Title: Knight of Ocean Avenue (Love in Laguna #1)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Page Count: 254
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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?
I feel very fortunate that I enjoy such a wide variety of M/M romance fiction. Some favorites include firefighters, law enforcement, BDSM, M/M couples with children, military boys, hockey boys and hurt/healing/comfort. (I have so much to choose from!) But there is a special place in my heart for your basic, straight forward M/M romance which feature protagonists who are regular, good, honest, decent folks who overcome great obstacles to reach their entirely well-deserved HEA. [book:Knight of Ocean Avenue|25138086] will go down as one of these special books for me.
MC Billy Ballew is a incredibly hard working construction worker with a heart of gold. He gives half of his salary to his parents, after his dad suffered a heart attack and could no longer work. He helped put his sister through college. He coaches a little league team because he feels it’s important to have a safe place for children to explore their interests without the fear of bullying and he always shows up for the family dinner at his parent’s place every Sunday. He also has two cats which he absolutely adores, which just clinched the deal for me. Just a regular guy that anyone would love. And, boy, did I fall for him! On top of his personally-plus persona, he is a hulking 6’5″ of gorgeous man meat.
MC Chase “Shaz” Phillips is a professional stylist. He owns his own business where he treats his employees like family, usually thinking of their welfare before his own. After being thrown out by his biological family at the tender age of 16 for being gay, he has worked hard to make a place for himself in this world. He is extremely flamboyant and makes absolutely no excuses for his exaggerated homosexuality. He has been looking for his heroic Knight to rescue his from the proverbial tower since he first realized he was gay. He finds that Knight in Billy.
This story was a absolutely enchanting journey of Billy discovering his true sexually at the age of 25 and how he and Shaz meet and fall in love. The warm-fuzzies will be slapping you in the face at every turn and I found myself with a huge, silly grin on my face many, many times as I read this. Incredibly low angst, this is a perfect book for anyone who needs an easy, feel-good book to pull them out of a crappy mood. Bonus points for the hot sex!!
I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND Knight of Ocean Avenue to each and every one of my GR friends and to all lovers of M/M romance. The only thing missing was an epilogue, but author Tara Lain has a sequel [book:Knave of Broken Hearts|176725] in the works featuring Billy’s good friend Joe, so I know we will see this boys again.
P.S. 3 cheers for all gay cats!