“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ― Gautama Buddha
Author: Heidi Belleau
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 277 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: College hockey player Austin Puett is in trouble. Unless he starts treating his flamboyantly gay roommate with respect, he’ll lose his room and his job at Rear Entrance Video. But Austin’s got a not-so-straight secret of his own: nothing turns him on more than insults implying he’s gay—even though he’s definitely not!—and all his old coping methods have stopped working.
Pure desperation drives him to rent a Mischievous Pictures porn flick about straight men tricked into servicing Puck, a male dominant. Instead of letting off steam, though, it just leaves him craving more, more, more, and suddenly, Austin finds himself at Mischievous Pictures Studios for an audition. After all, you can be Gay For Pay and still be straight . . . right?
But meeting Liam Williams, the real person behind Puck, confuses Austin even more. Liam really seems to like him as a person, and Austin likes him back. And while Gay For Pay’s okay, what does it make Austin if he still wants Liam when the cameras aren’t rolling?
Review: I loved this book so much, but I just couldn’t find the right place to begin talking about WHY I loved it. Lisa gave me the quote above, and it truly was exactly what I needed.
In Apple Polisher, Austin wasn’t a very big part of the story. He became a larger part of the story near the end of Wallflower, just not in a good way. Austin was the only one in the house who had a big problem when Bobby “came out” near the end of the book. It was hard to understand why Austin had such a problem with Bobby when he hadn’t shown any of this toward Max and Christian when they became a couple.
His reasons became clear early in Straight Shooter. Austin has a very unusual kink, he seems to get off on being degraded. He doesn’t get turned on by showering with the guys on his hockey team, he doesn’t even get turned on watching them sweating it out in the gym. What turns him on is when they call him derogatory names that would make most men angry.
When punishing himself in the gym and cutting himself stops working to harness the desires he hates, Austin is forced to find another avenue to control it. This new thing is porn. He seems to believe that watching straight men, like himself, be forced into submission by Master Puck will help him keep his own desires in check. It seems to be working right up until Liam Williams, the man who plays Puck, walks into the video store where Austin works.
This meeting sets off a chain of events that rocks Austin’s world. He tries to convince Liam that he wants to do the “gay for pay” porn so he can get over his desires. When Liam denies Austin, the two men talk about the why of it, and they begin an off-screen arrangement to help Austin get what he needs.
What happens to Austin over the time spent with Liam is a true journey. Austin goes from a self loathing man who has pushed everyone out of his life to a man who has started to not only accept himself, warts and all, but to accept everyone around him.
What Heidi Belleau has done with Austin and Liam is wonderful. Austin realizes that he doesn’t have to fit into any one certain box. He can just be. The road he traveled with Liam was not an easy one for either of them. They both made mistakes, but what I loved about the road they traveled together was the friendship they developed over and above the D/s side of their relationship. They were not perfect, but they were perfect for one another. I believe this helped Austin to reach out and rebuild what he had broken with Bobby and some of his other housemates.
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. Heidi Belleau has once again pushed the envelope of kink, and I for one loved it. It was wonderful watching Austin come out of his shell as a friend, lover and athlete. Once he got his head sorted, the rest of his life seemed to follow, and it was wonderful to see him finally get some moments of happiness.
I don’t know if there will be another book in the Rear Entrance Video series, but if there is, I know I will be one of the first in line for it. I highly recommend the series, and this book is my favorite of the bunch.