My name is Jasper Anderson Atchison. People call me Ace.
I am a murderer and a thief, but if Sonny still wants me, I will call myself a good man.
These are the first words in Amy Lane’s newest release, Racing for the Sun, and from this sentence to the last I was held in thrall to her amazing storytelling ability. This author takes ordinary, broken characters and gives them bigger than life love stories. Each one is full of angst and deep emotion, beautiful dialogue and sweet love scenes. Everything I want when I pick up a romance.
“I’ll do anything,” he said, and no man in the world cold misinterpret what he meant by that.
Ace and Sonny meet on Sonny’s first day of boot camp. This desperate young man will do just about anything to stay in the army and Ace recognizes his desperation and sets out to be his protector. Right from the beginning they form a bond, these two lonely souls, one who is broken by a horrific past and the other a man who grew up feeling invisible in his life. Sonny is eighteen, fragile and obviously hiding from something. Ace isn’t much older, but much more wise in the ways of the world. After discovering Sonny’s gift with fixing vehicles and giving them speed and his ability to drive them Ace makes a promise that will guide him for the rest of his life.
I smiled a little, thought to give him his pipe dream. “Yeah, sure, Sonny. We’ll do that. Take the pay we save, buy ourselves a car, a little garage. Make us some money. Get a bigger garage and live someplace nice. Why not.”
After two years in the desert, surviving some truly traumatic events and protecting Sonny with his life, Ace takes his discharge and sets out to keep a promise and create a new future for them. He buys a car, finds a property to start their garage and starts to make the little house in back a home. Ace will literally do anything to make all of Sonny’s dreams come true. Sonny arrives later. Still fragile, but wanting so badly to start living the life Ace wants to give him. Almost childlike in his discovery of new things, normal things, things that would seem simple and boring to most people, they light Sonny up and bring him such enjoyment. They settle into opening their garage, getting their car ready to race and just living. There is a spark between them that goes beyond friendship, but Sonny is hard to read. Does he want more? Or by moving in that direction will Ace be ruining their friendship?
“You’re not invisible,” he whispered. “You’re the only person I ever saw. And you said I was your dream.”
Sonny’s entire past is one big secret. Who he is. Where he comes from. Once he and Ace finally become lovers their relationship turns intense. Possessive. Greedy. Sonny wants to be owned by Ace. He wants to brand him and know that he belongs. And of course Ace is willing to do what ever it is that Sonny needs to be whole. I loved Ace. I adored every single thing about his character. He loves his man and is willing to sacrifice anything for him. How can you not love a character like that? He fights his own battle with memories. His brother and the outcome of his relationship with his best friend still haunt him to this day. The reader is given quite a few flashbacks to those memories and the pain he feels over the tragedy of his brother’s lost love and suicide. I had such a profound feeling of sadness for these men. I completely understood Ace’s willingness to go to extreme measures to keep his lover safe and happy.
As this couple is finding their way and literally racing towards their dreams Sonny’s past catches up with them and all of a sudden the reader is given an understanding of exactly what this couple is up against. This is a dark story. Not light or sappy, and yet so stunning. The whole story is told from Ace’s POV and his character is so well fleshed out that I completely believed his feelings and understood his actions, no matter how intense they were. Sonny is an enigma almost to the end. Not until the story reaches its conclusion do you realize just how damaged he is and how far he’s come with Ace’s support. They very much form a team, what one needs the other gives and vice versa. Neither are really what I would define as “good guys”. That might be why I loved them so hard. It’s Amy Lane’s gift as a story-teller than she can take such imperfect characters, with so many deep flaws and create such beauty. Sometimes I’m amazed at just how deeply she moves me. The ending left me with a feeling of peace that this couple will surely make it and come out stronger for their struggles.
Racing for the Sun is quite simply a gorgeous love story about soul mates and the lengths they will go to be together. A definite must read for any reader of romance. Final Grade: A
“I can’t make good promises,” I said quietly. “I can promise to love you for the rest of my life, but I can’t promise how long that will be. I can promise we’ll be together for as long as possible, but I don’t know how long that will be either. I can promise all sorts of things, but I can’t promise I’ll keep those promises. I can only promise I want you safe and sound.”