Monday, September 8, 2014

BOLD by Garrett Leigh


Publisher:               Loose ID                
Published:               August 19, 2014    
ISBN:                     978 1 62300 371 5
Genre:                   Romance, M/M
Book Format:          E-book
Obtained via:          Publisher
Reviewed by:          Helena Stone,

Rating:                   4.5

Kai is a dancer in a gay club who also stars in Blue Boy Studio’s videos as the slender bottom who enjoys the attention of every top. Recently though things have become a bit more complicated. It is not that Kai doesn’t enjoy his job anymore, he does, but there appears to be something missing. And Kai is not the only one noticing the lack.

Blue Boy Studio’s new owners take an active interest in their stars and Jude recruits Kai’s mentor Cam to help the young man find out what it is he needs. The answer might be new recruit Matthew, although at first glance he isn’t Kai’s type at all.

Kai isn’t convinced but allows himself to be persuaded to investigate all possibilities. It isn’t long before he discovers that maybe Matthew is just what he needs. Kai’s life is about to change in ways he never expected and he’ll need to be bold in order to grasp all the opportunities on offer.

This is the third book in the Blue Boy series but only the second book in this series I’ve read. For some reason I managed to miss Bullet and I know I will have to go back and remedy that situation before too long.

As in the previous book, Bones, Garrett Leigh has given us a multi-layered story. This series is set in the world of porn so the reader is treated to quite a few hot and steamy sex scenes. But, surprising as it may sound, sex is not what these stories are about. These books are about characters who, while working in the industry, are so much more than ‘just’ beautiful sex objects. We get to watch them as they figure out what the rest of their lives look like, who they are and what they might be without the dancing and porn videos.

This book focuses on Kai who is not an easy character to describe or pin down. On the surface he appears confident and in charge but scratch a little bit deeper and you find loneliness and insecurities. Kai is dyslexic and hasn’t finished high school as a result. When he’s encouraged to take exams so he can further his education he doesn’t believe he can do it. His battle with himself and his constant doubts are heartbreaking at times. He doesn’t show it but feels less than good enough due to what he perceives as his stupidity and watching him as he overcomes that prejudice about himself was wonderful.

The developing relationship between Kai and Matthew was mesmerizing. The two young men should be cock-sure and confident with each other. Given their backgrounds and the fact that they’re thrown together to come up with a scene for the next video, you’d expect them to indulge in an almost constant sex fest. Instead they take it easy; indulging in endless and very hot kissing sessions and refusing to take things all the way for reasons Kai can’t explain, even to himself.

Because the whole book was told from Kai’s perspective, Matthew remained a bit of an enigma throughout the story. Under different circumstances I might have resented that. In this book it worked very well though. Once Kai’s insecurities create a problem it is possible to understand him and sympathize with his fears because the reader doesn’t know anything more than Kai does.

The attack Kai falls victim to while dancing in the club isn’t really resolved in this story. Again something that might have upset me. I’ve come to realize though that while these books tell stories that can and do stand on their own, they are very much part of a series. I have no doubt this attack will have a follow up in future titles. Just as the stories of the characters we met in Bullet and Bones are still developing. Since I’m always curious what happens to the characters who have managed to grab me, once the book ends, this continuation of their stories is a wonderful gift.

Garrett Leigh has proven herself to be an author who writes great stories, using beautiful words while never shirking difficult topics or issues. In fact, this author’s books work so well for me because she gives her characters real problems (as opposed to imagined ones) to deal with. This book, in fact the whole series, is a treat for anyone who likes their sexy men with a dose of real and recognisable substance. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

No comments: