Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Finlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with zero sexual desire, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven agrees to attend a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.
Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.
Review: This was a cute and sexy story about a porn star who faces some harsh realities about his future after a bike wreck leaves him scarred and disfigured. Raven is so disgusted with himself he swears he’ll never have sex again. He also couldn’t physically get into position or expect his body to work as he would want it to either. Since he made his living having sex on camera and can no longer do that he takes a job as an escort to be the date of a creep fan. Not for sex. Just the arm candy variety. While taking a break from his date in his room, his air conditioner stops working. The hotel sends a hunky repair man named Caleb that stirs something in Raven for the first time since his accident.
I really liked the characters in this one. Raven was probably the most intriguing of the two. His history has him finding some acceptance, stability and his confidence through his work in porn. Only to have it all stripped away from him again. He has no job prospects. He’s alienated himself from all the people he used to work with because they don’t have things in common anymore. The worst loss seems to be his self confidence though. He has panic attacks and his body doesn’t work right. What makes it worse is that you can’t see the scars. He still appears to be the beautiful striking man he always has been and that’s how he wants it. He doesn’t want anyone to see the scars or pity him. There’s real shame there. He’s also excited at the prospect of getting physical and possibly more with Caleb. So there’s a real struggle inside him that kept me interested the entire book.
Caleb is part of a huge Latino family. They’re very close and always pushing Caleb to settle down with a nice a girl and start a family. Obviously Caleb isn’t out and he struggles with this for the majority of the book. Caleb’s POV brings the angst. His cousin and best friend is out and proud so it shouldn’t be a problem but he’s afraid of disappointing his mother. Caleb is instantly attracted to Raven. He seeks him out and manages to talk Raven into dating him. Caleb is very supportive and willing to move as slow as Raven needs to go. Caleb has no idea about Raven’s past in porn or the wreck and the results of it. He knows something isn’t right with Raven but he’s patient and knows Raven will explain it all to him when he’s ready.
I liked most of this book. It was maybe a tad too sweet for me at times but I did think Raven and Caleb were struggling with some realistic issues so the angst balanced it out somewhat. The thing that probably lowered the rating for me was the big blow up towards the end I saw coming. To be fair it was resolved quickly and I got my HEA. I just thought so much of this book was well thought out and their problems seemed fairly complex without being too heavy and that one scene glaringly sticks out and not in the good way. I liked the couple. They were super sexy together. Lots of sexual tension as they built up to Raven being comfortable with getting physical with another man again. Opening his heart and accepting help. Which just helped build the emotional part of their relationship. I liked it. A light sexy read with some depth and good characters. Oh and the kilts! I love the idea of Raven in a kilt. Loved the cover. Tartan Candy is definitely worth the read IMO.