Flash Rip (Bob-O-Link’s Review)


Title: Flash Rip
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 19, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Gay Romance, Age Gap, Coming Out
Page Count: 290
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5

Blurb:

The most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard at an Australian beach is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Flash Rip is an M/M gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.

REVIEW:

Ever wondered why so many reviews on this cite have high ratings – it’s probably
because, unlike some hypothetical indentured readers, we reviewers are given choices of
the books in which we might be interested. The Blurb above sold me, so I was not
surprised to find that Ms Andrews’s Flash Rip was absolutely terrific.

While set on a fictional Australian beach, Flash Rip is no “beach” read. Rather, it’s a
finely detailed story about people engaged in professional life guarding. Cody, in his
early 20’s, is a trainee, a newbie. He is a strong personality, quite self-possessed.
Though usually openly gay – in the beginning, Cody plans keeping that information from
his co-workers (at least, until his friendly lady co-worker casually asks: “I hear you like
cock.”). Liam, beautiful, six-three and muscular, is now in his 30’s. (Thank you, Ms
Andrews, for also letting us know that Liam has an “incredibly fine ass.” Somehow, it
makes the reading easier!) He was once a popular professional footy player, retired by
injury. Living in abject fear of the possible reaction of the world, and particularly his
own homophobic family (“No fucking son of mine is going to turn out a faggot.”), Liam
assiduously works at keeping his gay orientation securely locked away in the closet, even
at the price of personal loneliness.

So, now we have an openly gay young man and a neurotically closeted former athlete.
Bet you can guess where this is going. Of course, HEA!

First, a moment for some side observations –

Here are two applicable “reviewer’s” issues. First, for whom do my reviews function:
the reader? the author? My answer, egomaniacally, is – for me! The essence of an honest
review is self-expression – my thoughts on the subject.

Second, I’d like to believe the author is “feeding” ideas to the reader – which ideas may
be pre-digested to varying degrees. They may be reduced to mere pap – a reader’s
equivalence of baby food. At the other extreme, ideas may be complex, requiring much
digestive (or in-digestive!) efforts by the recipients.

On the latter point, be forewarned that Flash Rip poses some problems. Set in
Australia, with its own national dialog and verbal style, Flash Rip begins in a confusion
of multiple names for people and places: Barkininy Beach – a/k/a Barking Beach or
Barkers; Liam Fox – called Foxy; Cody – called Chook or Chookie (which is referencing
a chicken!); Teddy (Edward Tracy) – called Cyclone; Brandon – called Ronnie (he’s a
Ronald MacDonald look-alike!). And there are so many odd local words (clubbies,
nippers, arvo) which, with some effort, are likely to be defined or at least made clear by
the context.

And thus endeth the lesson. So –

Cody is strongly attracted to Liam, whom he readily believes plays for the “same team”
as does Cody. They begin a physical relationship, conditioned on Cody keeping it secret
from everyone. Oddly, and dear reader, excitingly erotically, there is a surprising
dominant/submissive role reversal. Cody: “I bet it felt good to fantasize about someone
else being in control for a while. I bet you loved it, getting on your hands and knees.”
Liam, older, taller, more buff, gladly plays the submissive to younger and slimmer Cody.
Does it actually matter? [Cody whispered, “Being submissive isn’t weak. There is so
much strength in it. . . . Giving yourself over takes guts. . .”] Does being the passive one
assuage Liam’s internal self-hatred? These things are to be well-resolved as the characters
develop and grow toward each other. And, Ms Andrews has ingeniously used recurrent
metaphors concerning life-guarding and the oceans, adding remarkable shading to a
poignant love story.

A few quotes to close the sale:

    1. Cody: “I love sex. Thinking about it, talking about it, doing it. Sex is awesome.”
    2. Liam: Referring to his father’s prejudice – “(Being a faggot) was the one thing I
    wasn’t supposed to be.”
    3. Cody: As to why Liam feared coming out to his family . . . ”Because you were afraid
    they’d hate you as much as you hate yourself.”

    With HEA in sight, here is a terse summary of all that you prospective reader need know;
    4. Liam realizes . . . “Everyone has to come out in his own time.”
    5. And, afterwards, Liam finally acknowledges: These truths had made a home in him
    now, settling into the nooks and crannies between bone and muscle, flowing through his
    veins like undeniable ocean currents.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Flash Rip provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

OVERALL

3 comments

  • Bob – I totally agree! I’m always amazed how everyone has such different viewpoints on the same story. It’s one of the things I really enjoy about Gay Book Reviews!

    Reply

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Author

I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.
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