“Second Star To The Right” by AF Henley (2nd Review)

 photo ssttr_zps4951bc82.jpgBe it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.

Mason can’t resist. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in a guy who loves kid’s movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment’s notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.

I received a copy of this book from the author, AF Henley, in exchange for an honest review.  *NOTE* Tamera McIntosh (Independent Reviewer for Book Reads and Reviews) has reviewed this book as well. You can read her review HERE.

The Review

This is the second story I have read by AF Henley.  The first one was a M/M short story,  “Thicker Than Water”(Tamera’s Review can be found HERE) and I enjoyed it, but I’d made the comment to the author I would’ve liked to see more of the sexual side of the relationship.  So with this M/M story, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Mason is a gay man, who has had a crush on his straight friend Greg, for quite some time.  He’s spent time with Greg playing tennis, going to baseball games, etc. Mason knows there is no chance of a romantic relationship, but sometimes you can’t help who you fall for.

Mason decides to take a week long vacation, which is rare for him since he’s a workaholic. Greg suggests Mason finds some male companionship via an escort service that he knows about.  Straight laced Mason is at first somewhat mortified, but the thought of someone spending time with him and making love to him, paid or not, appeals to him.  He’s been lonely for too long.  After a hilarious and embarrassing transaction with the “Madam”, arrangements are made.

When Mason pulls up to the building, he is, to put it quite simply, scared shitless. When a sexy, muscular man walks towards his car, Mason can’t believe his luck. He also becomes even more insecure about his own looks and he begins to doubt the whole thing.  When the man gets into the car, he immediately halts any form of civil conversation and starts telling Mason the dos and don’ts of how things will work, which intimidates and shocks Mason.  Finally when the man is finished with his speech, Mason grows some balls and asks his own question, which results in a “Pretty Woman” moment.

“Good. So, do you have any questions?”

“Yes.” Mason tried to settle his annoyance with a smile. “Actually I do. An important one. The most important question-slash-statement that has been asked-slash-said since you sat your ass in my car.”

The man turned and glared and Mason softened his expression. “What’s your name?”

Perturbed faded to confused and then confused shot quickly to defensive. “My name is whatever the hell you want it to—”

Mason held up a hand, policeman style. “Don’t say it. Do not even bother to say it. You have boundaries and so do I, and one of mine is that I freaking hate cheese. And that, sir, is the cheesiest line in the history of lines. You want to be Mr. Blunt then I sincerely hope that you can deal with getting it back. Now, just answer the damn question.”

The man paused, looked Mason up and down, and finally tsk’d. “How’s Fabio work for you?”

“Well, that depends on whether or not it’s your name.” Mason reached out and punched the button on the radio to force the appliance into silence. “I believe it’s your move, sailor.”

The man sighed as if Mason had asked him to give up a first-born son. He rolled his eyes when Mason looked back over. He pursed his lips. His fingertips started drumming on his own denim-bound knees. And then he huffed another breath and dropped his head against the seat. “Fine, have it your way. My name is Jack.”

An unknowable, un-understandable feeling of relief washed through Mason. His shoulders relaxed. The frown eased off his forehead. He reached across the seat to extend his hand. “Nice to meet you, Jack. I’m Mason.”

So begins their adventure.

Throughout the entire book, you see so many things from both men.  I identified with many of their attitudes, insecurities, strengths, embarrassing moments, etc. It was an adventure of the heart for the characters AND for me, the reader. Even if you aren’t a M/M reader, I think you will still enjoy the story.  It’s not just sex, it’s about finding yourself. Coming to terms with who you are and who you want to be.

My final thoughts:  I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to get my hands on more stories like this from AF Henley! “Second Star To The Right” not only met my hopes and expectations, it obliterated them and set a whole new standard of M/M stories for me!!

~Robin Malone

*NOTE* Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win an ecopy of “Second Star To The Right” by AF Henley HERE!!!

Grade Scale:

(Based upon the Book Reads and Reviews Rubric)

  • Plot – 10
  • Characterization – 10
  • Style – 10
  • Threshold Quality – 10
  • Addictiveness – 10

Total – 50

Rating –5 Stars

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