Review: First by K.C. Wells

FirstRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

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.

challenge monthFirst 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.

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  1. I haven’t read anything by K.C. Wells, but First sounds like a really good starting point (no pun intended). As you describe it, both main characters seem likeable and you do not mention any big drama, so maybe there is only little anguish in it. I think it could easily become a comfort read, couldn’t it, Michelle? It seems to me that this is the sort of book you can enjoy more than once.
    Thank you for a great review 🙂

    • You should definitely try something by K.C. and First would be a great place to start. There is minimal angst and, yes, two likable characters both in need of comfort at different places in life. Thanks, Susana. 

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review!  First sounds like a book I would really enjoy.  I have others by K.C. Wells but not this one.  Going to go add it to my TBR list now.

  3. Great! If you already know you like her work definitely check it out. Thanks Jen. 

  4. This does sound pretty irresistible (and it would be a nice change of pace to try something less angsty than the admittedly compelling Collars and Cuffs series).

  5. It definitely does sound interesting. I like the dichotomy between porn star & virgin MC.  I’ve added to my wishlist, thanks for your review!

  6. I put this on my list a few days ago because it sounded so good. After reading the review it also kinda has me curious about what goes on behind the scenes of a porn shoot.  Thanks!  🙂

  7. The premise of this book makes it quite appealing to me — the young-ish innocent and the older man with his issues and history. I’ll be on the lookout for this. Thanks for the review.

  8. Thanks for the great review! This is going on my list. It sounds great.

  9. This book sounds like I should’ve started reading it yesterday! (LOL) The virgin hero trope is one of my faves and, from what I gleaned in your review, the story is one I’m going to enjoy.

    Funnily enough, I sorta recognized the author’s name. A few minutes later, I realized that this author wrote the Collars and Cuffs series. Two seconds later, I bought this book. My wallet might be side-eyeing me, but I don’t care much since this is a book I’m looking forward to reading (hopefully in the near future). 🙂

  10. waxapplelover says:

    I love the way this book sounds just from the blurb, but the review really makes me even more excited about it. 🙂 Thanks for the great review. 

  11. I’ve been eyeing this book since it’s release date a couple days ago. Thank you for the review, it really sounds like a book I’ll love.

  12. Virgin heroes aren’t my thing, or at least I don’t get excited to read a book with them, though I don’t turn them down if that seems to be the focus. I like that this has the age difference, and it’s always wonderful to hear about a satisfying romantic ending. Thanks for the review, Michelle!

    • It’s not something I often seek out either, but that’s what is great about reviewing, there is a lot of variety available. Thanks, Carolyn.

  13. Thanks for the review, it i nice to read a bit more about the book i had my eye on it but wasn’t completly sure that i wanted to read it, so your review really helped 🙂 I put it on my TBR/Buy list .

  14. Denise Dechene says:

    I have been waiting for this book to be released. I know KC talked to Dirk Caber and got the research behind the porn industry. It’s fascinating to me how porn is a job to some people. It just goes to show how different everyone is What works with one person may not work for another. I know some people find it hard to believe that porn is just a job. I never really thought much about it until meeting Dirk and Jesse. You only have to be in their presence for a few minutes to see how much they love each other and connect. Talking to both of them about the porn industry was eye opening.
    Just a note here to say I think what has happened to KC Wells on Facebook is wrong. That picture of Dirk is gorgeous and in no way considered nudity. I see worse going by construction sites or the beach. Thanks for the review. On the wish list

    • I was aware of the research behind the book as well. The Amazon link was what had been reported on FB. Thanks for your comment and I’m sure K.C. appreciates the support. 

  15. I haven’t read any KC yet but I might have to pick this one up. Anything with the gorgeous Dirk Caber on the cover has to be hot. Thanks for the review!

  16. I adores this odd couple romance. It could have been too harsh, especially with the porn star angle, but it ended up just excellent. I loved Tommy and Mike tons, and, honestly, I want to see what happens with Ben and Mike’s fellow bartenders! They were a hoot!

  17. I love the premise of this book from how you describe it, Michelle. I love virgins characters and add to that the age difference, even the porn industry back ground can be hot when dealt with carefully (though at times I have a difficult time letting go of the much harsher and at times brutal real life picture I think this business hides, not to mention the risks the people involved take on a regular basis). I’ve only read a little by Wells as an author before (An unlocked heart) but stopped reading half way through because it didn’t sit right with me, at least not at the time. Maybe I should give this author a second chance?!

  18. I like reading stories with virgin heroes and a well written age difference can be a great plot device. As someone that comes from a religious background I enjoy stories where the hero overcomes those old notions that can hold them back. I’ve read a book by this author before that wasn’t quite my cup of tea but I’m open to having another go!

  19. Thanks for the review! And wish me luck! =) I’m currently reading this book, my first by K.C. and so far I’m loving it! It’s true, knowing what really happens behind the scenes is really interesting; how hot guys look together while the cameras are on but in reality it’s just a job for them. I also had to google Dirk Caber and his boyfriend, I didn’t know them and I’m surprised about their relationship because of the sort of work they do. But hey, there’s always something new to learn. 😉

    • I have been lucky enough to meet both Dirk and Jesse in person and they are as lovely as can be and so incredibly sweet together. You can just feel how much in love they are and they are both incredibly kind and gracious guys.

  20. This sounds pretty great! KC Wells isn’t my favorite author out there, but is always a solid read, and the story sounds hard to resist. I’m definitely at least reading a sample of this one.

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