By George Loveland
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Looking for love is the last thing air steward, James Foster, is thinking about when he swaps flights to save his hung-over best friend’s job. He doesn’t know that fate has other ideas and he would fall for the tall, bearded passenger, Darren Busby, sat in 14D. Up in the air, James finds that the connection he has with Darren is too strong to ignore.
After missing the opportunity to ask for Darren’s number, James’ jaw hits the floor when Darren walks into the same hotel he is staying at. Butterflies and nerves take over, but soon give way to excitement as they get to know each other on the ground.
When James’ ex, Richard, shows up and begs for forgiveness, James has to decide if going back to the man who broke his heart would be worth it, or if he should finally move on and take a chance on Darren.
This release by author George Loveland is a fast, easy-reading, and engaging story. The reader is introduced to best friends, colleagues, and apartment mates James and Max in the opening scene when the latter returns home drunker than a skunk only hours before he’s to leave on a several-day flight schedule. James comes to the rescue – by the sounds of it, not the first time – by convincing Max’s latest hook-up to be on his way, as well as switching work schedules with him in order to help save his job (apparently Max is on thin ice with his employer). James finds himself paired on the initial flight with his friend Annie in Premium Class and is looking forward to an uneventful shift, when a late-arriving passenger literally knocks him off his feet. The chance meeting appears to be fate, and when James is reassigned to help out a stewardess in another section of the plane, Annie makes sure to set things up to keep James’ options open by arranging for him and the passenger (Darren) to meet up again.
James’ creepy ex, an airline pilot, just happens to be on the Johannesburg route, much to James’ dismay. Though the ex does his best to mess us James’ newfound kinship and budding romance, Darren proves to be the nice guy that James truly deserves. The author refreshingly composes a relationship between the two based on more than lust, and even though Up in the Air is a novella, the reader isn’t jilted with behind-the-scenes action. Instead, the fruits of James’ and Darren’s attraction, evolving friendship, and resulting romantic relationship ripen front and center and the scenes don’t feel rushed. It’s a sweet, satisfying storyline with very little angst and a fulfilling HFN. The book even teases at the next excerpt in the series, Max’s rescheduled assignment.
Up in the Air promises to be an “excited to see what happens next!” series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Up in the Air 1: Johannesburg.
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on August 6, 2017.