Title: Living Out Loud
Author: Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 8th 2017
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Page Count: 3654 kindle locations
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.
Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought.
When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.
**Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn
**Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.
Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee was the equivalent of my addictions handed to me on a platter.
Second chance romance + friends to lovers + hurt/comfort/healing + opposites attract
Annnnnd- sexy af! I was afraid my iPad was going to catch on fire! Plus, I love the idea of crossing over characters from two different series. We’re first introduced to Xavier in A Hundred Thousand Words. Ben we met in Paint the Stars (Free Fall Book 3).
It’s the two story of two childhood friends, Ben and Xavier, who lost touch and reconnected years later. During their time apart Xavier has blossomed on his own and lived his life the way he wants. Ben, on the hand, has lived through hell and is now healing and coming into his own.
Some of highlights:
-I love opposites attract stories in which the characters bring out the best in each other. They each had hurts from their past and helped each other heal.
-Relationship development. It felt natural and progressed at a leisurely pace.
-Narration. The story’s told from alternating POVs.
-Chemistry. Refer back to my:
“I was afraid my iPad was going to catch on fire!” comment.
-Supporting cast. I always love catching up with past characters, and we’re also introduced to Penny, Xavier’s boss. I just loved her.
-And the end…it’s all kinds of sweet, butterflies in your stomach goodness.
All in all, this was a crossover success! Living Out Loud is a touching story of survival, self-discovery, and love. 4 Beautiful Stars.