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When his whirlwind life in LA became too much, Liam Barton escaped to Solitude, a Utah ski resort. Not only did Liam leave his career as a gay porn star, he said good-bye to Gael Torres, his costar at Woodspring Manor Entertainment.
Rumors run rampant that Liam is dead. But Gael doesn’t believe the gossip. Knowing something is wrong with Liam, Gael hunts him down to get his answers.
Liam is shocked when Gael turns up in Solitude and takes up residence. To Liam’s chagrin, Gael is determined to stick around to help Liam through whatever spooked him enough to run away. As Gael breaks through Liam’s armor, both men begin to realize that no matter what life throws their way, they don’t have to deal with it alone.
I admit that I approached this with slight hesitation due to my perception when it comes to stories involving porn stars or rent boys. I imagined tons of sex and over-dramatic angst. Not a huge fan of those. Only because a friend who had read this prior to me gave her thumbs up and I trusted her (she is kind of picky too *lol*) did I decide to give it a go.
And I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
First, a little writing ‘technicality’ because it did throw me a bit when I first started – the story was written from both Gael’s and Liam’s POV’s. But the Liam chapters started in the present time, when he already came to Solitude. While Gael’s chapters started in the past, when he first met Liam on the porn set, and realized that he was attracted to the younger guy. They merged halfway though, when Gael finally came to Solitude.
I thought the strength of this story was that it seemed the authors really did their research about the porn industry. ThoughI would not be able to know how authentic it truly was, the way that these porn stars were presented seemed to be very natural. For example, I thought the part where Gael and his best friend John had a ‘pretend relationship’ as the poster-couple for the porn industry was eye-opening. Never thought that such campaigning was needed to elevate the support from within the industry
Yes, there were quite a lot of sex, but it was a ‘different’ kind – it described the way these actors came to their roles when they had to do sex in front of camera and numbers of people, the kind of emotional detachment of doing so, but at the same time the chemistry that might happen when you were doing it with your best friends or when you were attracted to your on-screen partner.
It also felt different for me because the story did not sugarcoat the romance for the sake of an ‘ideal relationship’ where you would only have sex with your partner. Gael and Liam are porn stars and they have to do sex with other people for their job. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean they can’t be faithful to only each other when it comes to emotional feelings. So yes, it was truly refreshing for me to read.
I won’t not go deep into how Gael and Liam found their way into their love – I find it difficult to explain it with words. I would say that it was quite captivating to read because Liam had issues. But Gael was such a solid person and he was wonderful for Liam.
I did have a slight problem with how they both seemed to be indifferent about the possibility of catching HIV though. While I know that HIV is not AIDS and people who are HIV+ could live a long time with proper medication, Liam and Gael’s actions (well, especially Gael) were a bit too blasé about it for me.
In conclusion, this was a very well-written, very engaging, DIFFERENT kind of romance involving porn stars and rent boys. I would love to read more about these characters – there are at least two more couples whose love-story would be very good to be written *wink wink nudge nudge*