Friday, November 25, 2016

Release Day Review: The Closet Boy by Sean Michael

Release Day Review: The Closet Boy by Sean Michael

Title: The Closet Boy
Series: Iron Eagle Gym: Book Four
Author: Sean Michael
Release Date: November 25, 2016
Category: BDSM, Contemporary
Pages: 214
Dreamspinner Press     ~     Goodreads

Way’ra Bernard is only twenty years old when his parents kick him out of the house. He has been brought up to believe being gay is wrong and he is going to go to hell for it. He tried very hard not to be gay but couldn’t change the way he felt. Now he’s living furtively in a closet on the third floor of the place he’s working as a janitor—the Iron Eagle Gym.
Neal McPherson is an unattached Dom in his midtwenties and a member of the gym. One evening after working out, he notices Way’ra on the stairs, and he’s immediately attracted and intrigued, so he asks Way’ra out. Unable to come up with a reason to refuse, and also interested in Neal, Way’ra accepts.
There are a lot of obstacles to the relationship they attempt to build after their date, not least of which is Way’ra’s upbringing and his lingering doubts about the kinky sex Neal enjoys. But with patience and persistence, Neal might convince Way’ra not only to accept himself, but to loosen his inhibitions enough to explore and find a happy ending together.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Closet Boy is Book 4 in Sean Michael's Iron Eagle Gym series.  This book can be read as a standalone but I really enjoyed the first three books in the series, so you should check them out!  

In this story, gym member and unattached Dom, Neal, meets the club janitor, Way'ra. Way'ra is young and was kicked out of the house by his parents for being gay.  He gets a job at the gym and having no place to live, stays in an unused closet in the gym.  Neal meets Way'ra and is taken with him inviting him out for coffee.  Though Way'ra would prefer to go unnoticed, he can't pass up a chance at free coffee.  Neal makes a good living and once he figures out that Way'ra is struggling, he tries to help him in various different ways until he finally convinces Way'ra to live with him.  Neal is attracted to Way'ra but Way'ra is afraid of being gay.  Neal takes his time and slowly convinces Way'ra that there's nothing wrong with being gay, and nothing wrong with anything that is consensual between the two of them.

I really enjoyed the first three books in the series, but struggled with this one.  Though Way'ra was supposed to be 20, many times he came across as a young teen which made the whole story uncomfortable for me.  He's extremely naive about everything in life and even though he's been kicked out of his family, church, college and community, he comes across as very sheltered.  But he has done a good job of taking care of himself.  He got himself a job and figured out a place to live.  He's extremely frugal which is allowing him to save money for his own place.  He is surviving on his own.  Though Neal is only in his late 20's, he seems much older than Way'ra.  He has a successful career and is able to earn Way'ra's trust.  He works to find a way to provide for Way'ra without making him feel like he's a charity.  And he plans to give him a good life.

This book is a long, drawn-out seduction.  Way'ra is a virgin to everything but kissing so this book is like watching a horse be gentled.  The relationship really comes before the sex and that's more of the focus through most of it.  If you're worried about BDSM elements, there are not many in this book so don't let that hold you back from reading it and definitely check out the other books in the series!

Rating:  3.5 stars

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