T. BagginsFifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay)Voodoo Lily Press, October 13, 2012 | 259 pages
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Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.
Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.
… AND ROMANCE
Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.
Genre & Keywords: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Male Escorts, Sex Toys, Family, Friends, Illness, Politics, Parties
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
Reviewed by Lis:
When I got the request for this book my first reaction was “Hell No!!” as I have quite the aversion for a certain counterpart with gray in the title. However, I set me prejudices aside and while reading this variation on that infamous title I was pleasantly surprised.
Going into T. Baggins’ book I suspected a more humoristic story than what I got. Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) is a layered, well worked out novel that snags your attention from the get go. The blurb gives a good insight into the story, so I won’t give a detailed summary of the plot because this narrative is one you have to experience for yourself rather than read about.
Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) has several threads. There is the focus on Andrew’s romance with Cormac, a deeply closeted Republican senator. It’s interesting, because their first meeting is rather dramatic. Cormac is Andrew’s first initiation into life as an escort and, boy, does it go wrong. However, it’s not the end and Cormac and Andrew’s ‘relationship’ grows (more complex) over the course of the story. A nice touch were the discussions between Andrew and Cormac on gay related topics.
Another important part of the novel is the relationship between Andrew and his sister Marie. Marie’s illness is the main reason for Andrew’s move and taking the job as an escort. There is quite the family dynamics and it was nice to see that Marie wasn’t just a female story filler. She was her own person with her own story to tell and her own voice.
Then there is one of Andrew’s clients: Paresh. I wouldn’t exactly say that Paresh and Andrew have a relationship going on. It’s more like another thread or aspect in Andrew’s story. Paresh can more or less be seen as the catalyst for Andrew’s sexual discovery. It’s Paresh who initiates Andrew into the wonders of gay sex.
However, it’s Andrew himself who needs to work out what it means to him. His father came out when Andrew was a teen and the consequences of that have made Andrew suppress everything and anything to do with gay, also the possibility that he might be gay (or even bi-sexual) himself.
Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) is certainly a story that surprised me. I hadn’t actually thought it would be as good as it was, based on my opinion of the rather silly title. But it’s definitely a book worthwhile to pick up, and nowadays I don’t say that lightly.