Balancing Act is the fourth book in the Shooting Star series, and should be read following Hard Act to Follow, where the MCs from this story fall in love. To sum up: Greg Dwyer was married to Jasmine Li, sister of out gay actor/model Kyrie Li. They divorced years ago, but Kyrie harbored a serious crush on his brother-in-law, and Greg’s continued contact with Jas’ family allowed a friendship—and eventual love affair—to develop.
It’s been more than a year since Greg and Kyrie started dating, and they now live together in NYC. This all happens without Greg coming out as bisexual, if not gay. Kyrie hates being in Greg’s closet, but he’s accommodated because he truly loves Greg. Greg feels guilty that he’s not doing right by Kyrie, and he’s becoming increasingly nervous that Kyrie will find a more glamorous boyfriend who will love him openly. A spontaneous trip gives Greg the courage to come out at home.
Well, until Greg’s estranged mother shows up at his doorstep, literally penniless, and outspokenly bigoted. She’s not happy that Greg still keeps in contact with his ex’s brother—and was never happy with that match because both Jas and Kyrie are half-black, half-Asian. She’s a repugnant human, in truth, and all Kyrie’s hopes for domestic bliss seem to be shattered under Mama’s pedicured heel. So, Kyrie looks for consolation with his model friend, Anders—a beautiful androgynous gay man. And Greg’s a wreck.
Okay, so I kinda wanted to knock Greg in the teeth. He was a colossal jackass, in his treatment of Kyrie before his mother came to town, but especially afterward. Egads, man! Grow a pair! I wanted to say, but he’s just a non-confrontational guy in this book. Which was out of character from his previously more assertive incarnation in Hard Act to Follow. The hard part of writing those middle years books is that the bright spark of initial attraction often settles into the banked heat of a smoldering briquette. Kyrie and Greg still have the heat, but Greg’s unwillingness to lay any public claim undermines their intimacy and blunts the romance. His paranoia over accidentally outing himself is a painful and stressful experience for both himself and Kyrie. Kyrie is a sweet, loving man whose patience has been tested beyond mortal limits, but his love for Greg is rock solid. He sure has plenty of opportunity to seek out affection elsewhere, but won’t stray—even when it seems they’re truly over.
Their relationship is really on the brink, and there are some domestic issues that are incidentally problematic—but which lead to a thrilling reunion. Expect Greg to make the right steps at just the right time to save his lover and their relationship. Also, expect some smoking-hot sexytimes, and some ice-cold shoulders. I liked how they both resolved to be better partners, and their future seems even brighter for their renewed commitment.