When Alec got a little traction modeling in New Zealand, he was offered a contract in New York. He’s now been there for a year and his life is the opposite of glamourous. He is living in an apartment with 10 guys and on a constant cycle of trying to get his next modeling job, as it’s a tough business to succeed in.
It’s also been a year since Alec has seen Hunter, the gorgeous photographer that he had an encounter with one night that turned embarrassing when Hunter ran. A year and an ocean between them hasn’t stopped Alec from thinking about Hunter, though, and now that Hunter is in New York, their chemistry is reignited. But Alec doesn’t want to be just another conquest to Hunter and he sets boundaries that have Hunter rethinking what he wants. As the men take more and more steps toward each other, Alec’s career is on the edge of a breakthrough. But the modeling industry can be ruthless and when Alec has a devastating experience that could cost him is career, as well as his self-confidence, the men fight back together as they continue to fall in love.
Strut follows Flare, the first book in the Style series. We did meet Alec and Hunter in that first book and I do prefer reading in order, but if you wanted to, you could start here. This story is about some of the darker sides to modeling as Alec and a crew of guys are trying to succeed. It’s not all glamour and style, as there are predators around every corner.
Alec has a great look and his career is starting to get traction. When he gets booked for a test session for a client that could make his career, he gets all the wrong vibes from the photographer and it escalates into a devastating event for Alec. Helping Alec through this is Hunter, the photographer he met back in New Zealand. Alec wants to be able to trust Hunter after their first encounter didn’t end the way Alec wanted. Hunter never thought he was much of a relationship type, but he doesn’t want anyone but Alec and their relationship starts to move quickly.
There is a lot to like with this book. I liked the main characters and the secondary characters and the glimpses of Rhys and Beck from the first book. I also liked how this showed the less glamorous side of modeling in all of its forms, from predatory agents and mounting debt for models, to predatory photographers and no protection for young models trying to make it.
I didn’t care as much for how the fallout of Alec’s situation was handled and the social media aspect felt recycled from real life. Also, while Alec had only been living in NYC for a year, and I gave him a lot of leeway for that, after living in certain neighborhoods for that length of time, his descriptions for certain names should not have been off. And, when Alec and Hunter were out on dates, their destinations read like a checklist of “sites to see in NYC.”
I did appreciate the behind the scenes look at the sometimes unfair world of the male modeling industry where things can go incredibly wrong. Hunter and Alec are a good addition to this ongoing series with more characters in the world of fashion to read about next.