Monday, December 26, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Bullet ~ Garrett Leigh ~ (Review)

Blog Tour ~ Bullet (Blue Boy Studio #1) ~ Garrett Leigh ~ (Review)

Author: Garrett Leigh

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Levi Ramone entered the gay porn market for one reason, and one reason only: he needed the cash to pay his momma's spiraling gambling debts. 

Seven years later, he's a veteran with a reputation as one of Blue Boy Studio's most ruthless tops, and when his boss suggests it's time for a change, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun. Figuratively speaking, at least.

Enter Sonny Valentine, a go-go dancer at Blue's sister club, Silver's. Levi has secretly admired Sonny from afar for years, but there's a problem. He can't stand Sonny and the feeling is entirely mutual. When Levi learns Sonny is to play the third part in a scene he already considers his worst nightmare, he figures things can't get any worse.

But when preparations for the scene from hell collide with tragic events in his personal life, he finds his fast-growing, red-hot attraction to Sonny just might be the only thing left between him and a bullet.

4 Stars!

I wasn't too sure about this one as I began reading it. I had to push myself at first to keep going because something about Levi and Sonny really turned me off. I'm not quite sure when my interest in the story changed and I realized I couldn't put it down, but at some point, I became completely immersed in the story and felt much too invested in the characters to even take a break. Levi changed, not his character so much as just how I saw him. He became softer and more relatable.

I honestly felt sorry for him. Levi lost his father to suicide and instead of growing closer to his mother, they grew further and further apart. She became an abusive drunk and he began taking care of her out of loyalty and the need to feel a mother's love. But with little options, he turns to porn. Being a porn star might seem like easy money but it isn't good for Levi.

He talked it up a lot, made it seem like it was a good job for him, that the studio he worked for was great. I felt like Jon, Levi's boss, was actually a bit of a douche. He preys on Levi's desperate need for money to get him to agree to bottom for the first time. Not only bottom but do it with the biggest D*ck (figuratively and literally) in the studio. Not to mention the fact that the way he pushes the tops to manhandle the bottoms and the "twinks" sounded repugnant. I couldn't help but take an instant dislike to him.

As far as Sonny is concerned, well, he grew on me in a way. I still feel like there's so much about him we don't know and that makes it hard to decide whether I truly like him or not. If we had gotten the opportunity to see things from his POV maybe it would be different, but we only get Levi's voice. I believe he wanted to help Levi but I'm not completely sure there wasn't a lot more going on.

The two men are good together, no doubt, and I enjoyed most of the scenes that involved both characters. I only wished there were more with them that weren't about sex or them arguing. The book left their relationship somewhat vague. While it has a happy ending it's more of a HFN than a HEA.

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

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

Levi co-owned a garage where he spent his time working on motorcycles and worked as a porn star. Levi's mom was an abusive drunk that liked to gamble. Levi hated working as a porn star but did it to earn money to pay his mother's debts. He rarely enjoyed his job as a porn star, and had a reputation for being ruthless. After another unenjoyable shoot, Levi's boss offers a large amount of money for Levi to bottom in a new video. Levi wants to refuse again, but he needs the money. Then Levi's eyes are opened about his treatment with the other men in the video by his co-worker Sonny. Sonny is a dancer, as well as a porn star and hates Levi. And in Levi's chaotic world, all things come to a head.

I felt sorry for Levi throughout this novella. He worked hard to provide for his mother, who never acknowledged or appreciated anything he did for her. She was abusive, physically and mentally to him and like many abused children, he couldn't just walk away from her. He spent most of his time working or alone. The porn was a good way for him to earn money and prevented him from finding hook-ups on his own. He paid little attention to other people that worked in porn, did his thing and got out. He's taken by surprise by Sonny's hatred and feelings for him and makes him start to notice more things around himself. This story is told from Levi's POV so I know very little about Sonny. I would have loved to have his point of view because I don't know how he went from hating Levi to wanting to help him.

This novella is Book 1 in the Blue Boy series. I did look at the next novella to see if the story was about Levi and Sonny or another couple because there wasn't really a resolution or ending for them. The book was about a new couple so I would say this is a HFN ending and maybe we'll see more of the couple in the next story.

Rating: 4 stars

4 Stars 

Though I didn't get to hear the magic words I love in a romance, this book was surprisingly sweet.

This is quite an unusual setting for a romance, as both leads are porn stars. One started because of debts and the other's a dancer who seems to do porn on the side. Neither judges the other for it, but both hate each other at the start, until an upcoming event leads the latter to offer support - and sex - to the other, and they begin to really see and get to know the other.

It's a tale with a fair bit of sex and it's one where I wouldn't have expected a full-on HEA or even a HFN, and that didn't bother me. I think this tale had surprising realism in its world and I liked where the leads ended up. I didn't know if they would give up porn or continue exclusively or as before, which didn't bother me, as I kind of separated that into a job, nothing more.

I'd certainly like to read more of these guys, and about a couple of the other side characters.

ARC courtesy of Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure.

Author Bio

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press. 

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits is a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at and co-owns the specialist stock photography company M O O N Stock Photography.

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