sister, picking up his life and starting somewhere new is second nature to him.
19-year-old Oliver is one of those guys that everybody loves. Most people would describe him as good-looking, cheeky and confident, but when Charlie meets him working as his Great-Aunt’s gardener, there’s only word that springs to his mind….arrogant.
Charlie quickly finds a job at the local surf club, but his initial joy quickly vanishes when he learns that Oliver also works there.
From the first moment Oliver lays eyes on him, he knows that he wants Charlie, and when he discovers that he’s a virgin, he sees it as a new and exciting challenge which he accepts, even if Charlie tells him he isn’t interested in guys. Oliver wants Charlie’s virginity, but he doesn’t count on finding something else along the way…
Charlie feels pressure to look after his family, so he tries to ignore Oliver’s relentless advances, but he starts to feel something new…something he’s never felt before…something exciting…
Does Charlie have the power to resist Oliver’s charms?
*This is a stand-alone story, but certain characters and plots have been carried over from the first book in the series, Lost & Found. This is a novel of approx. 62,000 and contains sex depicting sex between two men*
Things I like: puppies, teddy bears, candy-floss and Lost and Found! So what do these fours things have in common? They are all fluffy and give me some kind of comfort! Yet at the heart of Ashley John’s first book in the Surf Bay series there is so much more.
This is the story of Charlie, who is forced to constantly move from state to state by his mum. He is 18 and though he is fiercely protective of his little family, he is still unsure of his identity.
Oliver is one of the first people Charlie meets in Surf Bay and he is the newcomer’s antithesis! Oliver is bold, arrogant, obnoxious AND charming and Charlie becomes his new challenge.
Ashley John’s approach to sexuality in the book is interesting. Charlie is adamant he is heterosexual, but the first time he sees Oliver we are given the impression that his arousal goes beyond physical jealousy,
“Poppy said something, but he didn’t hear because he was too busy watching a shirtless man, in a pair of faded denim jeans battle his way through one of the bushes, to fall out into the garden. He looked about Charlie’s age, but his body was abnormally toned and tanned.”
On the other hand, Oliver is completely open about his sexuality and the fact that he wants Charlie. This honesty is one of the things I admire most about Oliver’s personality,
“ ‘ It’s human nature,’ Oliver said, ‘we all want to fuck each other. Society invented sexuality. It’s an instinct. It’s a desire.’ “
Oliver is probably the one character who has been put under the most scrutiny by previous readers of Lost and Found, yet I find his development the most intriguing. I think the Oliver we meet at the beginning of the story raises the question of whether we actually HAVE to like a character for him/her to be necessary to the plot. However, as Oliver admits his true feelings for Charlie and begins his transition, I questioned whether there was a struggle taking place between Ashley John, as the creator and Oliver as the character. Oliver fights for his happiness, against the way he has initially been imagined – and wins!
I was completely sucked in by Ashley John’s writing and before I realised the time, I had reached the conclusion of the story. Lost and Found is a romance that comes with a strong message; it is not about the labels of ‘straight’ or ‘gay’. It is not who you love, but how you love which is important!