Title: Release (Rent Boys #1)
Author: A.E. Ryecart
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Page Count: 218
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
When life holds them captive, can love be their release?
Selling his body since he was a fifteen-year-old runaway, rent boy Sean Farrell has learned the hard lesson that the only way to survive the streets is to act tough and cocky. But an act is all it is, as underneath he’s never felt more adrift as he struggles with crippling self-doubt. Sean’s distilled life into three simple rules: earn enough cash to get by, stick close to the friends who have become his family — and don’t let anyone steal his heart.
Art is Laurie Cassell’s profession and passion. His calm and ordered life is just how he thinks he wants it, but it’s becoming harder to ignore the creeping feeling that calm and ordered has become dull and predictable. Laurie craves more but doesn’t know what, or not until a man with dark hazel eyes and a bad attitude swaggers into his life — and leaves with his heart.
Two men who should never have met, let alone fallen in love. Can Sean and Laurie release the other from lives that are holding them captive?
*** Release is a slow burn, opposites attract MM romance. Found family, good friends who give advice our men don’t want to hear, and the redemptive power of love can all be found between the pages. No cliff hanger, and a guaranteed HEA. ***
While I enjoyed the end of this story, the first half didn’t really do much for me. I was waiting for a bit more of a romanticized take on the rent boy trope.
Sean has been a rent boy since the age of 15. After losing his dad and forced into foster care, he was abused and told he was worthless. So, as an adult, that’s what he became…worthless. Until he met Laurie one rainy night. Laurie gave him something to live for. A reason to be a better man.
I didn’t care for Sean, honestly. He was harsh and brash and seemed like a jerk to Laurie from the start, even admitting his behavior was less then Laurie deserved.
Sean had it rough. He had only known the life of a rent boy and couldn’t find a way out. It wasn’t until he and Laurie decided to make a go of it that the story started to get interesting. Lives intersected and issues from the past came to light. I found myself getting into the story more and more as Sean came around to wanting more and knowing that Laurie deserved more.
Overall, it was worth the read and I’m likely to give the next book in the series a try.