Author Name & Publisher: K.C. Wells (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 21, 2015 – 272 pgs
It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.
Growing up in a small town in Georgia, hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets to sample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.
All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.
When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.
And then a beautiful young man asks Mike to be his first….
I absolutely loved this book. Tommy was sweet and Mike was much older, but their relation worked. It was great to see how the author brought them together. I had a connection with both of them almost immediately. I really fell in love with both of them.
Mike’s friends were absolutely hilarious. The author was able to show how someone who was disowned by their family was able to raise above everything and still be able to find love and a new family.
This is such a wonderful story. I absolutely loved Tommy and Mike and I found myself completley engrossed in their unlikely romance.
Tommy’s Bible-belt small town upbringing is uncomfortably familiar to me. We don’t see much of his family but the author perfectly captures the hate-soaked Christian love small towns do so well.
If Tommy’s family made me itch, his innocent trust was less believable. How does a student with a 4.0 GPA not predict his parents’ reactions to his sexuality? Somehow, Wells has written his character so well that I didn’t just believe him, I completely fell in love with his sweet naievety. I loved his religious hangover – even in a gay bar, Tommy is teetotal, modest and polite.
Tommy’s surrogate family is fantastic. Quirky, flawed and very special, I was wary of Ben’s affluent parents at first, but they are wonderful supporting characters.
Mike is a more difficult character. An aging porn star seems an unlikely partner for the sheltered farm boy, but this relationship is a first for both men. Mike has to detach emotionally when he does porn, but after meeting Tommy, he is challenged to care, to open up and to be vulnerable. I loved the way Wells writes about his porn career. She refrains from judgement while highlighting the precarious nature of Mike’s work.
The age gap between the two men was the only thing I found difficult. I always wonder about the long-term prospects of such couples, but ultimately, Mike and Tommy are beautiful together. I love the title for the story and I enjoyed the many firsts both men experience. This is a wonderfully complex, nuanced romance.
Tommy is an innocent. There is just no other way to describe him. On his first venture out of the grips of his family, he comes to the realization that he’s gay. Now, since he was brought up in a very small, very religious city, he is terrified of what that means for him. In Tommy’s mind, sex, sexuality, relationships, those are things that are just not really discussed. He was brought up to believe that those things were private – perhaps that nobody spoke about them because they were considered bad. It is an emotional journey for Tommy and one that he goes in to with some unrealistic expectations. However, what he gains through his experiences far outweighs his unfortunate experiences too.
Then you have Mike. He is a tough, older man who has lived his life the way he has wanted for the most part. Still fresh from his heartbreak, Mike keeps plugging away. Working as a porn star and in the bar he loves. The connection that Mike shares with his bartender friends is one of true friendship. I thought that the relationship that he had with some of his co-stars was also very genuine.
The tenderness of this story was so touching. It makes me want everyone’s first to be as gentle, loving and tender as Tommy’s was. Not only was Mike thoughtful, but he was patient, kind and despite his own reservations of being Tommy’s first, he came through with spectacular results.
As Tommy and Mike grow closer, I was blown away at how their connection not only grew stronger personally, but their chemistry changed too. They had hot sex together, but they also were able to come up with different ways to be close, even when they were apart.
The secrets were what blew them away. Relationships take work and especially with someone who is such a novice when it comes to those relationship dynamics. I totally can understand why Tommy was so upset, but I had a difficult time with his view point that porn was morally wrong. I think that it goes along the same lines of thinking that were instilled in his by his religious family. So, for me, that was slightly hypocritical. He can be upset and not want his boyfriend to act in those movies, but feeling that it was morally wrong just didn’t quite make it believable for me.
I also had an issue with the fact that Tommy totally lied about his age and while that’s not of the same caliber as Mike not disclosing his career, it was still a lie of omission and one that was just glossed over.
Tommy’s best friend is Ben and he’s a hoot. I truly hope that he gets a story for himself too, because that would be hilarious to read and a good story too. I loved Ben’s family as well. They were accepting, protective and a good sounding board for Tommy.
This was a very touching story, with great characters and an even more wonderful conclusion.
“I see your stalker’s here again.”
“Huh?” Mike frowned. “What are you talking about now, Kev?” He concentrated on the drink order for Dave and his friends over in the corner.
Kevin grinned and flicked his head toward the rear of the bar. “You know exactly who I’m talking ’bout. Mr. Cutie Pie over there with the muscles. Y’know, the one who’s been sitting on that barstool every Saturday night for the last five weeks?” He arched his eyebrows. “Don’t give me that ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ act. I seen you looking.” His grin widened. “G’on, tell me I’m wrong.”
Mike wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction. “You’re wrong,” he stated emphatically.
Kevin stared. “Hell, you’re a poor liar.” Then his eyes gleamed. “In that case, you can take him his burger, tater tots, and Cherry Coke. Maybe you could even get him to say a few words beyond ‘Hey.’ ’Cause I swear that’s all I’ve ever heard out of that pretty little mouth of his.”
Mike snickered. “I think if I spoke to him, he’d piss his pants.”
Kevin guffawed and went off to the back of the bar. Inside Mike was cursing himself. He’d been careful not to glance too openly at the guy. Those queens he worked with were too damn good at spotting when one of them was taking an interest in a customer. And fuck it, he was interested in the painfully shy but so sexy young man who hadn’t said a word.
“And then there’s the fact that every time he comes in here,” Kevin continued, appearing beside him as if there hadn’t been a break in conversation, “I watch him look ’round the bar ’til he sees you.” That grin was still in place.
“Are you still going on about him?” Mike demanded. “Sure you’re not the one here who’s fixating?”
Kevin held up his hands. “I just call it like I see it. I think he’s only here to ogle you.”
“Well, he’s gonna be disappointed if he turns up in a couple week’s time, isn’t he, ’cause I won’t be here.”
Kevin’s brow furrowed. “Since when do you not work on weekends?”
“Since I’ll be in LA, that’s when.” Mike returned his grin. “Remember?”
“Oh, yeah, you’ve got a shoot. I’d clean forgotten.” He faked a sad face. “Aw, how you gonna cope without seeing that gorgeous bod?” He leered. “Then again, don’t worry your head about it. I’m sure me or Patrick can take care of him.” He waggled his eyebrows.
Mike groaned. “For fuck’s sake, just leave the kid alone, okay? He’s not hurting anyone.”
Mike had seen enough to know the guy wasn’t going to be a problem. He preferred this quiet observation to the occasional gropings of fans when he made appearances at Hustlaball or Southern Decadence. The kid appeared to have good manners.
“Here’s his order.” Kevin handed him the tray containing the Angus burger, tater tots, and Cherry Coke. “I’m sure he’ll be delighted to get it from you.” That shit-eating grin just wouldn’t quit.
Mike shook his head and took the tray. He walked over to where the young guy sat, his eyes widening as Mike approached. “Here you go,” Mike said cheerfully, setting the food down in front of him.
The young guy blushed furiously. “Th-thanks.” He lowered his gaze and commenced picking at his tots.
Mike retreated to a safe distance and watched him while he ate. He liked the look of those wide shoulders, the reddish-brown hair, not too short, the barest hint of scruff on his jawline and those striking green eyes. His skin was creamy where it showed, which spoke of a lot of time spent covered up. With his coloring, that was understandable. But that body was speaking even louder to Mike’s dick, which was definitely interested, judging by the way it filled as he feasted on the delectable view before him.
His attention was forcibly drawn away when someone pinched his ass, good and hard.
“You are so busted.”
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….