Lauderdale Hearts

Johnny Miles
Lauderdale Hearts
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Loose Id
Release Date
January 2011
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

Blake Hudson has everything. The perfect job, a penthouse apartment, and killer abs. But when he suffers a heart attack at 39, he realizes something is missing from his life and wonders if being career-oriented was just another way of saying workaholic.

When his doctor suggests he take time off from work, Blake puts it off. He's got too much work as a new partner in New York City's hottest advertising agency and he's about to land a multi-million dollar account. But his employer pulls rank and surprises him with the keys to his own house in Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America.

With Ricky Sanchez, a smoldering Latin hunk, Blake discovers there truly is more to life than working 24/7 and making money. There are places to visit, things to do, and steamy sex to be had anywhere their imagination will let them. But all vacations must come to an end. What will Blake choose when the agency calls him back to babysit his coveted multi-million dollar account?

Book Review by DH Starr (author)
Apr 25, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
167 people found the following review helpful
LAUDERDALE HEARTS is the first story I have read by Johnny Miles. The story follows Blake Hudson, a successful advertising executive who has recently made partner and landed a huge new account. Despite his success, Blake has not had success in love. When he suffers a heart attack, his partners force him to take a vacation in Fort Lauderdale to relax and recover. While there, Blake meets Ricky Sanchez, the hot, young masseur who captures his interest.

Throughout the book, Blake and Ricky engage in a slow dance of opening up to each other and pulling away as their inner demons flare up. As their relationship progresses, they have hot, steaming sex, but the emotions and the feelings portrayed in their interactions are far more poignant than any physical act of pleasure (which I'm in no way downplaying because they are written jalape˝o hot).

Written from Blake's point of view, Mr. Miles portrays the struggle of facing one's own fears while struggling with feelings of uncertainty and doubt when opening up to another person. The fears are real and believable as Blake slowly drops his own guards and tries to break through Ricky's as well.

As a fan of character driven plots, I found this story to be both heartwarming and emotional. Blake is a complex character, having to face worries and fears on multiple levels. On the physical side, he has to adjust to the fact he's had a heart attack. His first sexual encounter after his attack generates concerns that I imagine most people who have had heart attacks must experience. He also provides internal dialogue of doubts and concerns as Blake addresses his attraction to Ricky, a man much younger than he, extremely attractive, and settled in a totally different region of the country. Add to that the uncertainty of wondering how Ricky feels about him and the tension throughout the book is wonderfully developed.

If that isn't enough to make for a great story, Mr. Miles also crafts ebbs and flows with just the right amount of conflict and resolution. Just as Blake and Ricky overcome one hurdle, they are faced with another, each slightly more challenging than the one before.

While I admire the issues Mr. Miles tackled in LAUDERDALE HEARTS, there were a few times that I became distracted from the overall flow of the story. Most notable was the discussion about relationships. Blake's thoughts about relationships are ones we have all had, but as he ponders his feelings, it almost feels like the author is speaking rather than Blake experiencing. In addition, the journey between Blake and Ricky was well developed, but the ending seemed to be a bit dramatic. While I took notice of these two things as I was reading, they did not deter from my overall enjoyment of the story or the quality of the journey.

For people who love emotional love stories where the character's emotions and feelings are fully-fleshed, LAUDERDALE HEARTS is a book you will surely enjoy.
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