Title: In The Spotlight
Author: Shona Husk
Publisher: Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Genre(s): Gay contemporary romance, Navy Officer, Ballet Dancer
Page Count: 135 pages
Reviewed by: Natosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A diva who lives for the spotlight, a sailor deeply in the closet, a love that will change them both
Ripley Malone is returning to Perth in triumph. A principal ballet dancer in a production that has critics raving, he is an unqualified success, and all the small-minded people that made his life hell can kiss his lycra-covered ass. But behind the makeup and the glitter and the costumes, Ripley is beginning to tire, tire of the competition, the drive, the endless parade of meaningless lovers.
For Pierce Lovell, joining the Navy was a way out of rural Victoria, but becoming a submariner comes with its own set of challenges. The close living quarters and long months away are awkward enough without adding any extra tension around his sexuality. The fear is probably in his head, but he isn’t taking any chances with his career. He gets by on anonymous one-night-stands every time they come to shore and keeps his heart well-shielded. But one night with Ripley opens the tantalising possibility of more.
Through a mistake Ripley is injured. He can’t dance. His wings are clipped and he crashes down and hits the earth hard. Pierce knows their affair can’t possibly end in anything but heartache, but he can’t stay away. As Ripley heals and reassesses his life, he is determined not to make the same mistakes again. That means letting someone see the vulnerable side of him. But vulnerability for Pierce could cost him everything
All too often we let fear control our actions. Fear from being left heartbroken, so we close ourselves off to love. Fear that our fellow teammates will not accept who we really are, so we hide that we are gay out of worrying how we will be treated. Fear of never being able to make it too the top again, so we do not try for our ultimate goal in our career field. Fear of what the test results could be, so we do not get tested for a genetic gene to see if we have an incurable disease. Fear is what holds us back and until we let go of that fear, we do not truly begin to live.
No two people know fear more than these two men in this story.
Ripely is doing what he has always wanted to do by being the lead in his dance company. He has deemed of being the lead and being a ballet dancer since he was young enough to remember and he is living that dream or at least he feels he is. The thing is I do not think that Ripley is truly living because he lets his fears hold him back. The thing is he is not scared of being gay because he has never hidden that. He is scared because once upon a time he trusted the wrong man and was betrayed and heartbroken because of it. So now he does not let anyone get even remotely close to him because he swore to himself he would never fall in love again. But that is not what scares him the most. What scares him the most is having the same disease his father has and never being able to dance again. What scares him the most is not being able to make it to his ultimate goal in his career as the lead in “Swan Lake”. He lets these fears hold him back and in turn he does not take the chances to find out if he can make it and he does not take the test to see if he has the same genetic disorder his father and brother have.
Pierce knows a thing or two about fear control his life also. He knows because he allows his fear control the major part of him. He hides from his buddies which is the equivalent to family to him that he is gay. He is scared of losing the only people he believes to be family to him, especially since his own family finding out he was gay did not go wel. Pierce considers his Navy buddies to be his family and does not believe that they will accept him and treat him as they do now. So he hides and lives with the fear of what will happen if they find out.
When Pierce and Ripley meet they both end up having to face their fears if they want a chance of what they have growing between them to ever work out. The only question is how will it turn out for both of them being together and individually when they do face their fears? Will it be too much for them or will they face everything together?
This book was really an inspiring read. Getting to know the characters as they are before they met and then how they begin to become after they meet is pretty much the difference between day and night. They each give the other the strength that neither possessed before meeting each other to face those fears and hope that they both come out on the other side. It was an incredible journey and I enjoyed being able to take it with them. It was truly inspiring to see them face and overcome their fears. Truly a wonderful read.
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