Rating: 4.25 stars
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Dixon and Niko are new co-workers in porn. Dix has a reputation as an aloof top, and his boss wants to soften his edges to make him more interesting to their subscribers. He’s been working for Elite 8 for many years and his luster has waned recently. Dix’s also pretty bummed that his latest girlfriend broke things off; he truly doesn’t want to be alone, and has always imagined settling down with a nice girl. He’s certainly not interested in the new guy on the scene–even if his boss wants Dix and Niko to star in a series of boyfriend-y shoots.
Niko is new to the porn scene, and Elite 8 Studios snapped him up. He’s a beautiful man who’s helping out his older sister with childcare, as her hubby is deployed. Everyone loves Niko, except Dix, and no one really knows why he’s so averse to Niko. At first, Niko is determined to get Dix to like him, but as their scenes get more and more intense, he’s not so sure he likes how completely Dix steals his mind and breath away. Dix is professional, but not personal–until he starts missing Niko’s sweet teasing.
This is a tender romance between Niko and Dixon. Dix is a bisexual man with a complex about his own bisexuality. He’s tired of being told he’s too grumpy, and wishes someone could love his curmudgeonly self, as-is. He never expected that Niko, who could be Apollo for all the sunshine he exudes, would have the exact temperament necessary to withstand Dix’s coolness. Dix considers himself to be socially lacking and Niko’s love for him as he is helps him see that his connections with people aren’t as sterile as he’d imagined. I, too, loved me this reserved and routine-oriented “grumpy” bear.
Niko is a delight, and his sweetness is a great foil to Dixon’s gruff exterior. For their professional experiences, it wasn’t a lot of page time, and the writing was always centered on the emotional aspect of the experience. A love story between porn actors leaves issues of “monogamy” in a gray area that I think was handled realistically. It’s a very sex-positive book.
This is the beginning of a series, and it was nice to get to know some of the characters we will see in future stories in a way that helps further reveal the softer sides of both Dix and Niko to both the reader and each other. Expect a colorful collection of gay porn actors, who are interesting and funny in a way that felt like I was invited into their inner circle.
One note, some readers might catch a bit of British English diction and slang; it pulled me out of the story a time or two, since the story is set in Las Vegas with (mostly) American characters. Niko’s big Greek family was loving and awesome. I adored how they melted Dixon completely. I’m looking forward to further books in this series.