A Caryn Review: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee

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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
ASINB07F3CW7SW
Edition LanguageEnglish

RELEASE DAY BLITZ for Love Me Louder by Christina Lee (excerpt)

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Love Me Louder RDB Banner

LOVE ME LOUDER

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.29.18

 Love Me Louder Cover 

COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs

PHOTOGRAPHER: Eric David Battershell

COVER MODEL: Ryan Harmon

 

SYNOPSIS

Noah Dixon is damaged goods. After an accident leaves him physically scarred and emotionally vulnerable, dating isn’t in the cards, so he throws himself head-first into his retail job. When he’s obligated to attend his best friend’s engagement party on Fire Island, it dawns on him he’s about to spend yet another weekend feeling totally invisible and alone among a swarm of gorgeous men.

That’s when the idea of an escort comes in.

After Will Crossen was forced to put his theater major on hold in favor of two jobs to tackle his ailing mother’s hospital bills, he tells himself becoming an escort isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just another form of acting, right? He doesn’t expect his newest customer to be the cheery, overconfident sales associate he avoids like the plague at his day job. Talk about awkward.

But what happens on Fire Island stays on Fire Island…especially when a smoldering attraction sparks into flames. Will doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and for the first time, Noah realizes someone is seeing him behind all the scars. But between their jobs, Will’s massive familial responsibilities, and Noah’s vulnerabilities, they don’t stand a chance unless they find a way to let love speak louder than their demons.

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EXCERPT

Will’s thumb pressed against his bottom lip, making his mouth prickle from the contact. “You could at least pretend you’re into me.”

If only Will knew that Noah was totally into him and fighting his body all the way.

Noah’s tongue slipped out, and he licked the pad of Will’s thumb. He heard the all too authentic groan in the back of Will’s throat, and Noah’s cock stirred to life. Holy shit.

“That’s hot,” Will whispered as he watched Noah’s tongue flick against his skin again.

Encouraged, Noah hollowed his cheeks and sucked Will’s thumb into his mouth. He increased pressure as he circled with his tongue before releasing it with a pop.

He arched an eyebrow. “How was that?”

“Nicely done.” Will’s gaze was hungry, and Noah liked that he could surprise him. “Had you kept going, I would be hard as a fucking stone.”

Damn. Will was so incredibly sexy.

Noah bit his lip and batted his eyelashes. He could play along too.

Will tore his gaze away from his eyes, and as it slid down to his mouth, for a split second Noah thought Will might kiss him. His pulse spiked as he admitted to himself that he would want that. So fucking much.

Noah cleared his throat. “Anybody watching us?”

Will glanced around the party. “Definitely.”

He grinned. “Good.”

Christina Lee Logo

Once upon a time, Christina Lee lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. She spent her days getting in cabs, shopping for photo shoots, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at her favorite hangouts.

Now she lives in the Midwest with her husband and son—her two favorite guys. She’s been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until she wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that she realized she could turn the fairy tales inside her head into the reality of writing fiction.

She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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