Author: E.M. Lynley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: novella (62 pages)
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Race Wilcox and Derrick Steele are best friends and co-stars of a mildly popular television series perpetually on the verge of cancellation. Promotion and ratings are high priority for the network. So when a Halloween party turns into a huge publicity event, Race and Derrick are obliged to attend.
Race hates the idea, and only the fact that Derrick will be there makes the idea bearable… until he finds out Derrick’s girlfriend will be there too. The sudden flare of jealousy stuns Race, and there will be many more surprises to come during and after the party, surprises that will affect Race’s and Derrick’s relationship forever.
Disguises is about the masks that people wear when they don’t want anyone to know who they really are. Race has been best friends with Derrick for two and a half years. They are together almost 24/7 except for the times that Derrick’s girlfriend Stella visits, when they usually hang out. Stella works on another television show which shoots in Canada so, at best, her visits are once a month. Recently Race has been jealous of Stella and he can’t understand why.
Race and Derrick have been ordered to attend a Halloween party but Race didn’t want to go because he hated studio parties, and in addition Stella would be going with Derrick. However, he had no choice since their show was always on the brink of cancellation and their attendance was a command performance.
At the party he and Derrick stayed together most of the time since Stella had disappeared, and when they found her she seemed to be pretty tight with another actress, which didn’t impress Derrick. However he soon joined them and they left together shortly after. In the meantime, at the party everyone wanted to play with Race’s whip since he had dressed up as Indiana Jones. He hooked up with one of the women, Eliza, and took her home mainly because he was jealous of Derrick’s and Stella’s relationship. But the night didn’t exactly turn out the way he planned. When they arrived at his place Eliza, who was very drunk, tied him up and whipped him to the point where he was in some serious pain. The next day he felt so bad he couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. When he explained the situation to Derrick he offered to put some soothing balm on his many cuts and bruises, but when Derrick touched his body they became aroused. Derrick confessed that he was gay and they ended up in bed shortly after and had some pretty hot sex.
Turns out they had both been hiding something – their attraction to each other. Derrick and Race had been good friends for sometime but apparently not such good friends that they shared their innermost secrets. Stella’s relationship with Derrick was another big secret that was not revealed until Derrick came out to Race who finally admitted his attraction to his best friend.
The plot was not believable in one critical area. I didn’t understand how Race could have allowed Eliza to tie him up, whip and bite him, causing him so much pain that the next day he was incapable of doing his job. Granted he was a also little drunk but he could have stopped her from beating the crap out of him by screaming, since his mouth was not taped. In addition, no matter how drunk he was, self preservation should have kicked in so that he wouldn’t allow her to wield the whip AND tie him up at the same time. I do understand that the author had to figure out how to get the two protagonists together but to me this didn’t seem to be a viable plan.
Disguises worked on some levels but I wish that a few elements of the story were not so patently obvious as a device to get Derrick and Race together, in such a way that Derrick would have to touch Race intimately.
This is a Gay for You story since Race was still interested in women, and although he did not have explicit sex in the book with Eliza, it was alluded to when he woke up the next day.
The guys’ personalities were complete opposites, with Derrick being very bubbly and good natured and Race as the darker, more self contained person. I liked Derrick a lot more than Race, and probably if the plot were different Race would have appealed to me more.