Author: Keelan Ellis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: I was engrossed in this story from the beginning and really wanted to know what would happen between Ethan and Charlie.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Ethan Daniels, host of a popular conservative cable news program, has never thought of his bisexuality as a problem, though he has never acted on his attraction to men. Since his divorce, that desire has become more acute. When he meets Charlie Woods, his daughter’s first grade teacher, they have an instant spark, but Ethan hesitates to act. His contract is up for renewal, there are already rumors swirling about him because of a brief encounter from his past, and the last thing his employers want is for one of their stars to come out publicly.
Charlie avoids romantic entanglements because he prefers living on his own terms. He keeps love and sex completely separate, never seeing anyone more than a few times. Hooking up with a closeted celebrity like Ethan seems safe from emotional involvement, even if they have to keep their fledgling relationship secret.
The last thing they expect is to fall in love, but their strong mutual attraction moves them both to make changes neither of them thought they wanted or needed.
Review: Ethan has left his news anchor job and moved to Manhattan from Philadelphia to be near his ex-wife, Deirdre, and his first grade daughter, Fiona. To do that, he’s taken a job with ECHO news (think Fox News), and while he finds the job pretty distasteful, he can suck it up for the obscene amount of money he’s being paid. That is, until he meets Charlie Woods, his daughter’s teacher at her exclusive private school. For some reason Ethan can’t seem to forget about Charlie, and when he runs into him in a pub after a confrontation at work, he’s quite drunk and Charlie ends up walking him home. Once in his apartment, Ethan gives in to his desires and even though he’s not necessarily in his right mind, he knows he wants Charlie.
After seeing Charlie at parent night at Fiona’s school, Ethan’s kind of a jerk to Charlie, but he comes back to apologize. One thing leads to another and they end up in bed. Charlie really likes Ethan even though he knows he’s in the closet, and that his job makes it really difficult to be truthful about his sexuality. Ethan has hidden who he is for so long that he’s not sure what to do with what he feels for Charlie, but he really doesn’t want to give Charlie up—even though he realizes he’s being unfair since Charlie is not in the closet.
As they grow closer, Ethan is under more pressure at work and is up for a new five year contract. And, he’s torn because he really doesn’t want to give up Charlie. He realizes he cannot ask Charlie to live half a life and a lie and so he tries to set Charlie free. But it turns out he can’t really live with that either.
After a final confrontation at work, Ethan is determined to have the life he wants, though it might be hard to achieve. Charlie is happy that Ethan is being true to himself, even if it means there are big changes in their life and their relationship. They are both going to have to work hard and sacrifice and compromise a bit to make this relationship work.
This is the first story I’ve read by this author and I really liked it. Ethan has made a bit of a deal with the devil with his job, in the interest of being an active participant in his daughter’s life. While his divorce was the right thing to do, he and his ex-wife have made their daughter a priority. Thankfully, they both behave like adults and, in the end, support each other as a happy parent is a better parent. The author really shows Ethan’s internal conflict and his crisis of conscience.
Charlie is a very believable as a commitment phobic guy who has trouble accepting that he really deserves a happy ending. He wants to believe it, but he can’t quite picture it; it’s just out of his line of sight. He does know, however, that what he feels for Ethan is very different, and he doesn’t want to lose it. I really enjoyed the building of their relationship from the somewhat accidental one-night stand, to true partnership.
The secondary characters in this story really added to the overall flavor. Fiona and Deirdre both love Ethan and despite the breakup of their family, they still operated as a caring unit. Charlie’s friends and especially his family were a bit of comic relief. I would love to read more about Josh and Roland, or Girish and Wes. 😉
I was engrossed in this story from the beginning and really wanted to know what would happen between Ethan and Charlie. I liked the writer’s style and I will definitely look for more of her books.
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