629 Miles to Love by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe

 629 Miles to Love by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe

When Noah Parker left his hometown six years ago, he left behind more than his family and the confines of a town he’d outgrown. He also left behind Cal Green, his childhood best friend and high school love, and it’s the one thing he’s regretted ever since.

Now, called home by his ailing father, Noah decides he’s had enough of regrets and sets in motion a plan to convince Cal that they’re meant to be. Noah has a full tank of gas, a reluctant passenger and 629 miles to change the past before his gas, and his time, runs out…




This is a cute and romantic story about high school lovers that messed up and reconnect years later thru sheer stubbornness. No doubt this shorter story will be loved by romantics for the classic best friends turned lovers theme as well as the idea of never giving up on your first, true love. The authors have delivered a nicely well written story, able to infuse a connection not only between the men but with the reader.  This lovely story wasn’t without its problems but the issues I had are likely easily overlooked by readers and will not hamper the enjoyment of the tale.

For such a short story (~40 pages), in which all the action takes place in the cab of a truck the writing becomes important to keep the reader interested and invested in repeated arguments and rehashing hurt feelings. Thankfully the prose was imbued with emotion and energy, giving life to the arguments without ever sliding too far into the angst and potential melodrama. There are heightened emotions but nothing that verges into over done or ridiculous drama. There are even tears but the scene is very well crafted, believable and fits perfectly with the progression of the story and relationship. This is perhaps an excellent recommendation for the authors’ writing and will appeal to a variety of readers.

The characters were very charming and likeable. Noah was itching to leave town and make something of himself which he did and only then was he able to realize his poor choices and arguments when he declined Cal’s proposal after their high school graduation. After travel and education has matured Noah emotionally, mentally and physically, he now wants the man he never stopped loving. Noah’s emotions and reasoning are believable and understandable, if sometimes flawed. Noah is no saint and made several mistakes in his past but he doesn’t try to hide either his accomplishments or his mistakes. He admits to having other lovers, even those he’s loved. Noah may have always missed Cal, their friendship and relationship but he never pined for the man and let it get in the way of his choices. This was a refreshing aspect to his personality.

Cal was perhaps the more emotional of the two, giving credence to the strong quiet type who feels things very intensely. He was deeply wounded when Noah refused his proposal, prompted in love and fear of being left behind, thus cutting off their friendship as well as relationship. Cal was more all or nothing in this story. He was either completely against reconciliation or completely with Noah vowing to never let anything come between them again. While this change wasn’t abrupt (this *is* a romance story), it felt somewhat hollow when it finally happened. Although, at least the communication problems the two had as teenagers are mostly resolved considering they have a lot of time to talk things out and resolve their problems.

The problems I had with the story stem from the uneven relationship. While Noah went out and lived his life, getting educated, becoming successful and generally have a wide variety of world and life experience – Cal didn’t have any of that. He did go to college but remained in the hometown that Noah was so quick to leave and although Cal mentions that he’s changed and has developed his own life, this isn’t particularly true. Cal has remained stagnant and not moved on in his life or relationships anywhere to the degree that Noah has. Even the added information of Cal being a successful author felt false and added to give Cal a degree of success and freedom to travel, rather than a real facet of his personality. Cal’s mention of working in the timber yard felt more authentic to his personality.

Even though I had a problem with the relationship between Cal and Noah, don’t let this stop you from picking up the book. It’s wonderfully written with engaging characters and a sweet, lovely romance that will certainly appeal. Readers may or may not be bothered by the same aspect I was but it is unlikely to take away from the enjoyment of the story either way. It’s short, sweet, gets right to the point and will give you a satisfied ending – all wrapped up in good characters and solid writing. I easily recommend this story.

Get it HERE!


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