Bay Whitman lives a good life as a NY Times best selling author. His Jack Robbins series is a hit and the movie rights are secured. To the public, he is Jack Robbins: confident, brilliant, good looking, and always getting the girl. But inside, Bay is still the scared, bullied kid of his childhood. When he’s not making press appearances for his books, Bay lives an isolated life with his words and his characters for company. The one thing he allows himself is poker. The rush of gambling is it for him, but Bay’s life takes an unexpected turn when he wins an escort as part of the take.
Matthew “King” Slater has quite the following. He’s a popular gay porn star and then makes a good portion of his living as a highly paid escort. He sees men as pay checks and a way to fill the addiction he craves from being in their bed. But King feels alone also and it’s difficult for him to admit, even to himself, that he craves intimacy and a real connection.
When Bay meets King, it’s like Jack Robbins has come to life. But Bay has little experience with relationships and never even thought he might be attracted to men. King is the exception to every rule and their relationship is about to get complicated.
I enjoyed the author’s note at the beginning of this book regarding writing about issues of bullying and sex addiction, and was interested in the story of a lonely, successful author and an equally lonely porn star. While on paper it had potential, this book and characters never gelled with me. It was a fun set up as Bay “wins” King as part of his poker earnings, but the rest read as rather bland to me.
The entire book was slow for me. There were a lot of stereotypes as part of the story for both characters, but neither one of them rose to the level of intriguing me. I figured out what the end game of the book would be really early on and then it was just the matter of watching the men get there.
Both men had issues, with Bay being so insecure and King having to distance himself from emotional feelings because of his sexual addiction recovery. At one point, Bay researches sexual addiction and it read as just that—research. Many passages in the book were dry and text book like and it didn’t work to enhance the relationship.
There was a lot of push and pull between these guys as well. The attraction was written, but it was mostly on paper for me. Bay has no idea what he’s doing and is trying to come to terms with being attracted to a man and having that man be a porn star and an escort. King is also insecure when Bay isn’t immediately all over him as he’s used to and it all became tedious for me rather than intriguing to carry the story forward.
This book was an average read for me that leaned more toward the bland side and these characters did not capture my attention.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.