Erryn reviews ‘Love Him Free (On the Market Book 1)’ by E.M. Lindsey. The ebook was published April 30, 2020 and was 306 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Nick Hudson, released October 8, 2020, and is 9 hrs and 18 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’m always game to try a new author.
Socially awkward, 36-year-old virgin, Simon Kadish, knows he wants more from life than a failing bakery and an empty apartment. He just doesn’t know how to get it.
From an early age, Simon’s life has been marked by loss. After the death of his father, Simon and his infant brother are ripped from their home in Tel Aviv and forced to settle in a small mountain town in the US where no one speaks his language. By the age of 12, Simon is an orphan. By the age of 21, Simon finds himself the unwilling owner of his bubbe’s bakery, and the hesitant guardian of his little brother. Terrified of losing what little he has left, Simon dedicates himself to his faith, sacrificing everything to keep the fragile scraps of his broken family.
But, when Simon’s favorite film star’s life suddenly falls apart on social media, Simon makes a choice. He goes against every one of his instincts and fires up his camera, sending a message in rusty ASL. He doesn’t expect anything from it, of course. After all, Simon’s life has been anything but charmed.
Deaf film star Rocco Moretti had anyone’s fantasy life, and he wouldn’t change it for the world.
But when Rocco wakes up to his boyfriend leaving, he has nowhere to turn. Rocco realizes in that moment, he wants something more. He’s not sure where to find it, but he thinks maybe the shy video in shaky ASL in his DMs is a good place to start. After all, Cherry Creek is in the middle of nowhere, and since seeing that video, Rocco hasn’t been able to stop thinking about that shy baker’s long fingers, shy smile, and the constellation of freckles on his pale cheeks.
Rocco isn’t sure leaving his life behind is the right choice, and Simon isn’t sure he belongs in Rocco’s world. But the one thing they do know is that this love has a chance to set them both free.
Simon lives a solitary existence. As a refugee from Israel, he came to America with nothing but his mother and brother. His mother died years ago and their grandmother not long after, leaving the kosher bakery to Simon. He’s made a life for himself – baking treats and trying to keep his head above water financially. He’s found a way to set his brother up for security while sacrificing his own. Now he’s facing selling the only true home he’s ever known. His brother hasn’t always been appreciative of Simon’s efforts, and there is a chasm between the brothers. Simon has a few friends in town, but there aren’t many he holds close. At thirty-six he’s a virgin who’s given up on finding love. Then one day he takes a chance and reaches out to a stranger. What he’s not expecting is for that stranger to reach back.
Rocco is a gay porn star. And he’s deaf, but he hasn’t let that hold him back. He’s made a successful career and his interpreter is also his partner in life. Until everything goes sideways. Needing an escape from the unrelenting pain, Rocco drives all night to show up in Cherry Creek. To see if the man in the video who spoke to him in sign language really is as special as he seems.
The celebrity trope can be fun when it’s done well. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of some celebrity coming to sweep us off our feet? To take us away from the drudgery of our lives? Well, Simon never really went there. Oh, he reached out to Rocco, in his halting sign language. But mostly because he recognized pain and wanted the other man to know he wasn’t alone. He certainly didn’t expect Rocco to show up on his door.
Slowly they build a relationship. Simon opens up about his past and Rocco shares his disappointments. Eventually they layer on a physical relationship. I have to say, for a thirty-six-year-old man, Simon has a short refractory period. But anyway, Rocco initiates him into the world of carnal pleasures but Simon’s insecurities are on full display when Rocco’s past catches up with him.
There was something special about this book. About two lonely men finding each other. Of course I wasn’t sure how the book was going to end. I mean Simon’s life is in Cherry Creek and Rocco’s is in California. Never fear, the author has a solution for that. And there are four future books to come. Needless to say, I hope they all come to audio. I enjoyed Nick Hudson’s narration, so I hope he is able to helm any future books as well.
9/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
E.M. Lindsey is currently living in the United States. In the very little free time they have, they read, Netflix binges, and writes– in that order. E.M. Lindsey’s works can be found exclusively published on amazon.