You do what you have to do to survive. For eighteen-year-old Liam Newman that means living the life of a gay porn star, a job he loathes. He isn’t a star. He’s a prisoner and his warden is the man who saved him from the cold Vancouver streets.
Justin has been Liam’s next-door neighbor for two years and has had a crush on him for just as long. Oblivious to Liam’s porn career, he ‘s content to mind his own business about Liam’s turbulent relationship until the truth stumbles drunk into his apartment one night and he realizes something must be done.
When Liam’s boyfriend turned producer decides rent boys make more money than porn stars Liam’s nightmare takes a horrible turn. Justin must find a way to rescue him before it’s too late.
I am not sure how to even put into words how this book affected me, so I’m going to do my best. The subject matter is so heavy. Liam is a sex slave, a porn star, an 18 year old kid who literally is at the mercy of his “boyfriend” Cord. The things Liam is forced to do out of obligation and fear because Cord saved him from the streets practically had me doubling over feeling so sick for him. The harsh reality of the sheer hell Liam lived with is nothing but sickening. I literally had to walk away in parts because it was so crushing and it was so painful to read at times. D.P. didn’t sugar coat anything and nothing was swept under the rug.
This story is definitely not one for the faint at heart, it’s dark, it’s emotional, it’s very harsh, gritty, real and raw. When I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse for Liam’s situation I was quickly proven wrong time and time again. Nothing is easy, actually things get a whole lot worse before they get better. Liam’s only solace in the nightmare he’s living is Justin. A guy who lives across the hall that has absolutely no idea what really is going on with Liam. When he does find out he’s at the mercy of wanting to take matters into his own hands or doing what is right for Liam. And let me tell you all, I have never met a character like Justin. This man, this beautiful, tender man who is so understanding, so patient, so strong, so determined with the most beautiful soul was just an absolute god sent. There was never a moment where he tried to take advantage of the situation. The respect I feel for him is just insurmountable. What I’m feeling is “Thank fucking god for Justin”. Thank god someone is finally treating Liam like a human being not a hired piece of ass or some whore they can do whatever they feel like doing to him. Thank god someone cares enough to see that Liam deserves to have respect and dignity.
D.P.’s writing is just so raw and so brilliantly done that you will feel every single emotion, touch, fear and hardship going on throughout. It’s definitely one of those stories where it reaches deep levels within you and shakes you to the core because it’s not pretty, it gets real ugly. The aftermath of Liam’s ordeal is just as gut wrenching. This poor broken soul.
This is definitely not a hearts and flowers story, it’s not your typical m/m where everything is all hot and steamy. I’m so grateful that she didn’t wrap this up in a neat little bow at the end because after what Liam went through there is definitely going to be long lasting effects. I need the next book. I need to see how Liam is coping, I need to see him heal emotionally. I wouldn’t say this leaves you with a cliffhanger more like you’ll be craving for more. Seriously, Thank you for introducing me to an unbelievably heart wrenching story. I cannot wait to read the next installment because there is just so much story that needs to be told.
*received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
He hated Tuesdays. Hated them beyond mere loathing, but he didn’t have a word for what came after loathing. Despised seemed far too civilized.
Liam stood in the bedroom with his back to the mirrored closet doors so he wouldn’t have to look at himself and ignored the brush of heavy terrycloth against his skin. That robe represented everything he hated about his life. His stomach churned with resentment that made it tempting to lock himself in the bathroom. Too bad that wouldn’t do any good.
He heard the dreaded knock at the front door on the far side of the apartment and the knot in his stomach pulled tight. There had been a time when that sound had made him want to hurl chunks. He supposed the lack of terror was an improvement of sorts.
“You ready, Babe?” Cord called from the living room.
“Yeah,” he called back, “why the hell not,” he muttered to himself.
He padded out of the room struggling to feel something besides annoyance as Cord opened the front door to welcome the man he’d be sharing a bed with for the next eight hours. He was compact and bulky with short-cropped bottle-blonde hair, and a tan he obviously hadn’t gotten from the Vancouver sun.
Liam flopped into a chair near the kitchen and pretended to be engrossed in one of Cord’s trade magazines. He saw no reason to acknowledge the rented cock of the day until absolutely necessary. Instead, he flipped pages while Cord talked about positions and emotion in a lecture he didn’t need to hear. He’d been doing this twice a week every week for years. He knew the routine. It didn’t matter that a hundred shoots a year wasn’t the industry standard. It was Cord’s standard.
He ignored Bulky Blonde as the actor stripped out of his clothes to give Cord a look at what he had to work with that afternoon. There was nothing new on that body. They all looked the same: tan, toned, and tattooed. He didn’t need to see it. He’d get a very good look over the course of the day.
He stifled a sigh he knew would sound petulant and turned another page without seeing anything on it. Cord hated it when he pouted. He could be angry and resentful as long as he did what he was told. Pouting would just get him a pep talk full of lies. Those weren’t new either.
He saw Bulky Blonde step to him out of the corner of his eye and pasted on his best smile before looking up to meet his gaze. Being difficult and aloof with the rented cocks only dragged out the torment. When they were tense, they did things wrong and the more they got wrong the more time he had to spend with them. He stood up and tossed the magazine in the chair before shaking Bulky Blonde’s hand.
“I’ve seen a few of your videos,” Bulky Blonde told him. “I like your work.”
He couldn’t say the same and he wasn’t in the mood to lie.
DP Denman writes character-driven gay romance about survivors. Her stories are real and intense but always resolve in the type of ending that makes readers want to start the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city that is dear to her heart.
In her spare time she is a dedicated gay rights activist fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.