Full Exposure by Amy Jo Cousins

full exposureWhy I read it:  The author tweeted the cover and I was pretty much all in after that. It’s FREE!!

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  There’s more than one way to be a rock star.

Evan Pak is a card-carrying geek (he even has the job to prove it), but when his photographer brother invites him to tag along on a photo shoot with rock star Riley Flood, he figures it will be two days of ogling and eye-rolling and nothing more. But the reckless bad boy is nothing like he expected, and Evan is mesmerized by the mix of cocky and sweet he sees in Riley. When a spontaneous idea ends with Evan stripping down under the hot lights for an intimate portrait for Riley’s next album cover, Evan is absolutely sure their connection won’t end when the lights are turned off. Especially since Riley can’t seem to keep his hands off the tattoos Evan hides under his clothes.

Even a spoiled rock star wants to give up control sometimes, if only for a weekend. The world is full of people who want things from Riley and the demands on him never stop. Evan knows exactly how to turn off the noise in Riley’s head and it starts by putting him on his knees.

Together, they will push each other higher and farther than either one of them have ever gone before. It’s easy to take risks when there’s a time limit on the game. But when their time is up, what comes next if they don’t want the game to end?

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This story is told in three distinct parts. Part One is the longest and is where Evan and Riley meet at the photoshoot. It sets up, briefly, that Evan is a devoted son and the reason he lives with his dad is more than money. Riley’s character is a little opaque because the story is told entirely from Evan’s (third person) point of view. I got glimpses of a man who felt there was no-one on his side, one who was mainly being used as a cash cow and felt alone but it was mostly glimpses. Evan might be a “geek” and work from home in IT but he is not a pale, basement-living, never-see-the-sun stereotype, thankfully.

Tonight by Karen Stivali

TonightWhy I read it:  I saw some of my friends had read and enjoyed this one so I downloaded it. It’s FREE!

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  David has loved his older brother Derek’s BFF, Wiley, since the first day he met him, five long lust-filled years ago. But, as Derek never hesitates to point out, Wiley is straight.

When Wiley has a falling out with his roommate and winds up crashing on David and Derek’s couch for a month, he’s a 24/7 reminder of what David wants but fears he’ll never have. Until one afternoon when David has a major art project to finish and a model who’s a no-show. Wiley offers to pose for him—and it sure feels like the heat between them is mutual.

Could Derek have been wrong about his best friend for all these years? Would David’s dreams about Wiley finally come true? The only thing David knows is that one way or another he’ll find out for sure…tonight.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  David is out and gay – he’s the kind of boy who didn’t really have to struggle with the decision to come out because it was obvious to everyone early on. He was fortunate in school to have a big brother with an excellent reputation and big muscles who supports him fully – Derek makes it clear that David is not to be made a target and this made his high school experience much better than it could have been. Even though David’s and Derek’s parents aren’t really in the story, it is clear they have an accepting and loving family.  When James Wiley moved to the neighbourhood in Derek’s senior year of high school, David fell in love.  Only problem – according to all reports and especially to Derek, Wiley is straight straight straight.

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