…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.
Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.
… AND ROMANCE
Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.
With this author, what you see is never what you get. So ignore the silly pen name: T. Baggins’ writing should be taken very seriously. And despite this book’s title, the story has actually very little to do with that other book. If the title is in any way off putting to you, rest assured. In Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) you won’t find Red Rooms of Pain, lousy mommy porn and pom pom shaking inner goddesses that should have been killed with fire on the very first page.
Instead, you’ll join MC Andrew on his entertaining self-discovery journey from homophobic dude to popular gay escort. He’s one of those instantly likable guys. Amusingly awkward during his first gay-for-pay dates and charmingly cute in the explorations of his own sexuality. And as much as I dislike sugar-frosted Walt Disney tales, I just have this thing for gay for you (GFY) stories. GFY is not all there is to this book though. I found the story itself surprisingly touching. It has a depth that I hadn’t expected at all and deals with painful side-plots and dilemmas. When coming across side-characters that battle with cancer, I’m always a bit wary of them being used to lazily create emotional depth in a way that feels contrived. Such is not the case here. The author handles these tricky plotlines in, what seems to me, a honest and believable manner.
There are only a few things that I wish were done differently; for some reason, I’m not really keen on Baggins’ sex scenes. In Soulless (which appears to be written by a different author entirely BTW! These books are both great, but like night and day) I found them lacking and here, too, they were a bit lackluster. Other than that, I’d say that the pacing was a little off here and there (especially around the ‘breath play lecture’ I got momentarily bored) and the final pages could’ve been more swoon-worthy.
Some would say that Andrew’s transformation goes too fast to seem realistic. And yup, that Cormac guy does a few daredevil things that no closeted conservative politician would get away with unnoticed, but here’s what; I’m willing to suspend my disbelief as long as the writing is good and I get my fairy-like fix without too much cheese or melodrama. Thanks to Baggins’ steering away from the obvious clichés (like turning the gay-for-pay thing into a Pretty Woman script and making Andrew’s romance with the closeted politician into sappy a Cinderfella story), it was delivered with a cherry on top!
All in all, a damn satisfying book for such a silly cover and title! So if you have a weakness for GFY as well, know that you’re in for a treat (and a laugh and a tear) with Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay).