Erryn reviews ‘Kept in the Dark’ by H.L. Day. The ebook was published February 11, 2018 and was 214 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by David Walker, released September 18, 2019, and is 5 hrs and 15 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I really enjoyed Edge of Living and so wanted to try another book by this author.
Struggling actor Dean only escorts occasionally to pay the bills. So, his first instinct on being offered a job with a strange set of conditions is to turn it down. No date. Don’t switch the lights on. Don’t touch him. I mean, what’s that all about? What’s the man trying to hide? Dean certainly doesn’t expect sex with a faceless stranger to spark so much passion inside him. It’s just business though, right? He can put a stop to it whenever he wants.
Then, Dean meets Justin – a scarred, ex-army soldier unlucky in love. Dean’s given a chance at a proper relationship. He can see past the scars to the man underneath. He’s everything Dean could possibly wish for in a boyfriend: kind, caring, and sweet. All Dean needs to do is be honest. Easy, right? But Justin’s holding back and Dean can’t work out why. But whatever it is, it’s enough to give him second thoughts.
They both have secrets which could shatter their fledgling relationship. After all, secrets have a nasty habit of coming out eventually. The question is when they do, will they be able to piece their relationship back together? Or will they be left with nothing but memories of bad decisions and the promise of the love they could have had if only they’d both been honest and fought harder.
This is another audio I’ve had on my shelf for a while and I’m like, why did I not listen to this??? I loved it. I simply loved it. The premise is simple – an escort is offered a job for a quirky client. No touching, Must be in the dark. And he’s tempted to say no, but of course he won’t. It’s double money and he’s just doing what he’s done with other men. Plus his life is pretty boring these days – working as a waiter and going on plenty of auditions. Lots of auditions, but no offers. Extra cash? Perfect.
Except things don’t go as planned. Although no words are exchanged, he senses there’s more to this john. Although he’s not allowed to touch, he gets touched. And those touches go straight to his soul. But there’s no future in a relationship with someone who won’t leave the darkness.
Then he meets a beautiful but damaged man. A man who is judged solely by his scars, and not the heroic acts that led to them. A man who’s been burned by other men who have fragile egos. Who believe what is on the outside is what really matters. But Dean sees past the outer to the inner. He gets Justin in a way few men have. They make a real connection. Except Dean keeps going to see his mystery client in the dark. With all these secrets, things are bound to come to a head. I’ll admit I did see the wreck coming, but it didn’t lessen the impact. I wanted these men to have their happy ending. I got that, thank God.
Okay, a couple of quick notes – the story is told entirely from Dean’s point of view and that worked for me. Justin remained just tantalizingly mysterious. And Dean’s roommate Georgia was brilliant. Her humour, her forthrightness, her honesty. She just hit all the right notes of how a best mate should be.
Finally I’ll mention David Walker. He did a fantastic job narrating the story, and I enjoyed his performance. I will say I found the whispering disconcerting, but it worked well with the storyline. I definitely plan to pick up more H.L. Day books.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
H.L Day grew up in the North of England. As a child she was an avid reader, spending lots of time at the local library or escaping into the imaginary worlds created by the books she read. Her grandmother first introduced her to the genre of romance novels, as a teenager, and all the steamy sex they entailed. Naughty Grandma! Romance novels were forgotten for a while when real life got in the way: university, clubbing, work, moving to London, and more work.
When life settled down (slightly) H.L Day stumbled upon the world of m/m romance. She remained content to read other people’s books for a while, before deciding to give it a go herself.
Now, she’s a teacher by day and a writer by night. Actually, that’s not quite true—she’s a teacher by day, procrastinates about writing at night and writes in the school holidays, when she’s not continuing to procrastinate. After all, there’s books to read, places to go, people to see, the gym to visit, films to watch. So many things to do—so few hours to do it in. Every now and again, she musters enough self-discipline to actually get some words onto paper—sometimes they even make sense and are in the right order.