Living on a farm in a small Georgia town did not allow Tommy to explore his feelings toward men. His church and his religious parents always said it was a sin and Tommy has led a sheltered life. That all changes when he goes to college and city life leaves him feeling way out of his element. Exploring the night life leaves him uncomfortable and he ventures forth to a smaller sports bar. There he sees the bartender, Mike.
Mike notices the quiet young man right away, but Mike’s life is more complicated as he is a well known name in the porn industry. He loves his job, but twenty years in front of the camera has him reassessing his career. Mike has had relationships, but his career keeps getting in the way. It takes a while, but Mike and Tommy become friends and then Tommy has a great idea and asks Mike to be his first. Navigating their growing feelings, the men have to deal with the fallout from Tommy’s family and Mike keeping his day job under wraps. Mike is scared of losing Tommy once Tommy finds out the truth about his career, but secrets always find a way to surface.
If quiet, well-mannered virgin heroes are on your favorites list, you will definitely want to meet Tommy.
First is a book that combines three areas of a story into one. There is Tommy, who is finding his way in the city after living a sheltered life with conservative, religious parents. There is Mike’s story of working in the porn industry and how the industry is changing, which means it’s time to make changes to his life as well. And then there is the relationship between the two men as they come together and fall in love.
Tommy no longer wants to hide and gets braver and stronger with each new step he takes. He sits at the bar looking at Mike for months, drinking Cherry Coke, before the men even speak to each other, but the attraction is clear on both sides. Mike is over 20 years older than Tommy and while the age difference is not a focal point, the life experiences of a well-known porn star versus the life of a shy, quiet virgin are drastically different.
Tommy is not the type of guy Mike usually falls for and he’s hesitant about taking a chance with Tommy, especially after Tommy’s proposition. Wells handles Tommy’s first time with a combination of tenderness, apprehension, awe, and heat. Mike also realizes he’s been lonely too long and sometimes the simple things like sipping hot chocolate on a rainy day and playing Scrabble are important to life as well.
The porn industry plays an important role here and Mike is shown behind the scenes on shoots. Wells offers an authentic and well researched look at what goes on behind the cameras and shows how it’s really just a job for Mike, although with its own set of unique issues. While some of the side stories involving Mike’s co-stars furthered the story and offered insight into the business as a whole, some of the stories added on more names of off page characters that didn’t do much to further the story for me and ultimately took time away from the Mike and Tommy storyline.
Tommy offers Mike everything and Mike becomes Tommy’s first in so many aspects of his life. Mike keeps his secrets out of fear of losing Tommy, but tries hard to make it right. There are also secondary characters that help move the story forward and give Tommy one place he can go to without fear of judgment.
For those who love a sweeping romantic gesture, the ending is a romance reader’s dream that is sweet, sweet, and sweet. A recommended read of two truly opposite characters who find love in the city despite the odds.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Favorites List Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of books and swag from Samhain Publishing, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Favorites List Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.