1.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book class difference coming of age Contemporary Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers High but not hopeless Humor m/m Misunderstanding Morgan NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Rent Boy Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat

Hotline by Quinn Anderson

Riptide Presents Tomorrow!


Zack never intended to become a phone sex operator, but with half a college degree and a smart mouth, his options were limited. He thought to himself, thousands of people ring into Babestation each day, why don’t they ring me too. It helps that he has a knack for thinking on his feet and a willingness to roll with whatever his clients throw at him. Sure, he gets his fair share of creeps and unconventional requests. He works for a Fetish and domination phone sex line after all, but it pays the bills, and he’s in no danger of breaking his one rule: never fall for a client.

Until a man named “John” starts calling, and Zack finds himself interested in more than a paycheck. It’s not just that John has money, or that his rumbling baritone drives Zack wild. He’s everything Zack isn’t: educated, poised, and in total control of his life.

A twist of fate brings them face-to-face, and now that they’ve seen each other-and spent an unforgettable night together-they can’t go back to the way things were. A sex worker and a trust fund brat . . . It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but with less stabbing and slightly fewer dick jokes. Hopefully they can pull off a more successful ending.


(Spoilers included, sorry – but fair warning. I don’t recommend this and I need to explain why – thus, spoilers.)

Let me start out by saying I hate writing negative reviews. Hate it. I think authors are amazing people who put their souls on the line each time they publish. So, in general I try to request books to review that have a likely chance I’ll enjoy them so I can write a good review. I read plenty of “not great books” but I don’t spend a lot of time reviewing them because that’s just not my thing. However, I requested this and spent the time reading it and I think I need to be honest. Therefore…

Based on the blurb I was expecting something like a rent-boy/cinderfella story. Some rich guy (bored) ends up on a phone sex line with a desperate (but good hearted) phone sex operator – and then the two fall in love. With some comedy. It says it’s like Romeo and Juliet without the stabbing – suggesting the families know one another? So, maybe some hidden pasts, too? Anyhow, that’s what I was expecting.


I was wrong.

First, there is no hidden family connection that I found. So, I really didn’t see the Romeo and Juliet comparison.

Two, John is pretty much the bored rich guy and does sort of match up to that image, but Zack isn’t exactly the desperate but great-hearted rent boy. He’s confused, stubborn, and kinda lazy. (You’ll see what I mean.) They do come from different walks in life, but Zack is there by choice, not because he has no where to turn.

Three, at no point in this scenario did I expect for John to STALK his newfound love (even Zack’s friend is telling Zack – Dude, he just stalked you – that’s scary!). I never expected for John to CHEAT on Zack. And I also never expected Zack to PUNCH John. I know the author treated all of these as sort of light hearted, more comedically over the top actions rather than give them the rightful social weight they deserve, but it was incredibly uncomfortable and if I hadn’t already not liked this story, these actions would have pushed me over the top.

Four, there is a lot of sex and the book is long so that means A LOT – which is ok. The author uses this as a tool for our MCs to get to know one another, but that is the ONLY way they relate to each other. When they meet in real life, it’s more sex and then “I love you”. I NEVER saw a real connection between these guys. They have some MAJOR hurdles to overcome – both with their own life differences and the fact that neither is in a good place on their own so neither is in a good place to “be there” for the other one. They are both still pretty “broken” in my opinion. No magic sex button to fix that.

Five, I didn’t like Zack’s entire treatment of his job. On the one hand I really appreciated it when he was defending sex work as an authentic employment that offered a service people needed. But, in reality, as his boss tells him, he doesn’t really feel that way. He feels “above” his callers and thus wasn’t great at his job. So it’s kind of a slap in the face. He didn’t know what else to do, but justified his employment to his friends as a needed service, but that’s never how it felt. It always felt a bit “dirty” – like he didn’t want to be doing it – so I never quite reconciled his and John’s relationship via that meeting – without making John “dirty” by direct contact.

So- while I thought the writing was good and found some humor here and there and really loved some of the secondary characters, I couldn’t help but be a little offended by some of the actions in this book pawned off as casual comedy nor did I feel a great connection between the two MCs that would last more than a short period of time.

I can’t recommend this and give it 1.5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.