There was another book by this author that I requested on NG and was denied so when this came up here, I jumped. I’m glad I did for I surely did enjoy this.
Title: Second Star to the Right
Author: A.F. Henley
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
From the Publisher
Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.
Mason can’t resist. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in a guy who loves kid’s movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment’s notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.
This author’s writing style and focus on the characters is in keeping with my tastes. I love angst and this book has it in spades. Plus, I have to respect any author that references Peter Pan.
“Heavens, no,” Mason drawled. “After all I’m sure you have some elusive winged pixie out there that swoops down to retrieve you from all moments of danger. Who am I to play Captain against your need to go charging into danger?”
Jack has a Peter Pan complex. He’s an “aging” rent boy. I saying aging a bit tongue in cheek since he’s all of 29, but I see his point that rent boys are a bit like athletes. After a certain age, they’re “old” in terms of their particular profession not in the real world. Jack is blunt to a fault, kinda cranky oftentimes, but beneath all the bravado he’s struggling with self-esteem issues same as the rest of us. Oh he’s pretty alright and he knows it, but what happens when the pretty fades? More than that, what happens when the pretty fades and you having nothing to fall back on? He is exceptional at reading other people and he pegs Mason from the get go.
“There’s nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve, Mason. As long as you’ve got it there because you want it to be seen, because you’re proud of its beauty and its power. It only gets ugly when you’ve placed it there because you’re offering it up as an easy sacrifice.”
Mason is flawed but oh so adorable. He’s built himself an empire in the housing industry but having a conversation outside of board room or, God forbid, flirting and he’s a bumbling mess. He’s drowning in a sea of fear. Fear of standing up for himself. Fear of being alone. Fear of being judged. His fear has kept him alone so long that he’s starving for even an inkling of human contact and, thus, finds himself utilizing the services of a rent boy to avoid going on vacation alone.
The relationship between Mason and Jack is full of fits and starts.They’re both confounded by one another and miscommunicate often. Yet, somehow within the span of just a few days the connection they form is undeniable and plain to see. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them polar opposites, but it’s not a wholly inappropriate characterization. Though I do think they compliment each other’s shortcomings well. They fill in each other’s blanks. I shouldn’t have to tell you the sexy times were off the charts. I mean, one of them is a professional so…
Overall an excellent read. I believe this might be just the beginning of a beautiful relationship betwixt this author and myself. Surprising depth and character development for a short especially considering it was told entirely through Mason. I thoroughly enjoyed the story arc and was quickly invested in the outcome of these two imperfect characters. There were some minor editing issues, not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment though. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a follow up with these two.
I’d recommend this to those who enjoy angst or rent boys.
Where to Buy
I would like to thank LT3P for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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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