After eight years with the Marines in Afghanistan, Eli is back state side. With all of his paychecks having been deposited into his bank account, his plan is to slowly acclimate back into civilian life. However, when he checks his account he finds the money is gone and he is left with nothing. With barely enough money for a cheap motel, Eli is constantly looking for a job with no prospects in sight.
A chance meeting with businessman Royce leads to a proposition. Royce operates a gay military porn site and wants to recruit Eli. It’s not an issue for Royce that Eli is not gay, but Eli certainly has many issues with the offer. As the weeks pass with no other options, Eli accepts the offer from Royce and life as Eli knew it is forever altered.
Hamish was once the newbie. After three years as a performer on the site, Hamish takes an interest in Eli and teaches him the business. The two bond as friends easily, which then explodes on camera during their first scene together. Hamish always identified with being straight, but after years in the industry now identifies as bisexual, although he has never been with a man off set. Eli and Hamish’s mutual attraction has them exploring a relationship until a stalker, in love with Hamish, demands that the scenes with the men stop or there will be consequences to face.
First and foremost, this is a book about porn. Hot, erotic, well written, and visual, porn. Now that we have that out the way, we can move on. But, it really will just come back to the fact that this book is porn for the mind.
Added in we have our two main men, Eli and Hamish. We get a bit of back story that led both men to the financial strain they found themselves in. Even though Eli was out of the country in the military, he did mention time off where he could have perhaps checked his bank account even once in eight years. Eli at first is pretty freaked out over the concept of being with a man, but Royce takes care of the guys well, and Hamish offers him support and someone to talk to. Once Eli makes up his mind, he progresses pretty quickly to being with men if a salary is attached to it. For a confirmed straight man, it is a fairly quick shift, but it works within the confines of the story.
The relationship with Hamish really works well also. There is a connection between the two men right away and Hamish is really open to just finding a special person he wants to share his life with regardless of what sex they are. And, Hamish also is not running away from his attraction to Eli. There is the expected back and forth with Eli coming to terms with having an ongoing relationship with a man, but that is to be expected, and it is not drawn out excessively. There is not a lot of traditional romance here if that is what you may be looking for as the nature of their jobs puts them in close intimate contact quickly. And, yep, there is a lot of focus on all of those porn scenes. Eli is doing at least two scenes a day for several weeks at one point, which maybe is excessive. I would need to consult a professional for an answer on that one.
When I first read the synopsis of this story and read about the stalker plot line, I hesitated to read it. I have not had the best experiences reading books in this genre with stalkers. At some point, the stalker story line always goes off the rails. At first, the stalker here adds to the story in the sense that it brings the men closer and I thought the stalker curse was finally broken. I was totally immersed in Eli and Hamish’s world and their relationship and was just really enjoying the story. The guys are laying low, looking out for each other, and although the situation is dangerous and there is tension between them, they remain in good spirits and throw out a few comical one liners in the midst of it all (with the exception of the religious joke-just not my type of humor). Then, it happened. The stalker derailed what had been a hot, erotic story with two interesting men. The reveal of the stalker is anti-climatic. During the course of the story, Eli and Hamish discuss their military experiences and defensive skills, so then the believability factor of how it all plays out gets pushed a bit. I then see that the book is almost finished and silently curse because there is no way the stalker story line and their relationship can be wrapped up in the amount of time that is left. And, then the ending is rushed. Eli and Hamish are the main focus and then the story gives itself over to the stalker getting the finale. This story was completely enjoyable just about all the way through and the ending left me extremely frustrated.
Clearly, I would have enjoyed a different ending. I would still recommend the story as the entire way through it was a hot hot ride with two interesting men and lots of porn.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.