“Can miles truly separate you from friends…If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?”– Richard Bach
Same Page is the story of Jaxon Moncrieff, a world famous American actor who is seemingly straight and Liam Lassiter, a publicity shy Australian sculptor who is openly gay. The two meet at the opening of Liam’s exhibition in Sydney. Jaxon immediately finds Liam enthralling, but Liam wants nothing to do with the actor he mistakenly sees as a publicity whore. In reality, Jaxon hates the celebrity that comes with his profession and feels like he spends most of his life playing the “part” of Jaxon Moncrieff, actor.
The first third of Same Page was superb. The slow build in Jaxon’s realization that he feels a strong attraction to Liam, another man. The way he holds back because he knows how Liam dislikes Jaxon’s image as a womanizer.
Jaxon develops a friendship with Garrett Flemington, Liam’s manager. Garrett is also a father figure to Liam as Liam’s parents died when he was a teenager and Garrett, along with Liam’s family housekeeper, raised Liam from that point on. Jaxon refrains from asking about Liam, not wanting Garrett to think that Liam is the motivation behind their friendship.
As the months go by, neither Liam nor Jaxon is able to stop thinking about the other. When Jaxon is able to move the filming of his next movie to Sydney, he sees it as a golden opportunity to get to know Liam. He has his assistant find out the location of Liam’s intentionally remote home and just shows up at the gate one day.
What follows, is a beautiful time of learning about one another. Liam shows Jaxon an Australia many never get a chance to see. Jaxon starts spending weekends at Liam’s home three hours outside Sydney. Their physical relationship develops slowly, but they are in love with one another pretty early. This dance, this slow-burning attraction and the poetic way in which Ms. Velden describes the Australia Liam shows Jax is the best part of the book. In a way, it makes sense that when they are isolated from the world, in their own personal Nirvana, things are at their best.
It is once Liam and Jaxon give in to their feelings and desires that Same Page seems to jump to a different page. The sex is hot. The “I love yous” are tender and beautiful. Ms. Velden leans too heavily on page after page of sex and declarations of love. Easily a third of the book could have been done away with as it did nothing to advance the plot. At first it was great as a reader to have the desire for sex and love that had been simmering between two characters brought to fruition. Too much of a good thing immediately followed.
Ms. Velden eventually got back on track, back to the story, which is why I read novels instead of porn. I enjoyed the final, maybe quarter of the book as much as I did the first third. The sequel to Same Page, The Race is On, is expected August 9. I will read it because I am emotionally invested in these guys. I do, however, believe that a sequel is not needed. The rest of Liam and Jaxon’s story could have been told in Same Page if Ms. Velden had been able to stay on the same page. She is a new author, and I really look forward to seeing her grow into a writer that I put on auto-buy. I know she has it in her, she just has to get there.
Reviewed by: Tina