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Friday, February 5, 2010

Tabloid Star by TA Chase

Tabloid Star by TA Chase
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

One hot night, one freeze frame…and one shocking surprise.

As a bartender at the Lucky Seven club, Josh Bauer could take a different guy home every night…if he wanted to. Working three jobs, however, makes it hard to connect with anyone. One man, though, is too much temptation to resist. A steamy encounter in a back alley leads to an explosive night of sex in Josh’s bed—a bed he isn’t surprised to find empty the next morning.

What does surprise him, though, is the front page of a tabloid. Apparently his one-night stand isn’t as anonymous as he thought it was.

Ryan Kellar’s career is taking off. Advance buzz about his movie says it’s a blockbuster, and going home with the gorgeous bartender is the perfect way to celebrate. And he thought he’d gotten away clean—until the picture in the paper shocks him into reality. Was Josh really just playing…or playing him for a fool?

Trust isn’t big on their list right now, but as their worlds fall apart, it’s all they have. At least until they figure out who took the picture. And why…
Bartender Josh Bauer is not looking for long term in relationships. He’s more the “love ‘em and move on” kind of guy. When he meets up-and-coming action hero Ryan Kellar at his bartending job at the Lucky Seven, Josh has no idea who the other man is. That doesn’t stop him from hitting on him and taking him out to the back for a quickie.

Ryan has been in the closet all his adult life. Only his best friend knows the truth about Ryan’s sexuality, and he isn’t talking about it. Imagine the surprise both Josh and Ryan experience when their back alley hook-up is front-page news in the Hollywood tabloids. Ryan’s agent convinces him that Josh set him up, and tells Ryan to stay away. Of course, Ryan does just the opposite: he gets drunk and confronts Josh at the bar, punching him and earning another front page appearance. Can Josh convince Ryan that he had nothing to do with the smear campaign? Just who is behind this and what do they hope to gain? Will Ryan finally admit his attraction to Josh, and find a solution they all can live with?

Let me say first off, I had never read anything by Mr. TA Chase before. That is one mistake I plan on remedying very soon. I enjoyed this book on many different levels. It was an amazing romance about two people getting to know and love each other. There was mystery: who was behind the stalking of Ryan, and why were they doing it? Who was Josh protecting, and could he manage to stop what was happening?

Ryan is such a wonderful character, filled with conflict and insecurity. He wants to be successful, but he doesn’t want to be false to himself either. Josh is the strong hero figure, the “all in” guy, who will go the extra mile for friends and family. I love books that make me laugh, cry and think, and this one does all three.

Mr. Chase has written a love story, pure and simple. Hot, sexy and volcanic, yes, but there is love underlying the whole story. Isn’t that the goal of most romance writers? This one delivers in so many ways, I would definitely recommend this to everyone who wants to experience love and passion, and likes their happy ever after a bit hard won.

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