How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.
Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?
You know you have those books that you pick up and start reading and before you know it the whole day has passed you bye? Well that was me and this book.
Billy was such an amazing well thought out character, can’t really pigeon hole him as GFY because he knew with out knowing. And after it all falls apart he does try. The loyalty he feels towards he’s family, the fact that he’s giving every penny over just to help his family survive.
And Shaz, at first I just knew I would hate him, but actually FUN! The way he think he needs certain things to survive and grow in the business but as the story goes along, he grows and realizes maybe love can conquer all.
And who knew that Billy and Shaz would actually make such a wonderful team. Billy can and does teach Shaz about loyalty and love. And Shaz can teach Billy and the letting go and just being.
The people that Shaz and Billy surround themselves with are just as great. The crew Billy works with, the team Shaz has put together. And even though everyone has some hurdles to get over it all works out in the end.
Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud. Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares.
How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?
When meeting Jim in book one, you want him to have a story so getting it was wonderful. However, through out this book I found a couple of things pretty bizarre.
We understood from the last book that Jim was in the closest and struggling with his sexuality. And with the revelation of Billy coming out has really shaken up his world. So this book starts with that struggle and does a wonderful job of showing us the two worlds he’s living with.
Once Jim meets Ken, that world tilts again and Jim starts to really question his beliefs and understandings and wants now to be the time. When things happen and push him back in the closest and back to questioning I just wanted to scream. Not at the situation but at Jim, I got that with his upbringing, an over bearing dad, he was ripe for growing up a little shy and being a ‘yes, sir.’ Don’t rock the boat, type person. But over the years living by himself, doing everything by himself you would have thought he would have grown a spine, but during this whole book, the word that came to mind was wimp.
The other thing that threw me was the sub plot of Ken and his parents pushing a love interest on him. That I got, culture, parents wanting a kid to be happy. What I didn’t get was the plot of it, gang rape, really. Then the plot was foiled nothing was done, not really. Plus what did they think was going to happen when the attacked not only a friend of the family but a high power, high level doctor? get away with it? And then that story just went away.
Of course in the end all the subterfuge of the father holding all the cards comes out and everything works out, but not a happy way to get there.