“Love does strange things to you sometimes. It can twist you into saying and doing things that you know you’ll regret and still, you do them.” — C.K. Kelly Martin
Author: D.P. Denman
Publisher: North Shore Press
Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Blurb: 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.
Review: Saving Liam is your typical boy next door romance. If the boy next door is being coerced by an evil monster to perform internet porn in exchange for a roof over his head and food to eat. Justin has been Liam’s neighbor for a couple of years and has had a crush on him from the first time they met. Liam lives with his “boyfriend” Cord. Justin doesn’t know the details of their relationship, he just knows that the honorable thing to do is to not tell Liam about his crush, and to be a friend to him when he needs one.
For Liam, living with Cord, not matter how terrible the things he has to do make him feel, is better than living on the street, which is where he was when he was kicked out of his house for being gay. Cord records Liam having sex with different hustlers at least weekly. It’s gotten so bad that Liam has to drink before going through with what Cord demands of him. Cord never stops reminding Liam that nothing is free in life. Cord rescued Liam off the streets, now Liam has to do this so they can have enough money to live.
The only part of Liam’s life that gives him any comfort is when he goes across the hall to Justin’s and plays video games. That is the only place he feels safe. Each time he goes over to Justin’s to play games, it is nearly impossible for Justin to not kiss him and tell Liam he cares about him. Justin has no clue that Liam is being forced to perform porn by his so called boyfriend.
Cord decides that Liam is too old for his target audience and starts to require other things from him in order to still earn money from Liam’s work. When he gets into a bad situation at the hotel where Justin works, Justin comes to his rescue and helps get him out of the terrible living situation he has been stuck in. I just want to wrap him up and hug him like his parents should have done. Liam breaks my heart, over and over again. This poor kid got the short end of the stick every chance there was. Watching his struggle, then little by little getting his soul back, was extremely heart-warming.
Justin is such a sweet guy and always thinking of others before himself. He definitely is the fixer. Both at work and in life, he is able to solve virtually any problem he comes across. Between the separate plots of Justin’s life at work and with Rich, and Liam’s life with Cord, then with Justin, Saving Liam was like an emotional roller coaster. I rooted for Justin then bawled for Liam. Then I rooted for Liam but bawled for Justin! And all along I just wanted Cole and Rich to disappear so our heroes could be together and safe!
The plot and subplots moved a little too slowly for my taste, but they eventually got to where I wanted them to be. And I did like how the ending really pulled together all the details without leaving anything unanswered. D.P. Denman didn’t fall into the happily ever after trap that often reads more like a fairy tale than reality. This is a decent read and a happily for now, with the inferred potential for a happily ever after that was good enough for me.