Erryn reviews ‘Better Red (Ever After New York Series Book 1)’ by Tara Lain. The book was published April 16, 2020 and is 273 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Kirt Graves. It was released on August 18, 2020, and is 9hrs and 20mins. A copy was provided for an honest review.
Who’s afraid of the big, bad Wolfe?
Red Ridley knows he could have a happy life in Ever After, New York, waiting on tables at Mom and Pop’s, making numbers add up for clients, studying business at the junior college – and maybe, just maybe having the man of his dreams, Mark Woods, the young owner of the local garage. One problem. Red’s gorgeous. Amazing looking. Totally unique. And no one who sees him – especially his grandmother, who’s his biggest promoter – believes he won’t end up on the cover of a magazine. Gran’s dreams come true when famous New York agency owner, Brock Wolfe, shows up in Ever After and sets his sights on Red.
Red doesn’t want to leave Mark, but Gran has given everything to raise him, and the money he could make would give her a happy, easy life. Then, the news gets worse – Gran could lose her house – so Red breaks down and goes to New York where the Wolfe shows just how bad he can be. Faced with a fate worse than death, Red needs a hero or needs to be one. Is there any chance to live happily in Ever After?
Contains mature themes.
What’s a young man to do? Redmond Ridley lives in Ever After. He’s graduated high school, and is coasting as a waiter in a diner. He has no aspirations. He’s taken a few college courses and does the odd bookkeeping job, but basically his life is pretty dull. He has his two best friends as well as the tormentor from high school who is still being a bully. But Red’s doing okay, right?
All is not as it seems. First, that bully keeps escalating things. He seems a little obsessed with Red. Second, there’s Mark Woods. Mark comes into the diner every time Red has a shift. The guy sits quietly and watches. Observes. He’s not unnerving per se – he’s just…Mark.
Then comes the night Red needs rescuing and the world shifts.
About that time a stranger comes to down, offering Red a chance at stardom and fame. Red finds himself lured to New York by the big bad Brock Wolfe. He offers Red more money that is conceivable at a time when Red needs it the most. What’s a small-town boy to do?
I asked myself that question dozens of times as it seemed Red would have to sacrifice happiness for financial stability. How many of us have faced that choice in our lives? I knew things would work out, but I had no idea how it would happen.
When presented with a happy ending, I sighed. Yep, perfect. Certain characters found forever joy and some got their comeuppances. Just as a fairy tale should end.
I’ll mention Kirt Graves at this point. I love his narration style and he was perfect for this book. I look forward to more books in the series and I think I might know who one or two future characters might be.
9/10 Pots of Gold or 90% recommended
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels, Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain