REVIEW: Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon

Sometimes the adventure chooses you.

Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost, and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police chief, Max Prescott, is healthy.

When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin – only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.

Max enjoys splitting an infinitive or two with his favorite nutty professor, but he’s not much for sonnets or Shakespeare. He likes being lied to even less. Yet his instincts – and his heart – tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that Josh Lanyon’s smart, sexy, sophisticated stories may prove hazardous to your heart.


  • great plot with wonderful characters
  • I would say fiction that happens to have wonderfully developed characters who happen to be gay
  • loved it


I haven’t read a lot of Josh Lanyon’s work, but what I have read I have always liked. I would have to say that “Come Unto These Yellow Sands” is my favorite so far! This book has all the things that I love in a book: great characters, great writing, and a good plot.

This book is categorized as a M/M romance, but I would argue that it’s just a great book that happens to have gay characters. I’m hopeful one day that we won’t have to categorize books by the sexual orientation of the characters. Until then though, this is a great m/m romance that is also a fantastic book.

Professor Sebastian Swift is a lot of things. He’s a poet who can’t seem to write, feels the pressure of being the son of famous poets, and he’s a recovering addict. Swift loves Choose Your Own Adventure books and teaching and his comfortable (yet casual) relationship with Wolfe Neck Police chief, Max Prescott.

When one of Sebastian’s students turns up on his office doorstep looking like he’s been beaten, Sebastian follows his heart and sends the young man to his cabin for safety. The problem is that soon, it becomes clear that Sebastian’s student may be involved in a murder.

This is when dating the police chief becomes a real problem for Sebastian. He has inadvertently been lying to Max… and when the truth comes out it’s a real issue.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the character development. The characters in this story are well-crafted. There is a true exploration of the growth of a relationship and the way that it ebbs and flows. I became really invested in the relationship between Sebastian and Max.

Lanyon has capture “recovery” in an authentic way. Being in recovery is never an easy thing and Sebastian still struggles from time to time. It’s something that he must be aware of – and it’s also something that he’s conscious of around his police officer partner. Max isn’t judgemental at all when it comes to Sebastian’s past drug use, and I enjoyed the way that he supported Sebastian when asked. It’s all written very respectfully and accurately.

The plot is great – there’s enough of a mystery to keep you guessing as the story progresses. I particularly enjoyed the way that Lanyon wove the story elements in cleverly giving the main characters challenges and hurdles that would, ultimately, help to determine the course of their relationship.

This book really worked for me. I absolutely enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.



Goodreads || Author

I received an ARC of Come Unto These Yellow Sands  by Josh Lanyon  via netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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