Rating 4 stars out of 5
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?
Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain was simply a joy to read. This series started so good I can’t wait for the next one, hoping it will be sweet and light and positive like this one. If you, like me, are a sucker for flamboyant characters, gay/out for you and opposites attract, this book is definitely a must read!
The book opens with Billy being left by his girlfriend Annie. Billy, a gorgeous man and a sweet one (too sweet for Annie, let me tell you!), doesn’t have a high opinion of himself, most cause he isn’t literate, but he’s an amazing son for his parents and brother for his sisters. It’s because of his hard work in the construction area and lot of sacrifices that the girls went to college. He helps his family in any way he can. He just wanted a good girl to be by his side but each time they left him. Then he meets Shaz and things start making sense. Shaz is everything Billy isn’t: gay, flamboyant, stylish. The chemistry between them is soon explosive and evident.
“Oh God, I am gay. I am.” He wanted to laugh. He wanted to cry.
Shaz’s soft high voice sounded muffled against his chest. “Yes, dear. I think you are.”
“What does that mean?”
“We’ll find out. Don’t worry. It’s better to know.”
Talk about perfect characters! Tara created a wonderful couple, two men perfect for each other and perfect in the eye of the reader. That kind of persons you absolutely need in your life, as a brother or friend. I was soon caught in their lives, but most of all I was cheering for Billy, he so needed something beautiful like Shaz to happened to him.
“When I was a kid and other boys played baseball and rode skateboards and made fun of me, I dreamed of knights in shining armor. One knight specifically who would ride in on his great palfrey, sweep me up in his arms, and rescue me from the cruelties of being me. A hero who would look into my heart and not see a sissy who liked to sew and try out girl’s makeup, but a secret princess waiting in a tower. Waiting for him.” […]“The years passed, no knight came, and I let the cruelties make me as hard as the people who dished them out. But the day I first saw you in that coffee shop, not letting the bully get to me even though you didn’t know me at all, I saw that you were a knight. And today you stripped the cloak from your armor and revealed you were my knight.”
Billy shook his head, fighting the heat behind his eyes. “I’m no knight.”
“Kind, loyal, true, and brave. Works for me.”
I loved this book, still I didn’t give it five stars. The reason is really simply. I love angst, troubled stories and I NEED stories like Knight of Ocean Avenue in between to help me relax a little. It’s so good to read a light, lovely and simple story. But… this one was too simple. Everything went to smoothly till the end and it left me craving for just a tiny little bit more of something.
I’m waiting impatiently for the next one, I hope to get to see Shaz and Billy once again, but I have my eyes on two second characters who deserve their HEA together. Will Tara fulfill my wish?
Cover art by Reese Dante. Reese has a unique style that I’m becoming to like more with each cover I see.
Published May 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ebook, 254 pages
Edition Language English