Stage Fright

Pender Mackie
Stage Fright
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Loose ID
Release Date
January 2013
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

After six months dancing in a Las Vegas all-male revue, Jesse Snowe is used to being groped by enthusiastic females, but he's more interested in Val, the sexy new bartender. Jesse's tired of the closet, but when he thinks of coming out he gets stage fright. The thought of telling his fellow dancers he's gay makes his palms sweat and his heart race and not in a good way. Dating Val under the watchful eyes of the dance captain could reveal Jesse's secret and might be more of a gamble than Jesse's willing to take.

For Val Tremain the glamor of Vegas is wearing thin. He's even less enamored with his new job, but knowing he'll see Jesse's beautiful body makes it easier to go to work. When Jesse hints he's interested Val can't believe his luck. But Jesse's latest dance routine encourages a little too much audience participation and Val struggles with jealousy.

Jesse knows his job's hard on their relationship and being closeted doesn't help. Strangers slap his butt every night, yet he's afraid to touch his lover in public. If he wants this relationship to work Jesse may have to reveal more than just his body.

Book Review by Lynn (reviewer)
Mar 20, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
122 people found the following review helpful
STAGE FRIGHT is a love-conquers-all story in which desire, honesty, and communication combat jealousy, secrets, and fear.

Jesse flees his small, narrow-minded hometown in hopes of being able to live a more honest life, but he discovers moving to Vegas doesn't immediately eradicate his fear of living openly gay. Jesse pushes himself even further into the closet when he gets a job as a stripper, not wanting his nude co-workers to be uncomfortable around him. But when Jesse meets Val, the new bartender, he starts to question what is truly important to him.

I had a tough time rating this book as I found myself going back and forth about whether or not I liked it. I started out feeling like the two main characters had some significant character flaws - jealousy, inability to communicate, naiveté, and cowardice. However, what finally led me to a four star review was the honesty of these flaws and the emotions that accompanied them. While I didn't like all of Jesse and Val's characteristics, the author made me see them as challenges and not flaws. The author also did a great job of expressing the strong emotions associated with overcoming difficult challenges.

What really roped me in was the strength that both characters displayed when they felt like their happiness was truly being threatened. I would have liked to have seen this strength sooner, but I felt like these two needed a significant challenge to make them realize they had any strength. The two of them were able to come together and use their passion and love for one another to overcome some significant obstacles. Once the obstacles were removed, there was room for growth and true happiness. Great story.
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