Finding Home: Gideon – Lily Morton
Gideon Ramsay is so far in the closet he should be a talking faun.
A talented, mercurial, and often selfish man, Gideon has everything he should want in life. Fame, money, acting awards – he has it all. Everything but honesty. At the advice of his agent, Gideon has concealed his sexuality for years. But it’s starting to get harder to hide, and his increasingly wild behaviour is threatening to destroy his career.
Then he’s laid low by a serious illness and into his life comes Eli Jones. Eli is everything that Gideon can’t understand. He’s sunny tempered, friendly, and optimistic. Even worse, he’s unaffected by grumpiness and sarcasm, which forms ninety percent of Gideon’s body weight. And now Gideon is trapped with him without any recourse to the drugs and alcohol that have previously eased his way through awkward situations.
However, as Gideon gets to know the other man, he finds himself wildly attracted to his lazy smiles and warm, scruffy charm that seem to fill a hole inside Gideon that’s been empty for a long time. Will he give in to this incomprehensible attraction when it could mean the end of everything that he’s worked for?
From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series comes a story about a man who needs to realise that being true to yourself is really just a form of finding home.
This is the third book in the Finding Home series but it can be read as a standalone.
Lily Morton is a much-raved about author among MM readers. With Gideon, I could definitely see why.
This is my first book from the author and the third book of the Finding Home series. I highly recommend starting from the beginning because Gideon and his friends are a hilariously snarky, close-knit bunch you’d wish you’re a part of.
Gideon Ramsey is a successful actor more recently known for bad behavior. He is a certifiable asshole by all accounts. He’s also very closeted. He has long been brainwashed by his manager that coming out is career suicide. He suddenly came down with a case of pneumonia and had to be looked after by a nurse.
In comes a ray of Welsh sunshine in the form of Eli Jones. Eli is a nurse whose competent skills and perennial happy nature charmed everyone. His backchat charmed Gideon who would rather eat his designer shoes than admit he loves it. Hah! As if Eli doesn’t know.
It doesn’t take long for Eli to suss out that his grumpy patient is hurting, not just from his illness, but from being abandoned by his parents at 7 and years of hiding his true self. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the book.
Eli is a person who likes to be needed and Gid is a man who felt he never belonged. It was delightful to witness how Eli brought out the real Gideon Ramsey one cheeky remark, one kind act at a time.
I loved how Eli got Gideon just like that. He never pressured him to do anything. He let Gideon decide when he was ready. He said things should be taken at their own time. And he was right. Everything came together at exactly the right time.
Blessedly, there were no contrived relationship drama. There is internal conflict within Gideon but he and Eli remained a solid pair throughout
The real Gideon Ramsey? He was a pleasure to met. Still a grump but also a loyal friend, a caring brother, a giving lover and more. Certainly more as the author gifted us with the most thorough (and a tad repetitive) epilogue ever, neatly tying all loose ends in a definite HEA.
This is a fantastic story brought to life by a fantastic narrator. I have always been a fan of Joel Leslie since I started listening to audiobooks. The man can make a scene with multiple characters sound like a radio play. And the accents! Days after I finished the book, I kept hearing Eli’s Welsh lilt in my head. He’s that good!
Gideon is the book to read if you’re up for some stories where TLCs come with sass and snark, where separations end with midnight visits and Welsh endearments, and movie stars thank god for pneumonia and dissolute living.
Thank you to Gay Romance Reviews and Audible for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away
Heaven and Hell Club: Broken – Colette Davison
Rule #1: Keep running.
Jag’s rules have kept him safe and free since he escaped conversion therapy, but that was before he walked into Heaven and Hell. A no-strings fling with the club owner, Michael, turns into so much more as Jag finds himself breaking one rule after another.
Michael hasn’t been able to commit to anyone since his partner died, until Jag walks into his club. Falling in lust with the elfin young dancer is easy, and his heart is quick to follow.
Michael gives Jag a reason to stay, but fear rules Jag’s heart more than love. Despite his deepening feelings for Michael, Jag knows he can’t stay. Can he?
**Contains adult themes, content, and language.**
My introduction to Colette Davison‘s Heaven and Hell Club was its delightful prequel, Unbreakable, starring Michael’s bestfriend, Mac and Mac’s partner, Russel. Michael was still with his boyfriend, Edward, and they were saving up money to buy the club.
Fast forward almost 6 or so years after, the club is now a thriving pole dancing club in the evenings and an exercise venue at daytime, Michael is still feeling the emptiness left by Edward’s death
I was more or less expecting the same humorous, angsty vibe but Broken had much more angst, less humor. I wasn’t as riveted to it as I would have liked. Once I stopped reading, I didn’t feel an urgent need to pick it up again. Not that I wanted to drop it totally. I wanted to see Jag have his closure. It’s just that, it felt a little flat for me.
Jag came in out of the nowhere, asked for a job, did one heck of an audition and earned a spot on stage as an angel. He does not talk much about himself. As the story progress, we gradually learn that he was a victim of conversion therapy a.k.a abuse. He ran away when he was able.
Jag is a survivor. He believes he’s broken. He was a bit naive about his rights and the legalities of such therapy. Running is the only life he knows. He has rules that helped him survive. Rules that he broke one by one as he and Michael grew closer.
Michael took a chance on a mysterious young man who wouldn’t even reveal his real name. Well, he was a really good dancer. The attraction between them was almost instant. The romance was OK. I wasn’t as enthusiastic about Michael and Jag as with Mac and Russel, but I know both MCs were what each other needs.
I’m not a fan of age gap but here, it made sense that Michael was older. He was able to offer the kind security and knowledge of practical world matters that come with age. This was especially crucial when they set about solving Jag’s issues.
I really liked how Jag acknowledged Edward’s part in Michael’s life, instead of feeling threatened.
All the Heaven and Hell boys are all perfectly likable (Mac is my favorite so far). I wished they have more page time. The story was very couple-centric, most of it just Michael and Jag. We are told that Jag feels more and more at home in the club as time goes by. And that he’s becoming friends with the others. I wanted to see his interactions with other dancers instead of just being told about it.
Broken is a hurt comfort story about a second chance at love and finding a place to belong to. It’s also about healing, trust, new beginnings and meeting the right person that makes you break all the rules. Even if I wasn’t entirely wowed, it’s still an enjoyable read overall.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
Candy Man: Lollipop – Amy Lane
Ezra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.
Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.
Welcome back to sunny Sacramento, where shiny, happy people help sad, broken queers put the pieces back together.
Last we know of Ezra, he was wilting in the summer sun and crying his eyes out at seeing Rico again. Now, Rico is with Derek and Ezra is still a weepy softy but tries to keep a brave face and start a new life. Lucky for him, Miguel is there to help him every step of the way. Unfortunately for me, it’s too similar to Derek and Rico’s story so it didn’t feel fresh. I ended up reading it for the people.
The Candy Man characters are the kind of people I want to be surrounded with. There’s Adam who came in with all his walls up but is now confident and taking charge, Finn who fell out of a basket of chocolate bunnies, Rico and Derek, yuppies who want to make a difference; Darrin who might be bitchy but just had to help everyone with his clairvoyance because how could he not, and the amazing Stewart family who adopts and feeds everyone in sight.
Ezra is the youngest Kellerman whose childhood was a sorry affair. He was in the closet for a long time until his father discovered his relationship with Rico. One day he broke down and decided enough was enough. I didn’t really warm up to Ezra immediately. He cries all the time and it took a long time for him to find what he was looking for even if it was already right in his face. Also, he kept putting off his visit to his shrink. You need professional help, Ezra. Please see your doctor.
Kristof Pituk as Ezra Kellerman
Miguel, I liked better. He comes from a big happy family and like in Rico and Derek’s case, he wants Ezra to experience the happy things he missed as a child. Their trip to Disneyland was the best.
Miles Frank as Miguel Rodriguez
Lollipop is the longest book so far, clocking in at 9+ hours. I enjoyed most of it though there were parts that I found repetitive especially the moments where Miguel, his mom or somebody was comforting Ezra and then after a while, the same thing would be said again only in a different way. There were a lot of these phrasing and rephrasing scattered throughout the story. I guess Ezra needed a lot of reassurances.
On a happier note, Darrin found his protege. And he was certainly not the one Darrin expected. Still, the candy fairy knew his new mentee will go a long way. I am excited to see what the new candy fairy will do for Robbie and Cy. Their book is next.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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