Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story
Austin is a dancer, teaching ballet to children during the day and dancing at a gay club called Man Up at night. He’s living in a small apartment and just making his rent and bills, but he’s doing it on his own and not living by his father’s rules. Life is a little lonely for Austin, though. He doesn’t believe in love, but he does want someone to hold him and treat him nicely, and not like a whore because he dances in a club.
Austin has an admirer. The mysterious man sits in the back and doesn’t say a word. He’s sent Austin gifts of silky jock straps and scented oils, and Austin can’t help himself from fantasizing about the stranger when he’s alone in bed at night. Austin thinks he’s doing ok, until a private a dance with the stranger, Rhoades, gets a little too intimate and he bolts. However, Rhoades is hot on his tail, and Austin has to choose between running away or letting him in.
Oh. My. Goodness!! Felice Stevens has always been a go to author for me. Her characters are beautifully written, have depth (faults and all), and they always work their way into my heart. Austin is no different. I fell instantly in love with Austin. I felt his pain and his angst, but I also felt his joy when he teaches the children to dance. I was captivated by him and instantly caught up in the story. Meanwhile, we don’t get much of a feeling about Rhoades, but what we do get is intriguing, and I absolutely cannot wait to find out more about him.
Another thing I love about Steven’s writing is the incredible detail she provides in her world building. She’s always been able to give me a full picture of the characters, the places they go, and the things they do, and she’s able to do it without overwhelming the reader with so many…words. I never feel bogged down, and she’s done it again with Austin. I can see what the characters look like, as well as the dance studio and the club. It’s in my brain playing like a movie.
There are a few background characters who make appearances here. Frankie is Austin’s BFF. He is also a teacher at the studio and dancer at the club, and he plays an important role in the story. There’s also Cort and Tristan (fellow dancers), James, the owner of the club, and Jose, the bartender. I’m sure Cort and Tristan will be having their stories told later in the series, and I can even see James getting one of his own as well. I guess we’ll have to trust Stevens and see what she has in store for us 🙂
Basically, Austin a sexy tease to prepare us for the next installment in the Man Up series. It will be called Rhoades–Undeniable, and I’m super excited about it. I am going to warn you, this story does end in a cliffhanger. However, I didn’t feel frustrated or scream at my Kindle. The ending came at the perfect time so as to not be a breakneck shock.
This is an incredible first story in a series, and I absolutely cannot wait to get to know Rhoades. I highly recommend this one.
This does sound appealing! Thanks for the review, Kenna.