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Shining in the Sun

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  29 reviews

Damn it, a man shouldn't always have to be afraid-

Alec Goodchilde has everything a man could want-except the freedom to be himself. Once a year, he motors down to an exclusive yacht club on the Cornish coast and takes the summer off from the trap that is his life.

When his car breaks down, leaving him stranded on the beach, he's transfixed by the sight of a surfer danc

Kindle Edition, 169 pages
Published (first published April 21st 2010)
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Best M/M Romance Published in 2010
85th out of 305 books — 513 voters
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Kick-Ass Women-Written M/M Books
126th out of 434 books — 117 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 406)
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Leslie Nicoll
Alex Beecroft's first foray into writing a contemporary story. I thought this was terrific...I felt like I was at the shore with Alec. Alex brought the scene and the people to life, as she always does, with her beautiful prose. Definitely recommended.
Becky Black
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Had a hard time with my rating for this one. Writing was superlative, far beyond most m/m books. The setting and sense of place were simply lovely, and I adored the characters and much of the story. For most of this book I intended to rate very highly. But I found the ending - by which I mean primarily the relationship "resolution" - rushed and unsatisfying, far too hasty given the difficulties and angst that are an inherent part of the relationship and the characters. I'd certainly have liked t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Very good m/m romance about a wealthy British businessman (so deeply closeted he's never considered that he might be gay) who escapes on his yacht for a month every summer so he can get away from his mother, his fiance, and his other obligations. When he sees a gorgeous surfer on the beach, everything starts to change for him.
The writing elevates this (very British) Cinderella story of lonely wealthy upper class gent, Alex Goodchilde finding love with working class, poor man Darren. But these two aren't your average romantic heroes. Alex is a bit of a doormat, an emotional coward (if American he'd do his break ups via text messaging), incredibly naive and a snob while Darren unhesitatingly uses his pretty face to get what he wants, is a bit ethically challenged & is self deluded enough to take offense when he's j ...more

Like another reviewer said, this book is like an unexpected trip to the beach. While the story is full of angst and misunderstanding and fear, it is still sweet and beautifully written, with realistic characters that are lovable without being too wonderful to be true.

The story was a whirlwind romance in the best of ways, with that initial rush of attraction and sexual thrill that hooked the two protagonists, and then allowed them to really truly make an impact on one another even in their s
Elisa Rolle
I love the old fashioned romances, the type where a prince charming is coming to save the virgin damsel, I have even a tag for them, only that, being this a gay romance, it’s a “cinderfella” and not a “cinderella” story; and well, here the damsel is not even virgin, far from it, but the prince charming is perfect, with his slightly resemblance with a notorious English actor of romantic comedies (is this the moment where I confess my secret passion for Hugh Grant? Between him and Colin Firth I do ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: m-m
I've been a fan of Alex Beecroft for a while now and was really excited when I heard she was doing a contemporary setting with her latest. I wasn't disappointed at all. My emotions were twisted every which way and I couldn't have loved the characters more. The writing, as always with Beecroft, is excellent here.
Nov 07, 2011 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: m-m
A wealthy young man escapes his domineering mother and fiancee on a beach trip where he becomes infatuated with a young surfer/ hustler. Love ensues. This was sweet for an m/m romance, very well done.
extra points for the plot twist, I enjoyed it. I like how many shades of gray this story looked at. and the phrase is not referring to that book, but actually is not a bad association, I mean, we ARE looking at(view spoiler), at least briefly. I was totally on board with pretty much everything on the story until(view spoiler) but I ...more
A great beach read from one of my favorite authors, I really enjoyed this book.
Aleksandr Voinov
A trip to the beach when I needed one.
3.5 stars, rounded up.
Moving story about a rich man (Alec) and a poor man (Darren) who are both suffocating in their respective lives. They are both desperately unhappy and both feel powerless to do anything about it. Both see the summer as an opportunity to escape, even if only for a little while, the individual misery of their usual lives. It's a story of how they learn to be brave together and escape that misery and find their freedom for more than just a month. It has its flaws (Alec's first
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerry Burnie
Gerry B's Book Reviews -

love stories about British, upper middle-class characters. For one thing, they have a style that is both charmingly stodgy and dauntless at the same time. Never mind that that temerity is born out of a seemingly artless smugness because therein lies their charm. That said, author Alex Beecroft has captured this artlessness to perfection in her latest, 14-carat nugget, Shining in the Sun [Samhain Publishing, May 3, 2011]. Moreover, she ha
Josephine Myles
Alex Beecroft’s first foray into contemporary m/m romance initially conjures up the more touristy view of the county, when privileged rich boy Alec arrives on his annual break from his overbearing family and fiancee. However, we are soon led on an adventure through Cornwall’s less salubrious side when he meets and falls for local lad Darren. Alex Beecroft explores the class conflict with great sensitivity as both young men are exposed to each others’ vastly different worlds.

I love Alex Beecroft’
Jun 26, 2012 Shaz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: gfy-ofy, mm
I had some trouble rating this book. On the one hand I really enjoyed it and before I knew it I had it finished. But on the other hand at times the MC's really irritated me...

It is very well written "cinderfella" story; rich businessman meets and falls in love with a very poor surfer boy from the wrong side of the tracks. So, slightly cliche yes, but with a distinct British 'voice' that makes the cliches seem to disappear. The indecisiveness of both MC's was what annoyed me slightly. There were
Aug 21, 2014 Sanna added it
I enjoyed this book except for the very end, which was more in keeping with a vintage Harlequin than the choices and options the characters were dealing with up to that point.
Mickie Ashling
I thought this would be a simple story of a summer romance between a closeted man and a sufter dude. Snort...I should have known better. It's Alex Beecroft, after all. This is a memorable story of self-discovery, passion, understanding, and forgiveness. The writing is beautiful and Ms. Beecroft captured and held my attention throughout the entire book. I can honestly say I didn't skim through a single page. This is a great read and one I would highly recommend.
More like 2.5 stars.

I found both of the main characters annoying and unlikable. As for the rest...I mean, if you don't like the main characters how are you supposed to like the book in general? Well, like many others here, I did appreciate the writing. Sometimes an author goes overboard with the descriptions, but I felt like Alex Beecroft got it just right. I felt like I could see everything she described. That portion of the book was really wonderful.
My goodness, I didn't think this book was going to end happy or at least hopeful. So much miscommunication and running away. So many undesirable characters but weren't really. Alec and Darren found each other at the perfect time because they need each other. Very hopeful beginning! :)
This is no easy one-day-read but definitely worth it. The language is very lyrical and vivid, so even the most mundane things make the reader stop and take notice.

Thats all I guess, just wanted to say that this is book is a beautiful read but be prepared to look up a few words ;)
I love how Alec and Darren are both beta heroes. They felt very real. I especially loved the scene when they visit Darren's grandmother, and how the things that Alec sees are totally different from Darren's perspective.
reread 1 June 2013
Unrealistic scenario

characters were very one dimensional,

relationships were all borderline abusive

the 'hot sex scene' touted on the back cover was tepid at best
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I've read it a couple of times now and it's one that I remember even after reading so many others.
Emma Jane
Really good characters, interesting storyline. Too many similies for my taste, hence four stars instead of five.
Oct 02, 2010 Norma added it
Shelves: m-m
DNF. I may go back eventually, but for now the characters weren't doing it for me.
Robin Covington
Wonderfully tender and emotional!
Zowie marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
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Spaceships and galaxy spanning empires, conversations with angels, viking villages, haunted mansions and forbidden love in the Age of Sail... I love a good strong plot in an exotic setting, with characters you can admire, and a happy ending.

If you make a venn diagram of genres, including historical, fantasy, gay romance and mystery, I occupy the space in the middle where they overlap.


BTW, if you
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“He looked like a man who was turning into paper, folding himself into origami angles, fragile and friable and prone to crumple.” 2 likes
“So close now, Alec could read the make on his wetsuit, see the individual grains of sand that dusted
the black material, the drops of water trembling on the points of his hair. Now or never. But Alec couldn‟t,
couldn’t. Could he?
He stood up. “Stop!” His mouth dried out as the surfer‟s dark, dark green eyes looked into his, startled
and curious. Suddenly he felt an absolute fool. He was inviting a good kicking, at least. But damn it, a man
couldn‟t always be afraid.
“Don‟t go past. Please. Sit down and drink with me. If you go past… If you go past, I think I‟ll die.”
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