You do what you have to do to survive. For eighteen-year-old Liam Newman that means living the life of a gay porn star, a job he loathes. He isn't a star. He's a prisoner and his warden is the man who saved him from the cold Vancouver streets.
Justin has been Liam's next-door neighbor for two years and has had a crush on him for just as long. Oblivious to Liam's porn career, he 's content to mind his own business about Liam's turbulent relationship until the truth stumbles drunk into his apartment one night and he realizes something must be done.
When Liam's boyfriend turned producer decides rent boys make more money than porn stars Liam's nightmare takes a horrible turn. Justin must find a way to rescue him before it's too late.
He hated Tuesdays. Hated them beyond mere loathing, but he didn’t have a word for what came after loathing. Despised seemed far too civilized.
Liam stood in the bedroom with his back to the mirrored closet doors so he wouldn’t have to look at himself and ignored the brush of heavy terrycloth against his skin. That robe represented everything he hated about his life. His stomach churned with resentment that made it tempting to lock himself in the bathroom. Too bad that wouldn’t do any good.
He heard the dreaded knock at the front door on the far side of the apartment and the knot in his stomach pulled tight. There had been a time when that sound had made him want to hurl chunks. He supposed the lack of terror was an improvement of sorts.
“You ready, Babe?” Cord called from the living room.
“Yeah,” he called back, “why the hell not,” he muttered to himself.
He padded out of the room struggling to feel something besides annoyance as Cord opened the front door to welcome the man he’d be sharing a bed with for the next eight hours. He was compact and bulky with short-cropped bottle-blonde hair, and a tan he obviously hadn’t gotten from the Vancouver sun.
Liam flopped into a chair near the kitchen and pretended to be engrossed in one of Cord’s trade magazines. He saw no reason to acknowledge the rented cock of the day until absolutely necessary. Instead, he flipped pages while Cord talked about positions and emotion in a lecture he didn’t need to hear. He’d been doing this twice a week every week for years. He knew the routine. It didn't matter that a hundred shoots a year wasn't the industry standard. It was Cord's standard.
He ignored Bulky Blonde as the actor stripped out of his clothes to give Cord a look at what he had to work with that afternoon. There was nothing new on that body. They all looked the same: tan, toned, and tattooed. He didn’t need to see it. He’d get a very good look over the course of the day.
He stifled a sigh he knew would sound petulant and turned another page without seeing anything on it. Cord hated it when he pouted. He could be angry and resentful as long as he did what he was told. Pouting would just get him a pep talk full of lies. Those weren’t new either.
He saw Bulky Blonde step to him out of the corner of his eye and pasted on his best smile before looking up to meet his gaze. Being difficult and aloof with the rented cocks only dragged out the torment. When they were tense, they did things wrong and the more they got wrong the more time he had to spend with them. He stood up and tossed the magazine in the chair before shaking Bulky Blonde’s hand.
“I’ve seen a few of your videos,” Bulky Blonde told him. “I like your work.”
He couldn’t say the same and he wasn’t in the mood to lie.
I was really into this story and finished it in one sitting. I loved Liam and Justin and really wanted them to find the whole hearts and flowers, sunshine and roses kind of happy ending. I guess that wouldn't have fit considering the circumstances of Liam's life though. While I did enjoy the story and seeing how it all took place there was just way too much of the other characters and not enough of Justin and Liam. I wanted to get to them, I wanted them to make it work. Yes eventually we kinda got there but not quite where I had hoped they would be.
Liam has had an aweful life. He was on the streets at barely sixteen and used by the man that took him off the streets as nothing more than a sex slave. Cord fed Liam lies that nothing is free including a bed to lie his head on at night. Liam felt he owed Cord and has basically lived a life of sexual servitude for over two years. Justin is Liam's friend that lives across the hall. It is safe to say that Justin has had a crush on Liam for quite some time, but because he was with Cord, Justin has never acted on it.
We get to see different sides of the characters and for a bit I was unsure exactly which way this book was headed. For awhile I thought Justin was just going to help Liam and I didn't think they were going to get a happy ending, at least not together. In the end we finally get to see Justin and Liam making progress as a couple and in their way they are happy.
Rating: 3.5 stars
DP Denman writes character-driven gay romance about survivors. Her stories are real and intense but always resolve in the type of ending that makes readers want to start the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city that is dear to her heart.
In her spare time she is a dedicated gay rights activist fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.