Five years ago, Evan Day lost his lover in the Afghan sand, and in the fallout, he lost his military career and his family. With help from friends, he reinvented himself as porn star Trevor Hardball, but his scars are hidden, not healed. When Riley Yeats falls into Evan’s lap in a bar, he awakens a part of Evan he’d thought was dead and gone. Evan’s fascinated by the blond and twinky Riley, even though he’s the opposite of Evan’s usual type.
Then Evan’s family reappears his life, and Evan soon learns Riley has his own family-inflicted wounds—ones that make it hard for him to be there for Evan. A disastrous confrontation between Evan and his parents leaves Evan’s mother injured and Evan overcome by anger and fear. Losing his tenuous hold on his emotional control, Evan makes one bad decision after another, but maybe his final fall will be the wake-up call Evan needs to set things right—with his parents, and with Riley.
This is a difficult review to write because I am having a hard time being objective when it comes to this story, and I know it.
The blurb states that Evan is a porn star, but I still didn't expect there to be quite so much . . . well, PORN in this book.
The first 5 percent is all "Trevor" (Evan's porn name) taking it up the ass and mouth on a set. The scene goes ON and ON. It's explicit. It's hard-core. And we're told how much "Trevor" likes the sex, even if it's for show.
Almost right away, Evan meets cheerful, wealthy Riley at a bar. The two have a picnic and jump right to sex. Evan doesn't tell Riley he does porn, and he continues to do porn, which we are privy to on page, as he begins a relationship with Riley.
Riley eventually finds out and says he doesn't mind, but Evan begins unraveling (there are some flashbacks to his time in Afghanistan). Then when Evan calls Riley on his own shit, Riley pushes Evan away.
Both men are dealing with family angst, although Riley's "emotional baggage" felt a little manufactured. I kept waiting for the emotions, the connection. There were hints of it, but it wasn't nearly enough.
The moment that really bothered me happened at 78 percent: Evan picks up a random guy at a club and has sex with him to get back at Riley. It's not a porn scene, but Evan becomes "Trevor" and goes into a sort of trance where he fucks this dude (yes, in detail on page) and leaves. This is somehow justified because his "soul is empty."
There was not enough romance here, no real tenderness. There was plenty of sex, but be warned that most of it is NOT between the MCs.
I read romance books for the feels. I love steamy reads, but this one was too much, to the point that I skimmed most of the sex scenes.
The writing was fine; the story moved quickly. But there was no resolution here. Evan's "reunion" with his parents comes too easily. Evan hints at maybe going to college, but it's unclear whether he'll stop with porn or not. And there is no HEA, no progression of the relationship.
I didn't enjoy the story, but if you don't mind hardcore porn and like more sex than romance, you may want to take a look at this one.