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Solitude by Anna Martin


by Anna Martin, Tia Fielding (Author)

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Hearts On Fire Review

FOUR & A HALF STARS-- "Porn didn't know what the fuck it was doing."

"Solitude" is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.

And not because it had a SRAL guaranteed list of ingredients: porn stars, rent boys, angst, damaged heroes, emotional turmoil, big guy bottoming and a HEA with a sense of realism.

This story brought me up, brought me down, made me feel. I laughed, I whimpered, pouted, raged, smiled. It was a journey to reads about these two. And unconventional pair but they worked and most importantly, they worked for each other.

I enjoy Tia Fielding's writing. I adore Anna Martin's. I think this pairing works. I hope they write more together. Solid writers make solid writing!

Set in Solitude, Utah and Los Angeles, "Solitude" is a story about a damaged soul finding his own piece of happy. Liam is a twenty three hooker/ porn star that has not had the best of life. Escaping his ultra religious Mormon background in Utah (or kind of kicked out for being gay), he makes his way to L.A. and does what he does best...has sex. And gets paid for it. Five years of hooking and finally landing a reputable porn company, Woodspring, there he meets and works with a top, Gabriel Knightly. Gabriel Knightly is legendary in the gay porn world for his skills, looks and being in a relationship with a fellow porn actor Johny. But things aren't what they seem. Gabriel, real name Gael Torres is a calm soul. He's an ex-Finn,who had a great childhood but can understand where others who didn't have stellar lives. Gael and Liam have a connection that was instant and it works for those two,

Insta-love? Not really. But there is some angst and a lot of cracked layers to delve into. (Someone is prickly but I love the feisty characters)

This is not a story for everyone. Why? There is a trigger: mention of past sexual abuse. Also this is not your standard HEA. Both main characters are porn stars and one of them also prostitutes as a side job. Do you get what I'm hinting at? Good. If you can't handle these items, I wouldn't recommend.

This will push a hearts-and-flowers romantic's monogamy boundaries.

This was a realistic HEA for two individuals who work in the sex industry. I commend both authors for telling Gael and Liam's story this way. For giving a view into the porn industry without sugar coating or delivering unrealistic ultimatums that wouldn't fit either man's personality.
“You could get a real job," he said with a little smile.
"Fuck that," I said emphatically. "Anyway, doing what? I've got a high school diploma from years ago and no employment history whatsoever. If I got an interview for McDonald's, what am I supposed to tell them? My idea of interpersonal skills is taking two dicks at the same time.”

Oh, I was invested in their characters. Unexpectedly. Full throttle.

I wanted to thank Gael for being who he was, for always putting Liam first even when it killed him on the inside. And Liam? Oh Liam. So damaged, so cracked and broken on the inside. He doesn't know his worth. I'd love to sit with him and explain to him why he's worth it. Because underneath his defense mechanisms and brittle, twink veneer...he's human just everyone else. And he needs someone to tell him this everyday. Not everyone would be up for the job.

But Gael is.
"Tell me you don't love me. I don't care. I'm not asking you to love me back, I'm asking you to just let me have this one thing."

"This one thing is me, though. I don't know if I can give you that."

There are alternating flashbacks and first person POV's. The timelines aren't exactly linear and the storytelling might come off as odd at first. Once I read for awhile I could connect the dots. It's like one POV would be two steps ahead and the other POV was one step back But they'd connect in the long run.

This story still lingers on my brain. The characters were wonderfully displayed. I came to care for Liam. And the secondary characters...I wouldn't mind a follow up on Elliot and Indy. I think there is a novel waiting to happen over there.

Perfect length. I could've read these two for more pages but it ended before becoming cloying. The main thing is to recognize this isn't my perfect HEA, this probably won't be yours either (one of the MC does some reckless behavior) but it is theirs. And it works.

A copy provided for an honest review. " ( )
  SheReadsALot | Jun 20, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin, AnnaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fielding, TiaAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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As Gael breaks through Liam's armor, both men realize that no matter what awful pasts they're hiding, they don't have to deal with it alone.

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