Hello hello! I’m Heidi Belleau, and welcome to the Riptide Books “Straight Shooter” blog tour! Straight Shooter is the third (and final?) novel in my Rear Entrance Video series, and is the story of roommate Austin, a homophobic hockey player with a kinky secret . . . and the Dominant porn star who helps him get his act together. For the next two weeks, I’ll be hopping blog to blog giving you an inside look at the novel . . . and also giving away a prize! Read on for details! Thanks to Words of Wisdom and to all of you for tuning in!
This macho jock has a crooked little secret.
College hockey player Austin Puett is in trouble. Unless he starts treating his flamboyantly gay roommate with respect, he’ll lose his room and his job at Rear Entrance Video. But Austin’s got a not-so-straight secret of his own: nothing turns him on more than insults implying he’s gay—even though he’s definitely not!—and all his old coping methods have stopped working.
Pure desperation drives him to rent a Mischievous Pictures porn flick about straight men tricked into servicing Puck, a male dominant. Instead of letting off steam, though, it just leaves him craving more, more, more, and suddenly, Austin finds himself at Mischievous Pictures Studios for an audition. After all, you can be Gay For Pay and still be straight . . . right?
But meeting Liam Williams, the real person behind Puck, confuses Austin even more. Liam really seems to like him as a person, and Austin likes him back. And while Gay For Pay’s okay, what does it make Austin if he still wants Liam when the cameras aren’t rolling?
Heidi Belleau has become one of my favorite authors in the m/m genre for her intensely emotional storylines and thought-provoking take on the definition of sexuality and with this book she continues to keep me thinking and feeling. Throughout the Rear Video series sexuality has definitely taken on shades of grey as each character has struggled with who they are and who they want to be. This unconventional group of co-workers and friends have slowly banded together as a family accepting each other's differences and been there supporting them unconditionally.
Roommate Bobby's recent decision to embrace his feminine side has left hockey jock Austin dazed and confused and lashing out. With his job and home in jeopardy he's forced to confront truths about himself that he's kept buried and that blur the line of what it means to be gay. His journey of self-discovery is intense and draining, for both him and readers, as his conflicts leave us aching for him. He's punished himself his whole life, dangerously so at times, in his need to be accepted and to have others proud of him. The moment he discovers BDSM Master Puck it seems that all his prayers have been answered. Reality is vastly different from video though and what he thinks he wants couldn't be further from the truth. Luckily Master Puck/Liam is willing to guide him through the difficult journey to happiness with a heavy hand and a soft heart....along with numerous scorching BDSM scenes.
Throughout this series Austin wasn't the most likable of characters. There were moments of kindness but also moments of crassness. Too much time spent amongst athletes took away his sensitivity. With so much emotional turmoil going on within him now show a young man who's hurting, scared, and vulnerable. I like the Austin we see now as he's showing real humanity. He discovers who his real friends are and with self-discovery it's as if a weight's been lifted off him and allowed a carefree side to come through. Helping him find himself is Liam who's older and wiser, but who's a great match for Austin as they're more alike than different in many ways in and out of the bedroom. On video he's a badass but in real life he's kindhearted and completely understanding of Austin's conflicted emotions and beliefs and supports him unconditionally. Before long though they both discover that they want more in a grand gesture that left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
From start to finish I found myself fully immersed in this story and its compelling storyline. Ms. Belleau did a fine job in redeeming Austin but didn't make it easy on him which made for an emotionally draining yet believable journey to self-discovery. We didn't get to know Liam as deeply as Austin but his presence was commanding and his role imperative to Austin's journey to HEA. Along with engaging characterizations came numerous HOT sexual interludes heavy with BDSM elements that added to the story's overall intensity. Ms. Belleau ultimately left me exhausted but immensely satisfied and I look forward to her next release with breathless anticipation.
My rating for this is an A-
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centered on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms. She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.
Chat with her on twitter using the handle @HeidiBelleau.
Check out her books on Goodreads.
Or contact her using good ole-fashioned email: email@example.com
Comment to win! I’m giving away ebooks one and two of the Rear Entrance Video series (that’s “Apple Polisher” and “Wallflower”) to not one, but two lucky commenters on this tour! All you gotta do is leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you (and if your preferred method of contact is email, make sure to put that in the body of the comment, not just in the blog’s form—I can’t see that info! Each comment counts for another entry in the draw, so be sure and follow the entire tour. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 21, and winners will be chosen on April 23rd. Contest is valid worldwide.