Review - "Vagabond Heart (Pearl Harbor #1)" by AJ Llewellyn
Fantastic WWII era romance
Very Highly Recommended
Life in 1941 Pearl Harbor, not so easy for a gay male. But especially difficult for Tinder McCartney, the only gay male prostitute on the island. He has to have a special license, is held to the same standards as his female counterparts, and faces all the same challenges.
Not that he really wanted this life. He didn't. He trained on the mainland, but came home to be with his mother after being told told she was ill, but she died before he got there. Now, there's nothing for him. His relationship with his father is strained at best, and there are no other jobs to be had.
His boyfriend doesn't seem to mind, but that relationship is strained, too. In fact, he seems to be more invested that does his lover. And it seems more and more that he's just a dirty little secret.
When he meets businessman Jason Qui and is hired for the evening, the attraction is immediate. But it's not a love match, merely a business transaction. Jason is to marry and run the family business. And use Tinder on the side. But a guy can hope and dream.
Tinder's attacked one night by two men, though, and Jason comes to his rescue. In more ways than one. He proposes a business arrangement. But can Tinder abide by the rules? Or will his heart engage too much? With December 1941 bearing down, will the two have a future?
AJ Llewellyn has written a beauty of a book here. The undiscussed world of Hawaiian prostitutes around the Pearl Harbor Naval Station is almost lost in popular culture, and deserves to be told. And told it is - with a huge heart and great sympathy and care.
This is a book highlighting the tenderness and toughness that was required of those that chose the profession. Add to the mix all the racial components and the sexual orientation issues, and this could be a red hot disaster waiting to happen, but it's treated with dignity and respect.
Tinder is a sweet and wonderful guy, looking for love and being treated like a second class person at every turn. He just wants someone to call his own, and a little dignity. It's wonderful when he might find it.
I liked Jason - he at first seemed a little cavalier, but he grew on me very quickly. His protection and fierceness towards Tinder forced me to like him.
This was a great read, and I look forward to reading the next books in this series.
Great, great job!