Author: Jamie Dean
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: T.L. Bland
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/27/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance
Socially awkward, closeted virgin Avery Malcolm passes his days and nights running his bigoted aunt’s motel in rural New Mexico. He dreams of getting away and hitting the road, but with one friend, a few acquaintances, and no real life to speak of outside his duties as front desk clerk, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get a chance.
Fate sends hot drifter Chase Lancaster to the Red Ram Motel, riding in on his sexy black motorcycle. Within twenty-four hours, Avery’s life is turned upside down. Before long, even though Chase’s sexual interests seem to run exclusively toward women in bars, Avery finds himself falling for the beautiful biker with no permanent address. Chase is much more than his bad boy persona, so while it’s nice to have another friend, Avery doesn’t know how he’ll survive with his heart intact when Chase inevitably moves on.
Not Just Passing Through was a sweet believable romance with (mostly) realistic characters.
I connected with shy and socially anxious Avery right away. I understood his issues and why he chose to be celibate. He’s a well-drawn character from page one. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for drifter Chase Lancaster. I came to love this guy too, but there were a few lines in the beginning that made me roll my eyes.
When Avery asks Chase if he wants a smoking or non-smoking room Chase replies:
“As you can I’m smoking enough already.”
Later, Chase acknowledges Avery’s homosexuality.
“Like I said, I know I’m pretty damn smoking.”
Yeah, Chase is cocky but those lines almost make him veer into full on creeper territory. Fortunately, Chase shows other qualities that overshadow his initial egotistical attitude. He becomes more and more human as he spends time with Avery.
Avery and Chase form an unusual but very sweet friendship. Avery develops feelings for the sexy biker, but at first it seems entirely one-sided. Things change when Chase makes claims of being sexually frustrated and Avery offers to suck him off.
Chase resists at first but soon gives in. The blow job is sexy and erotic but also frustrating when there’s guilt and remorse.
Chase and Avery’s relationship from then on is realistic and believable. It was a wonderful tale of a straight man realizing he isn’t so straight after all. There’s no melodrama here, just the confusion of a man coming to terms with something he never expected would happen.
Very highly recommended.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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