Friday, January 20, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Camouflage by Jon Keys

Release Day Review ~ Camouflage by Jon Keys

Title: Camouflage

Author: Jon Keys
Release Date: January 20, 2017
Category: Western
Pages: 200

Nash Gallo and Luke Meyers seem like complete opposites on the surface. Nash is a city boy from Atlanta, while Luke is a rancher from rural Oklahoma. Nash is covered in tattoos and piercings, while Luke is self-conscious about his muscular, hairy body. Luke doesn’t have much sexual experience with other men, while Nash has plenty to go around.
But both men are lonely, and neither of them has ever been in love.
They also both have secrets. For Luke, it’s his shame over an affair with a local closeted and married man, something Nash accepts. Will Luke be as tolerant of what Nash is hiding—his job as a prostitute back in Georgia?
A week-long vacation on Luke’s ranch and the idyllic landscapes surrounding it gives both men the chance to relax and explore the attraction growing between them. But can the budding relationship survive secrets and small-town prejudices? As they search for the place where their lives might intersect, Nash and Luke risk far worse than broken hearts.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Nash and Luke are two very different men that met online and became cyberfriends. Nash lives in the city and Luke lives in the country on a farm. Nash has tattoos and piercings and Luke does not. Luke has little sexual experience and Nash is a pro. Nash needs a vacation from his life and takes a two-week vacation to spend it with Luke. Luke had said he lived in the country, but Nash didn't realize it would be so rural. It takes a little time for the men to settle into their comfortable friendship in real life, but they eventually do. And, though neither planned it, they both give in to their attraction for the other. But, both men have some secrets that must be overcome.

Nash and Luke were good characters, but I would have loved some more character development and backstory. I didn't really feel the chemistry between the two men, and for a lot of the book, I understood that since they were just getting to know each other in real life instead of through their computer. Though Luke lives in a rural area, they are not lacking in food selections. They definitely seemed to work up an appetite a lot throughout their time together, and food was a big part of their story. With Luke living on the farm, I was a little surprised that there wasn't more focus or time spent on doing the farm work.

Luke may have been in a rural area, but don't think that means boring or quiet. Luke and Nash experience difficulties with a neighbor, an ex-lover and mother nature. And, even if they manage to deal with all those issues, eventually Luke will find out that Nash is a prostitute/rent boy in Atlanta. Luke's best friend was able to find the information out pretty easily online, and Nash did have a website, so it makes me wonder what the heck Luke was thinking letting a stranger come stay in his home without doing his own research!

Rating 3.5 stars

3.5 Stars!

A heartwarming tale of two very different guys who go from an online friendship to something lasting.

So, the title of the review sums up the tale, but of course, it can't tell you about the warmth and realness that's in it. I liked that both guys were so very different, but were open to learning about each other and to letting their online friendship grow. One had nothing but an expectation of a short escape from the harsh realities of his life, and the other wanted to be able to be himself and to have a relationship that he wasn't ashamed of, to be himself and not scared of his 'failings'.

The guys did start off as simply friends, but there was an attraction between them from the very start and both went into things head-first, without any expectations of anything more than a week's worth of casual hook-ups. But, it was clear that there was already a good deal of caring between them, and they were clearly compatible and so I totally bought that they'd kind of go from strangers to lovers in a really short time - they certainly felt more like that than just meaningless hook-ups.

There was the right amount of angst in this, and it was something that had to come out and be considered by both, and for me, that made their relationship all the more believable. I liked that there was realism in the reveal, with the one doing the revealing bracing himself for rejection, and the other being stunned at the possibility that the guy he was falling for was 'not a decent guy', but feeling conflicted over how...conflicted he was over what is OK and what isn't. Sorry if that sounds confusing, but I hope you know what I mean; he had to find it in himself to think, realise what he might be missing out on if he judged the other on his past and his life choices, and not for the decent person inside.

What did make me smile a lot in this tale, is how hungry both guys were - there were endless meals, endless talk of food, endless visits to fast food outlets, endless things being made, packed up and enjoyed. It made me wonder if the author was a bit of a foodie!

In summary, this is a feelgood tale that ends believably for the leads, and which has made me want to check out more by this author.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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