Rating: 3.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Liam is a reluctant porn star, “rescued” from the streets by his older boyfriend, Cord. Cord has been taking care of him ever since by making him perform in porn scenes, but lately Cord’s becoming even more demanding. Liam has no choice but to do what he says, since although he just turned 18, he has no life or work experience and is completely dependent on Cord.
Justin works at a hotel and is Liam’s neighbor. Occasionally, Liam will drop by Justin’s apartment to play video games and it feels like Liam’s only safe haven. Justin has recently started dating a man, Rich, to whom he feels a strong connection, but he also has harbored a crush on Liam for quite a long time. When Liam is caught in a difficult situation at the hotel, Justin rushes in to rescue, and Liam knows his life has to change. Justin is the only one he can count on to help him escape his life in porn.
I’m always drawn to books about porn stars or rent boys because I find that life fascinating. I’m especially excited to read about people in porn who seem to have relatively good lives otherwise, but I also understand that there can be a seedy underbelly, especially when the porn producer is only out for his best interests. In this case, there is nothing good about how Liam feels about porn, and you root for him to be able to escape the industry. I wish I would’ve learned a bit more about the industry itself in order to help me understand his circumstances a little better, but I did enjoy the premise of the story.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems with this book for me. For one, the author had a tendency to describe every detail of what is happening in every scene — details that seem inconsequential to the scene and the story. I don’t need to hear every line of a telephone conversation unless it relates to the progression of the story. A book can get really bogged down by this sort of style, and I found myself skimming through sections because it was quite repetitive and mundane.
More importantly, 70% of the book was about Justin’s relationship with another man. I understand that Liam was damaged and only 18 (which made me wonder about the strong feelings they had for each other), but I don’t really like reading a story that is primarily about the couple you’re not really rooting for. I liked the character of Rich and thought he and Justin were good together, but I was not invested in him, so sex scenes were not hot, I didn’t feel the chemistry, and I became bored with their interaction. Once Justin and Liam finally got together, Liam was so damaged, it moved very slowly. I feel like the book should’ve started at that point and gone from there. It would’ve been so much easier to care about the characters.
Overall, I didn’t really love this book. There were some good ideas here and some good characters, but the focus was all wrong and, as a romance, it did not gel at all. If you’re feeling like you need a break from the traditional romance, you could give this a try. Otherwise, I can’t really recommend it.