Title: Lover On Top (Six-Alarm Sexy #3 – Standalone)
Author Name: Kristine Cayne
Publication Date & Length: May 2, 2016 – 110,000 Words
A straight firefighter discovers an irresistible attraction for his best friend’s younger brother—one that could lead to complete disaster.
A perpetual bachelor, firefighter lieutenant Hollywood Wright hops from one woman’s bed to another, searching for something he never finds. Has his father’s emotional and physical abuse somehow damaged him? Or is something else going on, something that involves the intense and uncomfortable feelings aroused by his best friend’s little brother?
Sexy-as- sin paramedic Chad Caldwell has always been out and proud. Sure, some gay-bashers are harassing him, but he’s determined to be true to himself. There’s just one problem: He’s hung up on Hollywood, his older brother’s straight best friend. When Hollywood’s apartment is damaged by fire, Chad reluctantly takes him in. Will Chad’s heart survive such close proximity to a man who’s both unattainable and everything Chad wants?
To their mutual surprise, Hollywood finds Chad and his world fascinating—and much hotter than anything he’s ever experienced. But with a rabidly homophobic father, is Hollywood doomed to die in the closet? Chad won’t accept anything less than a public relationship, no matter how amazing the sex is. Can Hollywood ever accept the man he’s always kept buried deep inside?
I know this says that it can be read standalone, but I recommend the series – you will gain so much more knowing all of the characters. I am so happy that Chad finally got his own story. However, I was slightly disappointed in the story too. I guess I had built up, in my own world, how his story would pan out and this was not it. Despite those preconceived notions, I still enjoyed it.
Chad is out, proud and not afraid to tell people how it is. However, due to his job, he is finding that not everyone is OK with his attitude. He has been the victim of vandalism, hatred and gay slurs. Not only that, but he has also been the victim of some violence. Despite that, he keeps his head held high – after all, he has a supportive family who would tear anyone who messed with him apart. He loves his job, he loves his family and he loves Hollywood…well, all but the last are not issues.
Hollywood is another story entirely. Not only is he known for being intolerant, he also has a huge stick up his a**. He is crass, mean, a closeted alcoholic and his biggest issue is that he can’t seem to get Chad out of his head. When his own stupidity lands him at Chad’s apartment as a temporary roommate, he learns more about himself and discovers that he’s not all that likeable.
With a history like Hollywood has, he has to either buck up and be true to himself or hide away and never be happy. I found that his ups and downs were very difficult. He swung high and low like he was taking uppers and downers – and he dragged poor Chad along for the ride. I found the apologies to be somewhat juvenile and Hollywood’s uncertainty somewhat painful to read. Yes, he had a difficult past – but that does not mean that he has not turned in to a stand up guy who can make his own choices.
The antagonist in this story was very predictable and even with the predictability, I still found that I liked the story. I do wish that we had been able to see further in to their relationship, but I am crossing my fingers that more will come from Cayne.
When I requested this book, I didn’t think much beyond the “Sexy” in the title and the firefighters in the picture. I was hoping for sexy firefighters and I wasn’t expecting much more. So I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and the depth of character development.
Hollywood and Chad are very sexy, but they are also complicated and their romance is well developed. Hollywood’s gay-for-you story is almost believable (and I usually take some convincing). I enjoyed the other characters in this story enough to look for other books in the series. Chad’s family is fantastic and I can’t wait to read each of his siblings’ stories.
While the storyline with Hollywood’s father was more than a little exaggerated and one of our leading men does end up in hospital (my least favourite and most overused m/m plot device), there is heart as well as heat here and I really enjoyed the story.
Although I haven’t read books 1 & 2, it seems each book can be read as a stand-alone. There were parts that would be better understood if the books are read in order. That being said, I thought this book was wonderful. At times. You will get your HEA. Always a plus in my book. I just didn’t care for who the bad guy was and how that played out. The topic of counseling should have been pursued. I received a free copy of this book from Inked Rainbow Reviews in exchange for an honest review.
I love Chad! He is the all-around fun loving guy you want to be friends with. He’s confident, strong-minded, sweet and funny. He has been out and proud since his early teens. He has also had a crush a Hollywood “Nate” since around that time as well. Because of Chad’s sexuality he becomes the focus of someone’s hate crimes in town. And when things get really bad, he reaches out to Hollywood for help.
I like Hollywood. But he is the type of person I would approach with kid gloves. I feel for Hollywood. What he needs is a great counselor. He should have sought out someone in his early twenties for all the abuse he suffered by his Father while he was growing up. In doing that he could have discovered his true self earlier in life and he wouldn’t have turned to alcohol to hide his feelings. Much the same way his Father did.
After a fire in his kitchen, the water damage is too extensive for Hollywood to stay. At the urging of his friend and partner, Chad offers his spare room to Hollywood. Soon after he moves in, Hollywood is unsure how to deal with the sudden feelings he has for Chad. When his Father gives him a “friendly” reminder of events that happened when he was a child, he begins to recall all his repressed memories of his childhood best friend.
I know at times it seems like the story may drag a bit, but, I think it was important for Hollywood to go through all the emotions he did, the way he did. That’s what we as humans do. Some more than others. We process differently. I found it hard to believe the Fire Chief was able to get away with all the crap he did. But, I’m also from small town America where that kind of crap wasn’t unheard of. It just sickens me. That’s why I left.
Wow….talk about HOT!!! Who does not love a fire fighter and fire fighter EMT. I have to say that I just loved this book.
Chad is the persona of a sexy fire fighter EMT. He is sexy, confident, and he is out and proud gay. I believe that it takes a truly remarkable individual to be out and proud in what some would consider “a mans job”. I think that he is even more remarkable after all the crap that he has had to put up with when it comes to harassment by an anonymous homophobic ignorant individual/individuals. He is trying to let all of the harassment role off his shoulders and stand by his convictions with the help of fellow work mates and family/friends. It takes a remarkable person to insure the things that he indures on a constant basis and still have a love for life.
Hollywood has not had an easy life with who he has a father. He was abusive mentally, emotionally, and physically. He is also homophobic. So it is no wonder it took Hollywood so long to except his feelings for another man. He wants to be with Chad but he lets fear guard his heart and he pushes and pulls so much I don’t know whether Hollywood even knows if he is coming or going. The question is can he decide how he truly feels and stand by it before it is too late and he loses Chad?
This book is a perfect example of how hard it is for some people to be truly free to feel the things that they feel. It is not always an easy journey to get to where we would like to be but if we are strong like these characters are then we may find our happily ever after.
Hands gripping his head, Hollywood paced back and forth between Chad and the neighboring building, like a caged lion. “I’m confused. It’s your fault. You and your tight ass.
Your tattoos. And don’t get me started on your little twink boyfriend.”
“My boyfriend?” There was no way Chad could follow Hollywood’s leaps of logic.
“Fucking cowboy told me about it. You slept with Blondie. It was that same night with Candy, wasn’t it?”
Chad clenched his jaw. “Sandy.”
“Who the fuck cares?” Hollywood shouted.
“Why are you so upset?” Chad asked. “You’re straight.”
“I don’t know what the fuck I am. You’ve got me watching gay porn. Fantasizing about—”
Hollywood gritted his teeth together and rubbed his face with both hands. The sound of his stubble scraping against his palms had Chad’s heartrate shooting up. Even when he was a mess, Hollywood was hot.
“What do you fantasize about?” Chad couldn’t help asking any more than he could help the rasp in his voice.
Hollywood stopped his pacing, hesitated, then advanced on Chad. Each step slow and deliberate. Chad sucked a breath into suddenly deflated lungs. Oh God. He was so fucking turned on. And what kind of slut did that make him? He didn’t know if Hollywood was going to kiss him or beat the shit out of him. All he knew was that he needed to find out.
With rough movements, Hollywood gripped the sides of Chad’s head. “I can’t think of anything except kissing you. Your lips, are they soft or hard? How would your stubble feel against my skin? What do you taste like? It’s driving me crazy.” He stared into Chad’s eyes.
“You are driving me crazy.”
Kristine Cayne's books have won numerous awards and acclaim. Her first book, Deadly Obsession, was an RT Book Reviews Top Pick and won Best Romance in the 2012 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards. Her second book, Deadly Addiction, won two awards at the 2014 eFestival of Words and 1st place in the INDIE Awards, Romantic Suspense Category (a division of Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Writing Contests).
Her book Under His Command won Best BDSM Romance at the 2012 Sizzling Awards and was a finalist in the 2013 eFestival of Words and 2013 RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Awards, and her book Everything Bared was a finalist in the Erotic category of the I Heart Indie awards.
To learn more about Kristine and her stories, visit her website, www.kristinecayne.com.