Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau

Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau

Straight Shooter Cover

Publishing Date: 7 April 2014

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BLURB:

This macho jock has a crooked little secret.

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?

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REVIEW:

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you! I did not think I was going to like Austin. At all. In my mind, there was not a chance in the warmest reaches of the Devil’s anus that he would win me over. He came off as an ignorant, empty, narcissistic waste of skin in the other books. I was expecting to dislike his character, thoroughly. All while enjoying his yummy character growth-spurts of course. Because, Heidi Belleau.

I definitely did not expect to like Austin almost instantly. I most certainly did not expect to completely love his character (everything about him, down to the way he inhales oxygen). Austin is confused, conflicted, filled with pain and self-hatred, and just so heartbreakingly lost. More importantly, he is willing to grow and learn from his mistakes. Even make new, or similar, ones along the way. I didn’t stand a chance. There was no way I could stop myself from rooting for Austin to become a better person, to let go of ignorant ideas, figure out who he is, and to accept himself.

Austin challenged me to think. I love that. Alright, I suppose I get how he could be a difficult character for some to read, for many different reasons. He ought to be unlikeable, and I imagine he is to some. His thoughts are many, and long lasting (still, I adored them). His turmoil over his sexuality is some heavy stuff. It takes a lot of time and pain for him to work everything out. Then, in the end, he doesn’t fall neatly and conveniently into a familiar label.

Anyway, I need to tell you about Liam. He is phenomenal. He made this book. He is critical to Austin’s development, and he helped make him loveable. Their interactions alternate between hilarious and intense. Seriously, their initial meeting…epic. It is amazing, amusing, and oh so awkward. I loved it, and their second encounter, and the one after that, and you get the point. Honestly, they just get increasingly better. The dynamic between Liam and Austin is superb. Their relationship grows into something else as the book progresses. And while I really enjoyed their initial moments together, it’s the later ones that are unforgettable.

I think Heidi Belleau’s writing is unique and refreshing. Unexpected, even. I feel like Straight Shooter will be a “love it or hate it,” mostly because it doesn’t exactly deliver what one may expect. Even though it can be sweet at times, it’s largely raw and gritty. The book focuses a lot, and I mean a lot on Austin. On his confusion, his growth, and his inner turmoil. Sure, his relationship with Liam is essential to the plot, but maybe not in the way you’d expect. Additionally, I don’t think they are particularly romantic. Or, maybe I’m wrong. I don’t read a lot of BDSM, so that could all be thematic of the subgenre.

This is my favorite book of the series, thanks to Austin and Liam. They are great individually, and even better together. I highly recommend this to fans of the series, also, to breathers of air.

I’m really sad to see this series come to an end.

*ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4.5Stars.

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ChristinaMarieSignature

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