5 Stars for Hiding Out (Checking Him Out #3) by Debbie McGowan #MM @writerdebmcg @b10track


Title: Hiding Out (Checking Him Out #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Debbie McGowan (Beaten Track)
Publication Date & Length: March 18 2015 – 85pgs


If any adult was going to get the chicken pox, it would be Sean Tierney. That alone would be bad enough, but his illness means friend and colleague, Josh Sandison-Morley, has to step in and face his fears: guest-speaking at a university in Norwich. As Josh gathers his husband and his foster daughter for the trip, he is unaware that their world is about to collide with that of another makeshift family: Noah and Matty’s.

Matty is agonising over his impending dance show. Sure, talent scouts will be in the audience, but there’s an even bigger problem. Noah—Matty’s on-again, off-again boyfriend—has promised to be there too. And Matty’s dance? It has a secret meaning he’s not sure he’s ready to reveal to Noah.

Can Josh and Matty face their fears and perform for their respective crowds? More importantly, will the Sandison-Morleys’ influence be enough to get the young men to express their feelings to each other before it’s too late?

* * * * *

This novella continues the stories of Josh and George from the Hiding Behind the Couch Series and Matty and Noah from the Checking Him Out Series.

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This is a short, sweet crossover story between the Hiding Behind the Couch series and the Checking Him Out series. It’s not necessary to have read any stories in either world, though it does help provide some character context. There’s enough information provided to enjoy the story without it.

There are two converging storylines: One about Josh and his family and one about Matty and Noah. Crossovers are tricky and can end up feeling forced or cliched, but there was none of that here. The interactions are relatively brief and have only minor impact in either world–a lot like real life.

As much as I enjoyed meeting Matty and Noah (I haven’t read the other books with them), Josh is just about my favorite character in any series ever, and I could read about him forever. It’s his insights which are the backbone of any story in which he appears. His interactions with the other characters are odd, charming, and perceptive, and I enjoy seeing the world through his eyes.

What I find so delightful about the Hiding Behind the Couch series is that it feels very much like a book version of a favorite television serial. Every time I pick one up, it’s like tuning in to see what happens next. I love Ms. McGowan’s smart, classy style and the way so much of the story emphasizes the psychology of the characters. Even in such a short story, all the strong personalities are evident.

Another well-written, enjoyable tale.



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Author, publisher, social scientist. My academic specialism is gender and sexual politics and identity, so you can expect this to crop up now and then in my writing too! Not in an “in your face” kind of way – subtlety wins hearts and minds.

I live in Lancashire, UK, with family and rescued dogs. It’s green and pleasant, and we get long, long, lovely perfumed days in late spring / early summer. My favourite place in the world is Watergate Bay, Cornwall, but I haven’t travelled much. The most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced is the call to prayer at 11 p.m. on a terrace in Istanbul. Goosebumps+ and I’m an atheist!

I write character-based/driven fiction – mostly general/contemporary, some (M/M & F/M) romance and a bit of sci-fi fantasy (light). Basically, I write about life. I’ve written a few stand alone novels and short stories, but my main work is the Hiding Behind The Couch series, which these days I’m referring to as a literary soap opera. Each novel/novella concludes, but there are always a few loose ends to be picked up and threaded on to the next instalment. There are longer threads and shorter threads.

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