Reviewed by Marieke
AUTHOR: Chris T. Kat
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 112 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 1st 2016
Blair Clark has reached his breaking point. Forced to leave one job because of sexual harassment, he’s having difficulty finding another. Since no one believes what happened, Blair’s left with a stain on his employment record that he can’t get rid of. He’s had to move back home with his mother. As if that’s not bad enough, he realizes his crush, Travis, is simply using him. His romantic life looks as hopeless as his job search.
Jack Ross is sure he’ll never find anyone who’ll love him for who he is. All anyone sees is the port-wine stain on his left cheek—not the man behind it. Even his mother thinks he should get rid of it. But the procedure is difficult and painful.
When Blair applies for a secretarial position with Jack’s firm, both men learn that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take a lot of trust to chase away their insecurities, but if they take a chance on one another, love will find a way.
Blair is short and skinny. He’s also kind of submissive and others tend to use that to their advance, especially his lovers. His current friend with benefits is one of those. Using him and never giving back, hurting him even if he’s not into it.
Blair has lost his job when he didn’t want to sleep with his manager and accused him of sexual harassment, even turning in evidence. No one believed him and they fired him. Now it’s hard to find a job because of that incident. No one wants a troublemaker. Except Jack Ross, who doesn’t seem to believe he’s lying about the harassment. So he hires Blair.
Jack has a port wine stain and has dealt with a lot of staring and name calling himself, so he understands a lot of Blair’s troubles. Attraction grows between the two men but they’re both insecure about their looks and their pasts. But when Blair’s (former) lover hurts him and sends a video to all of Jacks business contacts, Jack and Blair have to trust each other to move past this. Blair has to trust Jack to help with the situation and Jack has to trust Blair that this was not his doing.
Chris T. Kat is an author I usually like a lot, but this time I was quite disappointed. Both characters, but especially Blair, are very unbelievable. They’re whole personality feels unrealistic and over the top. Blair is so needy and––even though we’re repeatedly told he’s not––weak. He’s a victim a lot, which is not that weird because people who are weaker are usually the ones who get abused more than once. But Blair’s either whiney about it, or he tries to avoid the subject while blubbering about everything.
Of course men can cry, I even like it when they’re not trying to be all tough and unemotional. But Blair cries so much, I think he needs therapy. He gets panic attacks, pukes whenever he’s stressed and cries about everything. The way he handles Jack’s wine stain is wonderful though.
What bothers me about that wine stain thing though, is that apparently no one in America knows what that is and stares like an idiot. That everyone is an asshole about it and whispers extremely nasty things like; “Of course I took a picture, it’s not everyday you see a freak like him. Oh I know! There’s a circus coming through town, is he a part of it?” Come on, you expect me to believe people don’t know wine stains AND they still think the circus has a freak show? Nope sorry, not buying it.
Even though Jack is pretty normal, his reaction to every bit of drama, all the tears and puking is a bit too bland and cool in my eyes. The basic story line is nice, but the way it’s worked out and dramatized is just way too much.
I hate writing negative reviews, so trying to end on a positive note…
I like stories that are about people who are ‘different’ or have a disability and I hope the author will try again with a little less dramaqueen-ish characters.