M/M Novels

Come Unto These Yellow Sands Novel

Novel: Come Unto These Yellow Sands

Author: Josh Lanyon

Genres: Mystery, Crime, Romance

Released: 2011

Part of Book Series: Standalone

Summary: 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.

Post’s Author Opinion:
Note: This is a personal opinion, it does not reflect YaoiOtaku’s official position towards the novel.

I’m going to be brutally honest with this review because I remembered feeling that this was a good novel the first time I read it, but now, after a second round, I found a lot of things that I have problems with. Please bear with me as I explain and if you ever pick this book up, maybe you’d agree with me.

First thing first, let me share what I liked about this book. Much older, Law Enforcement Officer with a high sense of authority characters are my ultimate kryptonite. If I saw something like this in a book description, it would go into my auto-read stash. Secondly, a good mystery is normally a good read. So those two things had me coming back for more of Josh Lanyon’s book despite me having an established love-hate relationship with his works.

So now, let’s take a look at some of the problems I’m addressing in this particular story. The MC, Swift (Idk why he thinks ‘Sebastian’ is such a bad first name that he needed to insist on people calling him by his last name, but eh, to each their own), really have skewed logic. In what universe was interfering with a murder investigation sounded like a good idea? Most Some of his choices are questionable and I can’t imagine people with normal cognitive ability making those choices (but then again, I’m reading a fiction, so I shouldn’t complain much).

Now, going back to that boyfriend character, as much as I love the whole Chief of Police thing, Max Prescott is one hell of a douchebag. At one point, this guy was gaslighting the MC and even called him names. If that didn’t scream toxic to you, I don’t know what.

Anyone who had read this author’s books would have deduced by now that he was very well versed in literature, mostly classical, judging from how frequently he used them in his novels. Although I do recognize some quotes from Shakespeare and Robert Lee Frost, I could care less about mentions of other great poets or writers who had ever walked this earth. No offence to literature fans, but I think it was rather distracting to have so many references of other literature works in the story especially if the readers were not familiar with them.

To be fair, I didn’t exactly have a bad time reading this book because the author is good at crafting intriguing stories. Another point that I should mention is that I enjoyed how relationships were not too heavily portrayed in this book. It was just enough that it would give you ‘feels’ and not forget that there was a crime to solve at the same time.

So if you prefer a more ‘mature’ take on relationships, with older characters (Swift in his late 30’s, Max is 45) and good language composition, I think you would enjoy this book. But for reasons I have enclosed above, you have been warned.

What’s your opinion on Come Unto These Yellow Sands novel? Please let us know in the comments below.

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About the author


A former otaku, I have retired from manga and anime and found my love in M/M novels. I have a soft spot for angst with happily ever after, but a little critical on cliches. I like uncomplicated stories, a little hint of mystery and crime as well as something that is not too heavy on the drama.

I read and write mostly in English. Unfortunately, since I started late with my English studies, I am still working on it. I'm pretty much well versed in context, but don't count too much on my grammar.