A Caryn Review: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee

Rating:3.5 out of 5 stars

This is a new to me author, but I will definitely look into some of her other books.  This was was a nice, very mildly angsty, but overall sweet read.

Noah Dixon was an interesting character.  He was raised in a wealthy, privileged family, but after a childhood accident left him physically scarred – more on that later – his parents became overprotective and he pushed them and their lifestyle away.  He loved retail sales (that alone made him a pretty unusual guy!) and worked at a home furnishings store where he was their top salesman and had aspirations to manage the store someday, but overall he was pretty happy with his career, even though it didn’t live up to his parent’s more grandiose plans.  He wasn’t really satisfied with his love life, but he’d convinced himself that his scarring was always going to prevent anyone from falling in love with him.

Will Crossen used to work in the theater, which he loved, but when his mother’s schizophrenia started getting worse and her medical bills stacked up, he left it for a more stable paycheck at the same store where Noah worked.  That still wasn’t enough, so he also became an escort.  His clients usually don’t involve sex (at most, some kissing or mutual masturbation), but with his acting skills and good looks, he was successful enough to start making a dent in the medical bills.  He also moved in with his mother to keep an eye on her.  Both situations made him give up on dating completely, thinking there was no way to reconcile them with having a boyfriend.

When Noah got an invitation to a weekend long birthday party on Fire Island where he used to spend vacations as a child, he couldn’t say no because it was his best friend.  But he dreaded going, because in the past he always felt like a freak amidst all the beautiful gay men.  When he accidentally found out that Will worked for an escort agency, he didn’t really want to ask Will – at this point in the story they barely knew each other and had been more put off than attracted – but he did start thinking it might be the best way to make it through the weekend.  When he actually hired an escort, he was surprised to find it was Will, but over the course of the weekend they found that not only were their initial impressions of each other incorrect, but they actually got along well.  Noah found it natural that he would be attracted to Will, but wasn’t able to believe that it could possibly be mutual, despite what Will said or did.  The fact that they were in a financial relationship through the escort agency also muddied the waters.

Their relationship grew in a gradual, natural way after that, and the obstacles in their path were all completely realistic.  Friends, family, and co-workers were all part of their story, and I liked all of them.  Really, the only part of the story that I found unconvincing was how Noah felt about his scarring.  He could hide it, and function completely normally, to the point that people really didn’t even know it existed unless he took his shirt off.  To me, his conviction that he was hideous was too much.  Maybe to someone who lives in NYC, or on Fire Island, it would make more sense, because people are so extremely conscious of physical beauty there, but that level of superficiality just isn’t part of my world, so it was hard to understand.  One of the points of the book was that people shouldn’t be so superficial – not just in regards to physical attributes, but also to the “right” career, the “right” house, etc – and Will and Noah worked because they weren’t, so at least there was that.

Cover art by X-Potion is very generic and doesn’t say anything about the story.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published June 27th 2018 by Christina Lee
Edition LanguageEnglish

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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