About Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2) by Sara Dobie Bauer
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: Medium
Ancient vampire Andrew escaped his tropical island exile with his beloved human sailor, Edmund. They’ve now returned to Andrew’s home in nineteenth-century New Orleans and must navigate not only their developing relationship—and equally haunted pasts—but also a hungry coven of vampires Andrew used to call friends.
Desperate to stay by Andrew’s side forever, Edmund examines the impressive coven library in search of an Elder, the only creature capable of turning Edmund. Although missing for centuries, Andrew believes an Elder must still survive somewhere; they just have to find him.
The search is put on hold when Edmund receives word that his mother is ill in London, and the lovers set off on an oceanic journey surrounded by new friends and old enemies. When things go terribly wrong, Edmund’s fragile human life hangs in the balance, and an Elder must be found or Andrew will be alone forever.
Word Count: 29400.
Having read and adored Escaping Exile, I was excited to read this follow-up and second novella in the Escape trilogy. Sara Dobie Bauer has become one of my favorite authors with her readable and literary writing style, and her style is consistent in this book. Exile follows in its predecessor’s footsteps with a healthy dose of eroticism and a compelling central romance and main characters. I simply adore Edmund, and I loved learning more about him. Bauer has expanded the cast and developed characters she hinted at in Exile. Felipe in particular became a favorite. If any side character were to get their own story, Felipe would be a good candidate in my opinion! He is feisty, and his relationship with Edmund brought much humor to the story. I also loved learning more about Andrew’s past and his coven leader, Michelle.
I did have a few issues with this story, though. First, for those who are put off by main characters having sex with people who aren’t their partners, you might not want to read this one. I will note that Edmund and Andrew remain romantically monogamous and whenever one of them has sex with someone else, the other is always present. But personally, I was disinterested in these scenes. I read on because I love the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. Plus, these scenes didn’t feel out of character.
Second, this story ends on a cliffhanger. The third act was riveting; I read through it in a flash. But the end was abrupt with no resolution to the climax. I really wish it had gone on for just a few hundred more words to wrap things up. I was doubly put off when I read the description for the final novella; it jumps ahead past the missing resolution. I’ll be curious to see how the third book starts and if there is a satisfying summary of what happened.
Otherwise, I enjoyed this story. The romance part of it wrapped up well, and I am interested to read the next book and learn about the new character introduced at the end. I’m also excited to read more about Edmund. In Exile, we get glimpses of his murderous side, and the third novella promises to delve much deeper. I think I would read on for this plot thread alone, actually. It’s something I wish I saw more of in M/M romance!
Overall, I recommend Escaping Solitude and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.
About Sara Dobie Bauer
Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody series, among other sexy things.