After years of scraping by, Caleb Murphy has graduated from college and is finally getting to start a new life. Except he suddenly has no way to get from Boston to Los Angeles. Then, to add to his misery, there's perfect, privileged Peter Cabot offering to drive him. Caleb can't refuse, even though the idea of spending a week in the car with a man whose luggage probably costs more than everything Caleb owns makes him want to scream.
Peter Cabot would do pretty much anything to skip out on his father's presidential campaign, including driving across the country with a classmate who can't stand him. After all, he's had plenty of practice with people not liking him much—his own family, for example. The farther Peter gets from his family's expectations, the more he starts to think about what he really wants, and the more certain he becomes that what he wants is more time with prickly, grumpy Caleb Murphy.
As they put more miles between themselves and their pasts, they both start to imagine a future where they can have things they never thought possible.
Cat Sebastian has written sixteen queer historical romances. Cat’s books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist.
Before writing, Cat was a lawyer and a teacher and did a variety of other jobs she liked much less than she enjoys writing happy endings for queer people. She was born in New Jersey and lived in New York and Arizona before settling down in a swampy part of south. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, having one-sided conversations with her dog, or doing the crossword puzzle.
The best way to keep up with Cat’s projects is to subscribe to her newsletter.
(Cross-country road trip, Strong dislike to friends to lovers, a bit of grumpy- sunshine, Class difference, Character-driven plot)
"He found himself leaning closer, as if to bury his face in Peter’s neck, because he had obviously lost his mind at some point since Oklahoma. His sense of self-preservation was scattered along Highway 66, left in pieces at service stations and motels".
This is the second book in 'The Cabots' series and can be completely read as a standalone but if you want to enjoy it more, feel free to read the novella,Tommy Cabot' was here.
Summary Peter Cobot, from the great Cabot family, has recently graduated but is still lingering on the campus to avoid going to the family home where everyone is preparing for his father's presidential election campaign. Then Peter sees his classmate Caleb, the guy he has a tiny-winy crush on, crying near the pavement and decides to give him a lift to LA. 90% of the book takes place during their 9 days car journey of 3000 miles from Boston to LA.
Peter Cabot Peter is from a super-rich, super successful family. His father is a member of the Senate and a Democratic Party nominee for President. But, most of his family members consider him a lost cause. In his father's words, he is 'just mediocre'. He is easy-going, kind-hearted, and a problem-solver who always thinks about others before him. But, In short, there is no love lost between him and his family.
Caleb Murphy Enters Caleb, who hates Peter on principle. Caleb comes from a poverty-stricken family in Tennessee. He has struggled hard to get his education and has to count every nickel. And, then he sees Peter Cabot, easygoing, and rich who gets through life without any effort. He comes out as snappy, grumpy and always irritated by Peter. Above all, he hates when people show him kindness because he thinks they are trying to do charity. But, it took him just a few days with Peter to know that he is not just a Cabot.
Relationship Development I know the whole RD within 9 days feels like insta but no it's not. To me, it felt slow and perfectly paced. Peter always admired Caleb for being smart and after spending 4-5 days with him on the road, he could understand Celeb's real motivation- •For why he likes to share rooms in cheap motels. • Always split bills and calculate tips accurately up to the fourth decimal place. • Never talks about feelings.
In turn, Celeb also realized that even though they both come from entirely different backgrounds, there is something common in them, they both are trying to run away from their families, who will never accept them for being themselves.
The book's main focus is relationship development because there is not much plot then travelling in a car, picking food and staying in a motel and occasional sightseeing. But, the intimacy didn't feel forced, it felt natural and sweet.
But, yes the book is angsty, as their relationship comes with an expiry date and Caleb is scared of losing everything he has ever planned for his future.
Read it if you want to feel the 60s vibe and a beautiful realistic love story filled with banter. And, even though my rating is the same for both the books of this series, I liked Peter Cobot much more than the novella.
"He didn’t know if it was possible to fall in love in under a week. He also didn’t care if it was possible to fall in love in under a week. All he knew was that when he looked at Peter, he felt both fond and raw like he had been turned inside out and was glad to have had it happen".
4 stars ⭐️ It was really a good read, and I did enjoy it a lot. Caleb and Peter are easy to love but difficult to forget. They both are so lovely and amazing.
I fell in love with the background of how their journey began(cross-road trip), and how they both fell in love despite having a short time to get to know each other.
Caleb was perfect for Peter. I loved how innocent and sweet Peter was every time to Caleb. I loved how Caleb thinks about every little penny he spends on the road. He knew the value of money. I think I loved Caleb a little more than Peter, but I loved them both.
The story was perfectly paced, and you would never feel that Caleb and Peter’s love was instantaneous. But I would have given five stars this story if the epilogue had been expressed 'after one year or two'. (don't mind me. That's my problem 🥲)
“His brain felt like it was filled with wet lint, except for when he thought about Peter, and then he was torn between a demented urge to ask if he was warm enough without a sweater and the need to bend him over the nearest piece of furniture.”
Guys and gals this was such a fun and lovely book!
I have yet to read all of Cat Sebastian’s books but this is now my second favorite. (The first being The Ruin of a Rake .) With the first one in this series, I felt a little unsatisfied. It was sweet but a little underwhelming and I also thought it would have been better if it was longer.
Now I wanted this one to be longer too. Or at least a lengthier epilogue. But that may just be me being greedy. As usual. Still, I did find it satisfying overall and enjoyed it immensely.
This series is more modern than her others. I suppose it’s still historical since it’s 1960. But it’s not her more known regency fare. There’s an old fashioned feel to it though should you be averse to that. I wasn’t. It delighted me.
Peter and Caleb captured my heart. The first 10-20 percent I wasn’t sure and kind of felt it might be a like but not love like book one. But then I was smitten and hooked.
Caleb was such a surly little grump. Peter was not a full blown sunshine. More a late afternoon sun. Sunny but not overpowering. Warm and constant. Patient. I loved how Caleb’s defenses slowly melted. His prickles didn’t completely go away but they were soothed. I also liked how he was good for Peter too. How indignant and feisty he got on Peter’s behalf. I was a puddle of feels.
All of this took place within a few weeks. So it could be said that it veered into insta-love territory. And yet it didn’t feel that way. It all was very natural and real.
And ok because I know some of you want to know…there were some smoking hot scenes too. 🔥 Wow. I’d say it was a medium amount of steam and there were even some parts that had a bit of humor.
Back at the motel, all of Caleb’s restraint disappeared as soon as the door shut behind them. He pushed Peter against the wall. He seemed to have developed a fondness for pushing Peter into things and then kissing him, and Peter at the same time had developed a fondness for getting pushed against things. It seemed amazing, a lucky coincidence of historic proportions, that they fell on opposite sides of the pusher/pushee divide.
I’m going to be thinking of these two for a while and this is for sure one I will reread. Probably soon.
“You are unfair and terrible,” Caleb said, pointing at Peter in a gesture so rude his mother would cry. “You know, you’ve totally lost the ability to insult me and sound like you mean it,” Peter observed cheerfully. “It all comes out like sweet nothings.”
Genuinely some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read and lovely characters but I didn’t really enjoy this. It can be hard to keep tension and momentum in a road trip story and sometimes it gets a bit repetitive. I’m so happy I did find this series because I adored book one and Cat Sebastian is such an immensely talented writer! I am all about wonderful characters but I needed more plot and more tension because this meandered around and bored me. Beautiful sentiments and I think it could have been a win for me had it been shorter.
It’s the summer of 1960. After graduation, Peter Cabot wants to escape from his life as the son of Senator Cabot, and decides on a whim to drive to California with Caleb, a fellow Harvard graduate, instead of joining his family in Cape Cod.
Caleb hates Peter and everything he represents: wealth, privilege, nepotism.
On the road, prickly Caleb slowly falls for sweet Peter.
First times. Motels. Old fashioned road trip with a folded map. Boston to Los Angeles. America in 1960. Small towns. Family.
This is a lovely story about Peter Cabot (the nephew of Tommy in book 1, but it easily stands alone.) Peter's had a secret crush on Caleb, a smart guy in one of his classes, for a while. He also has a powerful political family with a boatload of expectations, whom he is expected to now join in political endeavors. And he desperately doesn't want to step back into those circles, where he's already and always a disappointment, even when they don't know he's gay.
So he hovers around his college town after graduation, putting that return off, until he spots Caleb upset on the street, and next thing, he's offering to drive Caleb across country to Los Angeles. Pretending he's going there anyway. The opposite direction from his family. Which is only one of the charms of this sudden idea.
Caleb is prickly and frustrated and raw at having to accept what feels like charity again. He's the poor kid, the scholarship kid, grown up with cast-off clothes and church charity. He has now graduated from college with excellence, he has a job in LA. This should be the moment when he stands on his own two feet and doesn't need anything from anyone. Instead, a medical problem back home means no money to get to his new job. He has to accept the lifeline offer of a ride from wealthy, perfect Peter Cabot. But he doesn't have to like it. Or be gracious about it.
Except, as they cross the country in the car Peter's older brother passed down because it wasn't his preferred model, Caleb begins to realize that under the layers of name and wealth, Peter is kind and smart, and self-deprecating because apparently no one has ever valued those good qualities in him. He's also generous, and sensitive, and empathic enough to spot Caleb's allergy to charity, and to try to work around it. And from the hints Peter drops, it appears his wealthy family has always treated this sweet man like second-best because he doesn't fit their political ambitions.
Oh, and Peter is gay. And so naive he just blurts that out to someone he barely knows. Caleb is, against his will, a bit charmed and a lot protective. Nothing can come of their friendship, of course, but he can at least get Peter to see his own worth and take the sting out of the charity of the ride, as they travel.
Except days together, in a small car and a series of motel rooms, is enough that Peter gets under Caleb's skin. Enough to want more than just getting along all right till they hit the West coast. Especially when Peter seems to want more too.
This is a sweet, lovely, road trip story about two young men who are each exactly what the other needs. They are tentative, and unsure, and touchy, and in Caleb's case grouchy. They've been lost - Caleb far from a home that can't accept him but he still loves, and misses. Peter moving into a future he can't see, except that he knows it must not be the one his family expects. They have a lot to give each other, a lot to learn, and ten days across a nation to figure that out.
I've enjoyed many of this author's historicals, but this is perhaps my favorite yet (other than Hither, Page) - there is room for a lot more drama, particularly with Peter's family, but the decision to keep impacts small and personal fits the low-key, intimate unfolding of this story. Definitely will reread this one when I want a comfort read of two men finding their places in the world and in each other's hearts.
2021 Fall Bingo (#FallInLoveBingo🍂): Character Description You Love
I am trash for across-class-lines pairings, especially when the primary conflict (for lack of a better word, since this book is not high on conflict) is about navigating expenses (dating, restaurants, lodging). Usually the poorer person in the relationship is determined to always bear the burden of equal cost (hello, Caleb!). I really loved how Peter understood Caleb's motivations to stay financially independent while 1) acknowledging his own rarefied upbringing/wealth privilege and 2) still wanting to show his appreciation/love for Caleb via small financial gestures (buying books, ordering extra food for himself so he can share with Caleb, etc). This book just hit all my soft/gentle/romantic catnip vibes, and I'm so glad I read it.
I'm going to say something controversial, but here it is. YOLO. This is a mid-20th century historical romance novel AND a new adult romance novel. It truly is. I know people associate angsty/sexy contemporaries with new adult, but PETER CABOT GETS LOST fits my interpretation of the new adult requirements so perfectly. Post-college uncertainty, coming-of-age in early 20s, new sexual experiences, realizing that family expectations aren't what you want in life… Is this not new adult?!? I dunno if other historicals can qualify, but this one definitely does. I'm tagging this under my new adult shelf and you can't stop me!
Also: I was under the impression this was a novella but it felt really long! Maybe a short novel. Anyone know what the word count is??
Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’ve interacted with the author, but these are my honest opinions about the book.
If there was a book version of catnip for me it would be this book. It has a road trip, a couple of dingdongs falling in love along the way, it's short, and it's very sweet with a dash of humor. All of my favorite things! I mean, the book has the main characters saying things like this:
"All it takes is three days, a couple newspapers, and a handsome face, and I lose my principles."
Isn't that cute? This book is just super cute and Cat Sebastian wrote it in a masterful way where no word is wasted. Tightly written historical fluff is something I want more of so I suppose I'll just have to read the other book in the series now.
Caleb Murphy has done it, he's graduated and has a new, shiny journalist job ready for him in California. He just needs to get there.
When Peter Cabot, the rich yet disappointing son of the political scion Cabots, discovers Caleb trying to figure out how to get to California after Caleb's ride plans fall through, he jumps at a chance to avoid the looming responsibilities of his father's upcoming election.
Determined to avoid "taking a handout" from the wealthy Peter, who Caleb doesn't necessarily hate but who he definitely doesn't trust, Caleb agrees to take the ride Peter is offering, but only if he pays his own way.
Across the country they drive, discovering along the way that perhaps what they are both searching for can be best found, together.
Gosh dang this story. So many vibes, all of them the ones I love. Road trip romance in the 1960s with all the pie and diner coffee please. Seeing Caleb be so irritated with how attracted he is to Peter despite his best attempts to just not be brought under his spell, and Peter being so unaware of how kind he is. Delicious.
This is such a lovely, warm, funny, tender, steamy, comforting, and low-angst historical romance for adults, following two college graduates as they find themselves and each other along an unexpected road trip from Boston to Los Angeles in 1960. I snickered at so much of the banter (I, too, believe that maps conspire against me!) and I really adored the characters. While this works perfectly as a standalone (it was my first introduction to this loosely-connected series), I started reading the other book in this series immediately afterwards just because I wanted more of that same feeling.
I picked up this book at 5a.m., at the tail end of a sleepless night (due to a really miserable, sniffly cold), and it is SUCH a testament to its comfort-read nature that I was feeling warm and happy by the time I finished it! :)
I know that it’s popular (in America anyway) to assume rich people are evil and treat them like absolute garbage solely because of it, especially when that person is born into wealth and has absolutely no control over the size of their family’s bank account. But I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. Sure, there are rich people who are not good people, but without any evidence I’m not going to assume anyone is evil and treat them like trash.
But boy does Caleb treat Peter like trash. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. Peter has money to spend so he decides to leave the wait staff in the diners they eat at along the way a large tip. And it makes Caleb angry?? My dude, would you rather Peter hold on to that money and not give it to people that need it more than him?
This poor treatment continues all the way to the 54% mark where I stopped after Peter acknowledges to himself that Caleb truly is an asshole. But I guess Peter thinks it’s endearing? He feels special because he's getting to know the real Caleb, not just the nice guy he pretends to be with everyone else? Peter, is there a self-esteem issue at work here? You feel guilty about the size of your family’s bank account, especially because you did not personally earn that money, so you think you deserve to be treated like trash to compensate?
This isn’t an enemies to lovers story or even a grumpy/sunshine story. It’s just an asshole (Caleb) treating a nice dude (Peter) like shit and Peter just takes it.
This is my sixth attempt at a Cat Sebastian book. She’s batting 1 for 6 (I did really enjoy the first Cabots book) and I’m tired. So, Cat, it’s straight to jail with this one and on to my DNR.
I enjoyed the first book in this series but I really adored this one! I think it benefited greatly from the longer length, as the build was a bit slower and we really got to know the characters. I thought their dynamic was wonderful, as was the relationship development, and the smut hit all of my buttons. Honestly just a really enjoyable read!
Peter Cabot is perfect! He's sporty, clever, and son to potentially the next president of the United States, yet he doesn't quite fit in at home.
So, on a whim, he agrees to drive someone he knows from college from Boston to Los Angeles to avoid returning home. What he doesn't anticipate is that Caleb is not the moody passenger he expected, and their are going to change their lives forever.
I loved the wit of Peter paired with the cynicism of Caleb it made reading the story fun and following their journey a delight :)
Whoops, just realized I never wrote a review of this and I'm starting book three today, so I need to get this done before my brain starts mixing things up.
I don't have much to say about this even though I gave it five stars. I basically just want to say "This was a perfect romance novella" and call it a day. But I have to reach 250 words to count on Cannonball Read so I will keep going.
This is historical fiction novella set in the 1960s where two young men fresh out of college take a cross country road trip from the east coast to California, and fall in love along the way. One of them is rich and a member of a political family (think the Kennedys) and the other is poor and wary of rich people. Both are lonely.
Cat Sebastian is always good at character dynamics, but here she just hit the sweet spot. The banter and sweetness of the relationship between Peter and Caleb is a joy from beginning to end. You laugh, you get a little sad, you swoon. You can also feel the energy in the story that is likely due to this being her first piece of lockdown writing. She notes in her introduction that it's not a coincidence that the main plot here is just characters leaving home and going places.
Absolutely and utterly lovely, with two complex MCs, a textured setting and a very effective story arc, all fitted into a long novella. I think this and Tommy Cabot was Here are some of the best things Cat Sebastian has written.
A 1960s road trip romance that was good for my soul. Peter and Caleb had such a fun grumpy-sunshine dynamic. Peter didn’t get everything but he was so sweet and understanding of Caleb and Caleb was fierce on his behalf, which Peter sorely needed after his terrible family. They were such a good pair. I’m glad Sebastian decided to turn this into a series.
Characters: Peter is a 22 year old gay white college graduate and a virgin. He occasionally stutters, Caleb is a 21 year old gay white college graduate about to start as a reporter at the LA Times. This is set in 1960 and starts out in Cambridge, MA and ends in LA.
Content notes: panic attack, brief suicidal ideation, toxic family, closeted MCs (no forced outing), homophobia, MC with occasional stutter, minor car accident, class differences, poverty, past food poverty, past death of Caleb’s father, divorced secondary character, on page sex, rimming, alcohol, hangover, gender essentialist language, ableist language, hyperbolic language around suicide
This was precious. I didn’t think I could buy two people falling in love in just 9 days, but somehow the relationship felt well-paced, and Peter and Caleb’s growth and opening up to each other was well-earned. I loved the road trip and lack of real plot, because the characters were able to have meaningful conversations and intimacy.
I loved how prickly Caleb was, and how much Peter got under his skin. I loved how open and good Peter was, and how Caleb wanted to protect and preserve that goodness. I also really, really want to go on a cross-country road trip now, and just vibe.
I did not expect this to become my new favorite Cat Sebastian book (she has a lot of winners and I generally prefer my historical romance farther in the past) but this was EVERYTHING. I loved Peter and Caleb so much and everything about their story punched me in the gut. The familial expectations! The class tension! The fear of the future and realizing you might not actually be the person you always intended and that's okay! Also the sexual tension between the lead characters is palpable. When all that tension comes to its inevitable conclusion, the sex scenes are so emotional I got choked up. Also, one of the most erotic scenes in the book does not involve any touching but DOES involve a biscuit. If that ain't a hook, what is?
Be warned this book has little to no plot-- two sweet idiots pine, screw, and vibe their way from Cambridge, MA to Los Angeles. I hear this kind of thing is a negative for some readers but I can't relate. 5/5
This was really, really good. I've always enjoyed Cat Sebastian's writing, but imho, the is the best she's written. Writing a two-hander, with barely any interaction with anyone else, and most of the action taking place in a car or a motel room, feels like an incredibly hard thing to attempt. And it's done brilliantly, and with a light humorous touch.
I really enjoyed this. Set in 1960 but there's an out of time feel to the road trip, postcards and payphones but for the most part little scenary. The world is reduced to the car, though the trip takes a week, the journey of getting to know each other and making life decisions go deeper. It doesn't feel like insta-insta.
Caleb poor, independant and prickly. Peter rich somewhat naive and so sweet. They'd known each other peripherally for years but it was a joy to see them really see each other and how well that worked.
I hope the series continues and there's a future glimpse of them.
The author says in her newsletter that Peter Cabot Gets Lost basically has no plot... it's a road trip book as our MCs, Peter Cabot, the son of a senator, decides to run away from having to join his family on a campaign trail (his father is running for the presidential seat, or at least the nomination from the Democratic party) - by offering a fellow Cambridge graduate, Caleb Murphy, who needs to go to Los Angeles for a job position at LA Times. Oh, and it's also the 1960s...
I LOVE road trip books - there's something about the close proximity on the road that gives a huge chance for the characters to "connect", to learn about each other's hope, dreams, desire, worries, concerns... and being vulnerable and intimate without the rest of the world crowding them.
This one slightly lacks those for me - I mean, once Peter and Caleb decide to act on their sexual tension, it feels like the sex scenes get in a way of more character-focused development. Yes, they learn few things about each other, but I feel like it could be more. The conversation around Caleb's family, for example. Or further discussions about Peter forging his own way once they reach Los Angeles.
It ends up feeling a bit too long, and my focus wander, around half-way. Still a nice one, I just want more feels