Time to Comfort: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663475-love-me-louder?from_search=true

Blurb
Noah Dixon is damaged goods. After an accident leaves him physically scarred and emotionally vulnerable, dating isn’t in the cards, so he throws himself head-first into his retail job. When he’s obligated to attend his best friend’s engagement party on Fire Island, it dawns on him he’s about to spend yet another weekend feeling totally invisible and alone among a swarm of gorgeous men.

That’s when the idea of an escort comes in.

After Will Crossen was forced to put his theater major on hold in favor of two jobs to tackle his ailing mother’s hospital bills, he tells himself becoming an escort isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just another form of acting, right? He doesn’t expect his newest customer to be the cheery, overconfident sales associate he avoids like the plague at his day job. Talk about awkward.

But what happens on Fire Island stays on Fire Island…especially when a smoldering attraction sparks into flames. Will doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and for the first time, Noah realizes someone is seeing him behind all the scars. But between their jobs, Will’s massive familial responsibilities, and Noah’s vulnerabilities, they don’t stand a chance unless they find a way to let love speak louder than their demons.

Review
I enjoyed this story immensely!!

It had everything I want in a romance: emotional depth and a real connection between the MC’s, great chemistry and a lovely slow-burn hurt/comfort theme.
Throw in the excitement and angst that comes with falling for a fake boyfriend and I knew I was in for an allnighter because no way was I putting this book down!

Noah feels inadequate and has a very low self-image, especially with regards to his appearance. Initially, this skews his view on the world, read Will, and he has a difficult time accepting that Will might be genuinely attracted to him.

Will takes care of his mother and works two jobs to make ends meet, giving up his dream of a career in the theatre. I love his sense of responsibility and family.

Noah and Will dance around each other and their true feelings for quite some time, afraid to give too much away and get hurt, hesitant to believe that what they share between them could be real.

I love how the fake boyfriend trope was written here, with the closed-off colleague turning out to be an escort! The author didn’t take the easy way out by turning the route of insta-lust, but slowly let the feelings build, raising the emotional stakes bit by bit.

We get to reconnect with some of my all-time favorite characters as well, which was a delightful surprise!
Tate & Sebastian are such an adorable couple and I loved that Tate’s alter ego, Frieda Love, was the one to give Noah and Will that final little nudge to help them confess their true feelings to one another!

As is the case in all her books, Christina Lee surrounds her MC’s with engaging, three-dimensional secondary characters, be they family, friends or co-workers, drawing us into the wonderful fictional world she created. If only there was a portal the reader could step through to make their acquaintance!

I loved the title of this book so much!! Its message is incredibly apt and feels so true to these two amazing characters.
The extraordinary Frieda Love sums it up marvelously:

“Sometimes people need you to love them a little louder!”

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Review copy provided by Author

 

 

Coming Soon!: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-a-jack-to-a-king-by-scotty-cade-9718-

Blurb
New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play

Review by Mary
I do like Scotty Cade. There is a gentleness to his work that makes it a pleasure to read. This story is about two men with similar childhood experiences that continue affect them in very different ways. Bay became an introvert who pulls on the invisible armour of his fictional character whenever he goes out. King developed an addiction to sex and ultimately found work as a porn star and high end escort. Their meeting was skilfully created, especially Bay’s reaction to meeting King and King’s reaction to how Bay behaves. There is a rocky start but Bay’s sincerity is not something King had previously encountered. Together they grow and change and over the course of the story find strength in each other they didn’t know they were missing. Initially I wondered if it was going to be a Gay for you scenario but realised that’s an outdated way to think. It’s more natural for characters to embrace their bisexuality or pansexuality when faced with an unexpected attraction to someone. I appreciated the depth of detail in this story. It’s all to easy to gloss over important issues. Their childhood history shows how events can trigger ultimately harmful coping mechanisms. I especially appreciated understanding more about sexual addiction. I would recommend this story if you are looking for a different romance with no angst just two people getting through the best they can and ultimately winning.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Dee

This is my first book by the author and I quite enjoyed it. A porn star with a sex addiction and a shy, retiring writer could not be more opposite, but the story works.

Bay, the writer, lives almost like a hermit. When he has to promote his book, he channels the persona of his most popular book character – Jack Robbins. The only other time Bay willingly goes anywhere is to gamble, even then he’s more or less in character.

King is more outgoing and works as both a porn star and an escort. Funnily enough the professions help him mange his sex addiction, in a way.

When Bay first meets King, it’s not under the best of circumstances and both have preconceived ideas about each other – King thinks Bay may be in denial/the closet; Bay thinks King is only interested because he’s being paid.

Both men meet again and, after few misunderstandings are cleared up, they begin a tentative friendship that slowly becomes more. They address King’s addiction; Bay tries to be more outgoing. Together they become each other’s rock.

 

I liked how Mr. Cade touched on sex addiction – not in depth, but not glossed over either. It allows readers to research more if they are so inclined.

A nice story with a good HEA.

 

3.75 stars out of 5

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review