Title: In The Spotlight
Author: Shona Husk
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Published: 25 October 2016
| A diva who lives for the spotlight, a sailor deeply in the closet, a love that will change them both.|
Ripley Malone is returning to Perth in triumph. A principal ballet dancer in a production that has critics raving, he is an unqualified success, and all the small-minded people that made his life hell can kiss his lycra-covered ass. But behind the makeup and the glitter and the costumes, Ripley is beginning to tire, tire of the competition, the drive, the endless parade of meaningless lovers.
For Pierce Lovell, joining the Navy was a way out of rural Victoria, but becoming a submariner comes with its own set of challenges. The close living quarters and long months away are awkward enough without adding any extra tension around his sexuality. The fear is probably in his head, but he isn’t taking any chances with his career. He gets by on anonymous one-night-stands every time they come to shore and keeps his heart well-shielded. But one night with Ripley opens the tantalising possibility of more.
Through a mistake Ripley is injured. He can’t dance. His wings are clipped and he crashes down and hits the earth hard. Pierce knows their affair can’t possibly end in anything but heartache, but he can’t stay away. As Ripley heals and reassesses his life, he is determined not to make the same mistakes again. That means letting someone see the vulnerable side of him. But vulnerability for Pierce could cost him everything.
I really liked the premise of this m/m romance. A flighty ballet star dancer and an enigmatic sailor? Interesting enough to reel me in.
Ripley is returning to his home turf in Australia after making it big in the ballet world back in LA. But being back home brings him close to his family again and the noose he and his brother have hanging over their heads to be dealt the same fate their father has. In addition to that he feels pressure to keep his reputation of a rising star whilst also combating niggling injury.
Pierce is a firmly in the closet submariner which let’s be honest is not an ideal job to have when living in extreme close quarters to his male colleagues. He gets by keeping his sexuality a secret by having one night stand hook ups. But on that one night in the gay club he see the attractive guy dancing and feels an invisible pull towards him. When they get chatting at the bar it becomes a trigger to acceptance that sometimes the way you plan for your future can be changed in the blink of an eye and how to take chances when they reveal themselves to you.
I found this quite endearing and was invested in Ripley and Pierce. I thought that the difficult subject matter of a debilitating illness was smoothly executed, especially around the waiting for the outcome for Ripley. I also loved how the brothers who in the past had been at loggerheads with each other found a common ground to heal jealousies of their youth. The camaraderie of Pierce’s crew was also a delight, especially once he reveals his ‘girlfriend’
The storyline was a little bit stilted in parts but overall I did engage with this sweet duo. The between the sheets action wasn’t overly sexual and in your face but I didn’t actually mind that as I still felt the love between the two. I would have liked more resolution at the ending but I still ended with a smile. Three and a half stars.
|Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.|
With over forty books published, ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance.