4.5 stars Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract Virgin

Not Just Passing Through by Jamie Dean

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents



Socially awkward, closeted virgin Avery Malcolm passes his days and nights running his bigoted aunt’s motel in rural New Mexico. He dreams of getting away and hitting the road, but with one friend, a few acquaintances, and no real life to speak of outside his duties as front desk clerk, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get a chance.

Fate sends hot drifter Chase Lancaster to the Red Ram Motel, riding in on his sexy black motorcycle. Within twenty-four hours, Avery’s life is turned upside down. Before long, even though Chase’s sexual interests seem to run exclusively toward women in bars, Avery finds himself falling for the beautiful biker with no permanent address. Chase is much more than his bad boy persona, so while it’s nice to have another friend, Avery doesn’t know how he’ll survive with his heart intact when Chase inevitably moves on.


As the blurb tells us, Avery is a virginal “inn keeper” in New Mexico, running his aunts hotel for her as he saves up money so he can live his own life one day as he wishes. He’s at the hotel 24-7, so his vow of celibacy is fairly easy to keep. He doesn’t like to be touched, doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything by being celibate, but can’t deny his instant attraction to the drifter – Chase – when he meets him.

Chase left home a few years ago to live his life away from his bigoted and controlling uncle. He’s fairly aimless in life, but he knows how to enjoy the moment. When he meets Avery the two strike up an unusual friendship that gradually becomes the most important relationship in both their lives.


I don’t want to give away too much of the story by delving in to the plot points so I’ll just say that there’s a lovely HEA and we learn more about Avery and Chase and they learn some stuff about themselves, as well.

Jamie Dean is a “new to me” writer and I’m really impressed. It’s hard to write a gritty story with imperfect characters and yet give us a satisfyingly romantic happy ending – but he does it!

Neither Chase nor Avery are what you’d call “perfect heroes” – neither is particularly driven, Chase is very self-centered, Avery is a bit of wimp –but the two together just fit so well together.

I loved that nobody gets “fixed” in this short story and though our guys end up together and quite happy – it’s not an ending I would have predicted.

My only confusion in the story surrounds Chase’s sister, Frankie. I wasn’t sure what her role was unless it was just to give Chase something to go after… it seemed like she got developed but never went anywhere with her story.

I really enjoyed this and will definitely be looking for more from this author in the future.

4.5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small


Copy Generously Provided by Publisher 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.