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Come Unto These Yellow Sands

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,842 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
Sometimes the adventure chooses you.


Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.


When one of his most talented students
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Samhain Publishing (first published June 14th 2011)
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Review completed January 15, 2013

"You were motivated by kindness and the desire to help. I don't get a lot of that in my line of work. So I'll take the impaired judgment and good heart over…anything else I've seen."


Sebastian Swift is a recovering drug addict, a poet as well as a respectable college professor and the director of the prestigious Lighthouse MFA program of Casco Bay College in Southern Maine. Swift is ready to go home and on his way to his office when he sees a kid slumped in a c
The burden of choice...Good choices, bad choices, made out of selfishness or selflessness, and where they lead in our lives.

Sebastian Swift is a man at a time of his life where he has learned to live with the effects of his past bad choices and has found the strength to make better ones. He was a lauded poet once, and now he is a professor at a distinguished Literary program in a small university in Maine, he has a job he enjoys, he is a recovering cocaine addict six years sober, he has a house
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**2.5 stars**

Welcome to what is apparently opposite day on Goodreads, Heather edition. I started off the day by loving a book that most of my friends told me to skip, they disliked it so much (Bad Company) and ended it with feeling "meh" about a book that my GR friends love almost unanimously. I'm waiting for the devil to help an old lady cross the street and Mother Theresa to come back as the leader of the damned because things are just cuckoo loca around here for me today.

Well, I'll start off
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody who appreciates fabulous writing style

That is how I should start this review.

It was my first book of Josh Lanyon but for sure not the last one.
His writing is AMAZING...

And that is my review:

I love poetry.

Not like buying a poetry eBook, reading it and write a review after.

I love it like to have poetry paperback books on my real shelf in my real living-room. I like it like to pick up from time to time a suitable for my mood book and read a poem or two or even more.
I love poetry like writing it. Of course only for me....but I
Written June 8, 2014

3.8 Stars - Well made, stylish and tastefully presented, but perhaps not breathtaking engaging

I've enjoyed all six books I read by Josh Lanyon so far. I can't but shudder of that wonderful expectant pleasure to immediatly throw me over yet another praised story by JL. My friends' reviews are very promising and JL's great admirer Lena recommended me to read this novel months ago.
‘There are few things in this life more bamboo-under-fingernails than good poetry read aloud badly
Rosa, really

I fucking love this book. It's fucking awesome. Fuckity fuck fuck, it's so good it made me teary-eyed.

It's possible I may love it more than the Adrien English series.

That's right -- I'm super serious about my love for this book.

There's a lot of great reviews so I'll stick to this -- I love the way Josh Lanyon's love of books, his appreciation of other writers, creeps into everything he writes. In this book it's poetry and Choose Your Own Adventure books, in Adrien English and the Holmes and Mor
Heather C
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and Intense

Well, Josh has done it again. Written another amazing romantic mystery with realistic imperfect characters and such vivid imagery that I felt so connected with the story and the main characters. Only this time Swift made me cry even more than Adrien. Swift's struggle to stay sober was breaking my heart. I cried when he wanted to use and I cried when Max was there to save him. (Those that know me well, know that I hardly ever cry!!!) He only wanted to help a friend and believed
Lanyon has taught me that I had a real soft spot for recovering addicts.

Oh, Swift! You just can't win!

Spoilers Everywhere!
Spoilers here, there, spoilers in jars next to here and there!

I'd like to think I'm moderately well versed in the ways of Josh Lanyon books now, since I've been practically shoving the words into a blender and injecting them into the juiciest vein I can find, lately. I can't get enough. It's an addiction on it's own. That being said, this is one of my favorite Lanyon books. I
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

THIS was exactly what I needed!

Josh Lanyon once again dazzled me with words, banter, men and mystery. Swift’s voice had me grinning ear to ear, chuckling, laughing out loud, and in tears.

I have said this before, but I need to shout out my love one more time—the settings and descriptions! The way Mr. Lanyon can pull me into a scene with every single one of my senses is my favorite part of the ride and read. I’m right there in the moment, in the room, and in the tension. With sound, a breeze, cup
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, wow, mistery
“There’s not much I won’t do for you, Swift. You ought to know by now.”

The way Josh Lanyon can "PULL ME"
 photo tumblr_n5uv8xSXC01riwoujo1_500_zps78ea5d27.jpg

into a book with the settings, the descriptions, the mystery and the love, it pushed all my buttons and worked beautifully for me. The whole book was perfect, there is not a word out of place.

Highly recommended.

Well done!!!

Damon Suede
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seductive daylit noir-romance from Josh Lanyon writing against the grain. Fantastic mystery with hot, tortured heroes, smoldering intimacy, and characteristic Lanyon craft. Fantastic.

Check out my full review for jessewave here:
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, lendle
I liked the feel of this story, and how it felt like the author understood the setting. I live in Maine, and too often authors who write about my home state don't do any sort of research, or base it on some abstract idea of what they think Maine might be like. Too much folksy charm or too many ignorant hicks. This felt like a small college town in the southern part of the state. I appreciate things like that.

I enjoyed Swift's character, and his struggles. The specter of his drug addiction is a r
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition likes. (and the 'choose your own adventure' angle is brilliant...I loved those books growing up!)

There are just those times that a Josh Lanyon book works. He’s good at bringing you out of a book funk. Nothing life-altering, just an easy escape…

His books are reliable (you know you’re always gonna get a 3-4 star read), entertaining (the man can write a good mystery)…yet always leave you wanting more (more steam, more connection, more of the MC’s, and a tidy “the end” that you’ll never ge
Vanessa North
For me to properly review this book, I really need to explain my relationship with the writings of Josh Lanyon, with the mystery genre, etc.

Honestly? Fuck that. You don't care about that. I don't even really GAF about that stuff.

This book moved me the way Snowball in Hellmoved me. There are moments, in Lanyon's writing, when he exposes a deep human vulnerability, and it's not pretty, and it's not easy. While Adrien English is ultimately palatable, Snowball and Yellow Sands have a distinct bitter
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
The book begins with Swift, a teacher, trying to help a promising but troubled student, Tad. Then it moves to Swift's house, where the man is cooking and waiting for his lover, the chief of police Max. At the beginning I really had a moment of doubt. I thought: he - Josh Lanyon - won't make me buy it this time. Not an ex drug-addict with an almost indifferent lover, to whom he lies. We are in medias res and what I absolutely love in Josh Lanyon's book is the hungry anticipation. We're at 2% of t ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third time Josh Lanyon has made me fall in love with a guy that starts out as an Ass lol

While Max and Swift might have been together for a few years, its only as we watch that the two really start to show their true feelings. It’s wonderful to watch them finally realise how much the other means to them.

Max is the kind of hero I have come to expect from this author. He is abrupt and at times seems callous, and yet hidden under the surface we see glimpses of just how sweet he can be.

Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
So I went on a bit of a journey with Swift. Lanyon took me in deep and make me feel Swift's hurts, anxieties, fears, hopes, happiness. Once again he seems to do this all so effortlessly. I am glad that the book left me with Swift and Max in a good place, because when I think of them (like I do about all my book friends) I want them to be well.

At first Swift reminded me a bit of Adrien Enlish but he soon became his own person, an individual, a guy who listens to Barber, like I do.

This book left m
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, mystery
Don’t go there for the mystery, there is barely one and it is developed and resolved in one scene.
Don’t expect much steam, the MCs are at odds during the first part of the book and frequently apart.
Don’t count on a developing contrary romance to angst over. Both MCs are openly gay, they’re settled in a convenient relationship, they usually don’t lie to each other and they don’t agonize over their romantic feelings.

Then what?
Swift’s characterization did it all for me, kept as it is on the edge of
So, I'd heard so many good things about this book, I came in expecting a lot. I love Josh Lanyon's writing, his word choices and the believable damage in his characters, their flaws, fears, insecurities. He is also one of those very rare authors who occasionally manage the perfect ending. And I mean THE perfect ending that leaves you wanting more, but deeply satisfied at the same time, that stops at exactly the right moment with exactly the right words for you to stop and think: 'Yes. He must ha ...more
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
R * A Reader Obsessed *
This kinda hurt me more than I expected. There's always something about taciturn, manly law enforcement types that appeals to me greatly, and Lanyon does this expertly.

Former renowned poet and recovering addict, Swift is now a literary professor and living an idyllic life teaching in small town Maine. He is in a comfortable sexual relationship (minus professions of love) with local police chief Max.

Swift comes across one of his students Tad, who is beat up. He offers aid but later fails to discl
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Josh Lanyon's writing tends to put my brain and emotions on overdrive... for a long time after I've already finished with his book. That's exactly what happened with Come Unto These Yellow Sands. It's like when you've seen a great movie and you return to the characters and events days later and wonder about these characters' intentions and layers you overlooked while actually sitting in the movie theatre.

Like many other readers I felt that Swift was very easy to like and fall in love with (becau
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come Unto These Yellow Sands (CUTYS) is another good Josh Lanyon fiction. It wasn't the mystery that made this book stellar. It was 80% Swift and 20% Max. CUTYS explores many aspects of Swift: a child of two famous literary parents, a (past) drug addict (cocaine specifically), professor of a MFA program, and his relationship status with Max. Things aren't always smooth for Swift and Max in this book, but you see a relationship development, or more of a realization as things unfold.

Overall, thing
Kaje Harper
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, m-m
Wow. I haven't met a Josh Lanyon book that I didn't like, but in this book the author rises above his own high standards. The characters are more complex, more engaging and more real in the small details and human failings they show us. The plot is coherent and exciting without being melodramatic. And, perhaps because his POV character is a poet, the author's language is cleaner, more expressive and more lyrical than usual. If you like Josh Lanyon's work, read this one. If you're not familiar wi ...more
Lilia Ford

I had a mixed reaction to this. On the plus side, the writing was absolutely lovely, and the depiction of Swift's childhood and later career teaching college writing were full of authentic details. Best of all was the picture of life as a recovering addict, which was simply excellent in every way--giving great insight into Swift's character as well as capturing the struggles, humiliations, triumphs and failures that addicts must face every day of their lives. I'll also put in a word here for
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh it was so good! What a great story, terrific mystery and fantastic characters... I loved Swift, he was sweet - his story was particularly touching, and his relationship with Max was just perfectly done.

I listened to the Audible version, the narrator was Paul Fleschner. First time I've listened to him and I think he did a good job with the characters' voices but I felt his pauses were awkward and often at the wrong times. He had a nice soothing voice though. I would definitely recommend!
Is there such a thing as a bad Josh Lanyon book? Wait, wait. Don’t answer that. I’m going with “no way, all Lanyon books rock.”

A long time ago, before I started reading Lanyon (and by that I mean: a few months ago), someone told me I should read Come Unto These Yellow Sands. One series and a novella later, I've finally gotten here, and wow, now I know what they meant.

Sebastian Swift, a well-known professor and, oh, recovering drug addict has been dating police chief Max Prescott for several year
Ije the Devourer of Books
A brilliant story with excellent characters, both gritty and realistic.

I really love the way Josh Lanyon tells his stories. Here once again I felt fully satisfied as if I had eaten a good meal. I liked the way in which the story unfolded almost in a kind of mundane unsuspecting way and suddenly I found myself in the midst of mystery with so many loose ends and a gripping story line.

As Swift finds himself embroiled in the mystery he also has to confront some of the hardships from his past: mist
Amy Spector
This is an excellent story. In fact it is easily one of my favorite Josh Lanyon books so far.

It has the common elements in a lot of Lanyon's works; the cop, the lover and the dead body, but it's also very different.

I loved how Sebastian Swift was distinctly NOT Adrien English or Christopher Holmes. Not that I don't love them both dearly, but I liked seeing a complete different character.

Police Chief Max Prescott's character was a lovely surprise.

It has a beautiful romance, even has a very nice
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
I am always amazed by the depth Josh puts into his characters and his stories. This one was no exception. Although this was more a mystery, the romance side of the story was very prominent and I felt it, really felt it. Read.
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Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called "arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today." Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh's work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be publi
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“If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity” 38 likes
“I’m not going to let go of you. I’m going to hold you all night. So go ahead and feel whatever you feel. If you’re still craving cocaine, go ahead. You’re safe. You can crave it all you want, but I won’t let go, and if you still feel like you can’t trust yourself in the morning, and it’s what you want, I’ll drive you to rehab myself. Okay?" ~ Max” 28 likes
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