“I guess I always figured coming out was something you did for friends and family, and maybe it is, but it’s personal too, you know? The person I was last night is new. I wanna get to know him.”
I had two things on my list when I arrived in Los Angeles. One, track down Henry Bennington, the uncle and guardian of my little brother’s best friend, and tell him to get his ass back to Washington. He needed to do something about his nephew, who was turning into a douchebag. And two, figure out just how non-straight I was. For the past two years, I’d had all these fantasies, and now was the time to explore them, far away from my sleepy little town.
Nowhere on this list did it say, “Get Ty’s uncle into bed and fall for him.” I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with another city either. But between brunch, making new friends, and discovering the man I was meant to be, I lost sight of the future that had once seemed pretty damn vivid. How the hell was I supposed to merge my old life and who I used to be with the new dreams Los Angeles and Henry had awakened in me?
I love the Camassia Cove series and pretty much everything else I've read by Cara Dee. No lie. I can't tell you just how excited I was to see a new book by this fabulous author and when I heard about the cameos -- I was so there! Ms Dee's writing is just amazing and I can't think of a time I haven't enjoyed spending time in the worlds she's created.
Out has so many things that just ring my bell:
Age gap ✔️
Self discovery ✔️
Sexual exploration ✔️
Smexy smexy times ✔️
Touch o' kink ✔️
Tons of feels ✔️
Special mentions for cameos:
Noah & Julian (Noah)
Cam (and a sighting of his husband and daughter) (Aftermath)
Dominic, Adrian, and Thea (Home)
And an extra special mention of my favorite chapter titles:
FUCK THE LIST. I NEED A COMING-OUT DIARY
THERE’S A TONGUE IN MY ASS
I THINK HOLY FUCK IS ACCURATE HERE
OH, TY. OH, MARTIN. OH, FUCK
MURPHY’S LAW CAN SUCK MY DICK
HOME, SWEET WHAT THE FUCK EVER
MY ASS ISN’T HURTING
I NEED HIS ROCK HARD…REASSURANCE
The story is told entirely from Zach's POV and I loved being inside his head. He doesn't dwell on things, he doesn't fret, and I really enjoy how he approaches life. Rest assured, though, that even though we only get one POV, we're not left in the dark about Henry, or other characters, in general. I was invested in the story from the very first page. Getting to know Zach, Henry, Martin, Mattie, and Ty was a perfect way for me to spend a day.
Zach and Henry had chemistry in spades and I loved both Zach's willingness to go for it and Henry's inability to turn Zach away. There's a 19 year age gap, between them, and Henry has far more of a problem with that than Zach does. In fact, it doesn't bother Zach, at all. Zach may be new to exploring this part of himself, but he's never been a 'play the field' kind of guy and he doesn't have an indecisive bone in his body.
All the angst in their relationship comes from Henry's belief that Zach is going to want to explore with other people. Henry has some serious insecurities to overcome in this story and Zach makes him deal with his issues. Henry has a bone-deep loneliness that he almost uses like a blanket. He's been left behind and rejected before and he has trouble trusting this very amazingly good thing he has discovered with Zach. Henry wants to believe in his relationship with Zach, but he doesn't. Not really.
I enjoyed seeing their relationship go from a new exploration to something more so naturally, it was hard to to believe they were so new. Their sexy-times were hot and sweet and adventurous, especially for Zach, but he never backed down. I loved Zach's determination to convince Henry that what they had was just as real for him as it was for Henry. I loved the angst between Henry and Zach and I laughed out loud when (view spoiler)[Zach kidnapped Henry's cat (hide spoiler)].
Out is more than just about a young man coming out of his closet. It's also about learning how to escape your self-imposed prison (Henry). It's about letting who you are on the inside out for everyone to see. And I loved every moment.
ARC of Out was generously provided, by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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