Manning Up

J T Steele
Manning Up
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Publisher
Loose Id
Release Date
April 2011
ISBN
9781607379621
Genre
BDSM, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
Elijah Kerrigan is gay with two big strikes against him: his father is a preacher and he himself is a professional baseball player. Divorced from a sexless marriage, he feels that coming out of the closet would destroy his life and, worse, hurt his parents whom he deeply loves. He plans on being alone for the rest of his life, but he doesn't count on meeting Wesley Grayson.

Wesley Grayson is a tall, handsome young artist and the son of a famous rock star. The moment he lays eyes on Elijah, he knows the two of them are destined to be together. Wesley's developing psychic powers leave him so drawn to the handsome ballplayer that he is certain he's found his eternal soulmate. Out of the closet and comfortable in his skin, Wesley introduces Elijah to hot, kinky gay sex and a leather club that melts his boy in his arms. But that doesn't make the relationship easy; Elijah's still deeply in the closet.

Two homophobic thugs team up with a female tabloid writer and threaten to expose Elijah's secret. Will he have to abandon the best thing he's ever had to keep his family and his career? Wesley has no intention of letting go of him, but, in the end, unless Elijah mans up, it may not be his choice.

Book Review by Tyra Berger
Jul 01, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
83 people found the following review helpful
While the premise of MANNING UP sounded great, unfortunately for me it didn't work.

Elijah is an in the closet, professional baseball player, who just finalized his divorce. While sitting in a café after leaving court, he meets Wesley and they strike up a conversation. Wesley, who is an artist, gives Elijah his card on the premise of wanting to paint his portrait. Elijah tries to deny his instant attraction to the man and really isn't sure if the attraction was mutual or not.

Wesley can't believe he is meeting Elijah in person. He has always felt a connection to the man but after meeting him in person he knows Elijah is his soul mate. After giving him his card, Wesley returns to his apartment complex where he is the victim of a gay bashing assault. Elijah, having decided to pursue his attraction to Wesley, finds him lying on the floor surrounded by people bleeding. With the help of Wesley's mentor, they convince him to go to the hospital but Wesley still refuses to name his attackers or file charges.

Elijah returns to Wesley's apartment to help him recover and Wesley convinces him to give their relationship a chance. Elijah agrees under the condition they keep it a secret and Wesley understands that it is a short term agreement.

This book lost me as soon as the psychic/magical theme came into play. It felt contrived and almost like it was added to the book after it was written. There just seemed to be too much, with the magic and BDSM and gay bashing and religious zealots. The story would have been better served to have had just one or two of those story lines instead of all of them fighting to be heard.

The sex scenes are creative and well written, but again for me, when the magical "orgasming together" happened every time, it lost me. As well written as this book is I know someone will enjoy it, it just wasn't for me.
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