Bold by Garrett Leigh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Do porn stars experience ennui? For Kai who is the epitome of sexy twink, getting pounded on film is no longer as fun as it used to be. Kai used to love a big man taking him hard in the ass. He's not sure if his boredom is due to the new management or to his favorite partners moving on.
This series is taking strange turns. It is as if the stories come through a stream of consciousness. There are tangent story lines which dip in and out in a fleeting manner. This distracts the reader and makes them wonder what is going on with a secondary character instead of focusing on the main storyline. All eyes should be on Kai and his "mid-life" crisis. He is debating whether to quit porn or become a top. As a top, he'd need a bottom. Matthew fits the bill, even though Matthew doesn't know if he can take Kai seriously as a top.
Since this is a story featuring a porn star and a porn company, one would expect the sex to be hot. It is smoking and surprisingly funny. Ms. Leigh adds in the bloopers of real life into the porn scenes. This makes it more human and relatable. Kai's mischievous nature is enhanced when he mixes up with one of his good friends. This playfulness helps balance the heaviness of Kai's depression.
The relationship struggle between Kai and Matthew is disheartening. The miscommunication is all too common and disastrous. Kai's lack of self-esteem undermines his relationship with Matthew over and over again. Ms. Leigh keeps it palpable by making Kai question himself and still function in a balanced manner. Kai doesn't go overboard with too stupid to live decisions and he doesn't become a whiny bitch. Instead, his need for stability, love and reassurance makes a reader want to cuddle him up and keep all the bad things away. Kai is really too cute and adorable. His tentative relationship with Matthew is sweet. Matthew is the guy who helps Kai be the best he can be. The synergy between the two is energizing.
The additional support from the secondary characters makes this story a moving one. Basically, it's a story of support and believing in Kai so that he can achieve goals he didn't think was possible. This message is encouraging for those who may have been told they can't do something only to find out they can with the right support. Recommended for m/m lovers who like a happily ever after.
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