Saturday, May 16, 2015

ARC Review: Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain

Knight of Ocean Avenue (Love in Laguna, #1)
From the blurb:

How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor's license he so desires, and fear of his mother's judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

Heather's rating:

A gay virgin story, my holy grail. Praise thee who creates delicious stories of men discovering the joys of gay sex. Forever and ever, amen.

When I saw the blurb for this story, I was ALL OVER IT. I get crazy when I see a story that falls into the GFY/OFY umbrella! This is certainly an out-for-you story, or maybe a gay discovery story, or a "face the facts" kind of story. Either way, I'm a Neanderthal when it comes to these kinds of reads. I get all drooly and happy.

But just because I like the idea behind something, doesn't mean it's an automatic home run. The author still has to execute. It just so happens that Tara Lain did just that. The author created a loveable, believable, squee-worthy story that I think most readers will adore.

First of all, who wouldn't love the combo of a construction worker and a stylist? I love a good opposites-attract story! Also, I always enjoy when we see a MC that is a little more on the effeminate side. I liked how Shaz wasn't another burly guy. I like some hip swaying and some snazzy dressers in my stories! It was a sweet combo, and I immediately GOT the chemistry between Shaz and Billy.

My one complaint, and it sort of irked me more and more over time, was the cheesy dialogue during the sex scenes. First-timer sex can be so HOTTTTT (extra Ts needed!), and I feel like some of that oomph was taken away by the strange chatter during nooky time.

Still an easy, surprisingly low angst read that was JUST what the doctor ordered. I'd read more in this series any day of the week!

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Thanks for checking out my review!

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