Destination, Wedding! - Xavier  Mayne

I just finished this final book in the Brandt & Donnelly series and I feel like a tornado just went through my head.
There were so many things happening in this book independently of each other; each set of characters off on their own storyline for a large part of the book.


That also means the MCs did not get together until very late which would normally bother me, but from the previous books I am sort of used to Brandt and Donnelly not necessarily being the MCs in their own books, so it wasn't too much of a problem.
And it gave the supporting characters their chance to shine. And boy did they ever. I fell in love with Bryce the moment he was introduced in the first book and have enjoyed every bit of page time he has been given since. Yes, he is every bit the cliché of the overly flamboyant gay man - completely over the top - but at the same time oh so absolutely fabulous.

 

As it says in the blurb, an erupting volcano ends up derailing the plans for Brandt, Donnelly and their wedding guests getting to the venue in England and they end up on separate storylines. In addition, various characters flash back to past experiences so there is a lot of jumping between characters, places, and even times. But it is so well done it was not problem at all to keep up; I never lost track of where I was in the story at any time.

 

I had plenty to laugh about in this book but it obviously would not be Brandt and Donnelly if they did not also get involved in some serious shit. Like trying to save the first love of a new friend from having his parents force reparative therapy upon him.
And romance. Let's not forget the romance. It's always a joy when the big strong alpha guys get all mushy when reconnecting with their loved ones after time apart.

 

We also once again became witnesses to Brandt's struggle to define his sexuality. I guess you could refer to him as GFY but it is done differently here than in most books I have come across with this trope. Less romantic and more real struggle and it has in the course of the series managed to make me a bit uncomfortable although I could never really put a finger on the actual issue.
I could just never quite understand the concept

Even being engaged to a man, Brandt would never describe himself as gay or bi. He defines himself as a straight man who fell in love with a man

(show spoiler)

and I was wary when the topic came up again. Brandt was struggling even more than usual this time, feeling like he didn't fit into any category.
The journey he had to take in this book brought him some enlightenment and I also came to realize that I don't have to understand it and there is no need for any discomfort on my part just because I cannot find a suitable label for him. I ended up being grateful for these books for giving a more nuanced reflection on people who don't fit a standard mold.

 

 

Oh, and of course we finally got that wedding in the end. :)