Author: Ryan Loveless
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
To an outsider’s view, world-famous action star Joe Nestra lives the Hollywood dream—parties, women, and a high-profile divorce. In reality, Joe’s agent directs his public life. Those women he’s supposedly intimate with? Prearranged dates ending at the red carpet. With his assistant and best friend Derek Simmons’ help, Joe has lived safely in the closet since his divorce, choosing to let off steam with discreet male escorts rather than risk an actual boyfriend. At forty-four, he has no plans to change. Then, taking a role in a film without flashy explosions upends that.
When Joe signs on to play an early 1990s-era AIDS-stricken gay man, his internalized homophobia threatens the production. His out costar Hunter Starling won’t put up with Joe’s behavior. As the animosity between Joe and Hunter grows, saving the film means Joe must face his deepest fear. Challenges pile up from all directions, from his father disowning him to the entertainment industry’s backstabbing reaction. Amid the backlash, Joe ventures into his first gay romantic relationship, tries to help others worse off, and slowly learns how to live his life instead of just acting it.
In Me an Invincible Summer by Ryan Loveless called to me from the moment it appeared on the publisher’s coming soon page. I am always looking for well done contemporary m/m romance stories. They are my bread and butter so to speak. Unfortunately, blindly picking them (as I often do) can backfire. I am happy to report that Summer was certainly a successful experiment.
Okay, so it wasn’t a complete experiment, as I have read and enjoyed at least two other titles from Loveless. However, she had not yet gained auto-buy status from me. She might have now, however.
In Me an Invincible Summer is one man’s journey from the closet to the open. It isn’t a typical journey, though he faces some of the same struggles anyone keeping a secret might. Joe is a Hollywood superstar of the Action variety. The only problem is that he is gay. Of course with a militantly homophobic father, can anyone blame him for staying as deep in the closet as possible.
His journey is not sunshine and roses, but it isn’t brutal either. He makes mistakes and pays the price for those mistakes. However with his PA by his side, he manages to weather most of them. Not everything is tied up in a pretty rainbow bow at the end, but you know he will be okay. He will live his life.
That is one point I repeatedly make about Loveless’ work. Her MCs aren’t perfect. They aren’t flawless gods. They don’t always make the right decision, and the world doesn’t fall at their feet. They are real to an extent. It could potentially be argued that it is one a grander scale, but hey this is fiction. Their small mistakes result in small consequences. Their big mistakes, well you get the idea. They have lovers and haters, but there isn’t a “big bad” . In other words, the conflict is inherent in the story, not manufactured for suspense.
If you are like me, and enjoy a well-written, well-told contemporary were the focus is on a journey, rather than the happily ever after, I encourage you to give Loveless a try.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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