Review: Illumination by Rowan Speedwell

Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family's lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. When he discovers Adam asleep in a deck chair, he's furious but intrigued. Adam soon charms his way into Miles' bed, and they lose themselves in a summer idyll, safe from the compromises and claims of reality.

But Adam's life, with all its demands, is waiting for him. And Miles, uncertain of Adam's true feelings, is battling demons of his own. Somehow, the man who's never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.

"'What do I want? First, I want you to take me to bed, ten maybe later a moonlight skinny-dip in the lake, then I want to sleep in your arms all night. And in the morning I want breakfast - pancakes made with questionable eggs, and weird bacon.'

Miles blinked. The knotted fists unknotted. Then he was in motion, lunging across the space that separated them, driving Adam back up against the side of the car, and kissing him the way he had yesterday, fierce and hot and throwing his whole body, his whole self into the kiss."

Oh my, what a great couple these two were. They challenged each other and comforted each other in everything.  

Adam and Miles met by chance when a drunk and stoned Adam somehow ends up on Miles’ front porch. Luckily, Miles was kind enough to let Adam stay for stale coffee, questionable eggs and weird bacon.

Adam and Miles were cute and sweet and so hot.  I loved their love and the way they completely accepted each other and their problems.  Especially Adam, he really had to put up with quite a bit from Miles, but never questioned him about it. He just went with the flow and did what he knew was good for Miles. There were some mishaps along the way but they were able to grow and change into a couple that really deserved happiness together.

Miles and Adam changed, they were able to admit and get help for their problems.  But they did it for the right reasons, for themselves. I really don’t like it when characters make changes for their love interest, instead of bettering themselves because it’s the right thing to do.  I was so pleased with the way they took these steps to better themselves before they entered coupledom.  It was perfect and believable and the way it should be.

That being said, this book felt looooooong. I don’t mind length as long as everything has a purpose and moves the plot forward. I don’t feel like every scene was necessary. It seemed like I was reading the same cute, angsty or hot scene over and over again. It started to feel repetitive and tiring by the middle. But then by 70%, holy shitballs!, everything start to pick up again.  So eventually, I did get back into the story.

I had some ups and downs with my feelings about Illumination. Ultimately, I fell in love with Adam and Miles and their love story. Which, for me, is the whole point of reading a romance novel.


  1. Is it weird that while read that I thought... "ooh scavenger hunt points!"
    I swear it happens to me all the time :-) Sounds good Breann, thanks for posting!

    1. HAHAHAHAAA!!!! I think I did use it for SH points... lemme check..... YUP! I found 15 points, so it was an okay find :D

      And thanks, Wendy!