Reviewed by Dee
TITLE: The Lines of Beauty
AUTHOR: Jake Stark
LENGTH: 224 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2016
London playboy Danny Spark has it all – the penthouse, the contacts and the girls. And now he’s about to open the venue that’s set to be the hottest ticket in town – a Burlesque Club in the heart of the West End. He’s risked everything on this venture – his reputation, his money and also cash from his investors – who aren’t the kind of men you mess around with.
But when a disaster threatens the opening of the club, Danny finds his dream balanced on a knife
edge. He needs a saviour, and quick. Enter Hugo – an enigmatic Frenchmen with the body of an Adonis and the dance moves of an Astaire. Is the mysterious Hugo the answer to Danny’s prayers? More importantly, is Hugo awakening the feelings that have long been buried deep inside Danny?
Read The Lines of Beauty to discover why some men are just too beautiful to resist…
The downside of being committed to writing a review is having to do so when I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered, as sadly this one isn’t going to do the author any favors.
This is a difficult review to write, the story had great potential, but so many things rubbed me the wrong way I now sit here struggling to find anything good to say.
Danny is a playboy, so this story has many references to guy on girl sex, way more than guy on guy, and when it comes to gay men, the derogative comments took me by surprise and bordered on being offensive. A man who is brought in to assist with the dance routine is scoffed at and referred to as being an unlikable little queer. Numerous side characters are described as being fat, which again started to wear thin, and might rub others the wrong way. “He was like a fat kid in a candy store.” The term works just as well, if not better, without the word fat.
Danny has racked up a debt of 60k for cocaine. I realize this is fiction so I didn’t dwell on it too much, but it struck me as odd when his supply dried up he didn’t suffer any withdrawal symptoms. The way the debt ends up being repaid, moves the story into sexual violence, so be warned the story contains a rather graphic non-con scene.
Eventually, (a word which is used often in this story) Danny and Hugo get their act together, and playboy Danny has his first consensual MM experience. Hugo is pleased because I quote “I am here with you. A new man, a virgin boy without any of the hang ups of a gay guy.” Are we supposed to think a ‘straight or bi’ man is less hung up about having sex with a man than an openly gay man?
All in all, I feel this story tried to be too much, and/or was rushed. It had a straight/gay lead, a druggie at that, then went into dark non-con. It is full of grammatical errors, and has way too many chapters, etc.
My advice as a longtime beta reader, reviewer, proofreader, would be to take this book down, give it the overhaul it deserves and then, only then, relist it. The basic plot has huge potential.
The ending is neither a HEA or a HFN, it just stops, so I’d say this is the first in a series.
Footnote: The author contacted me to say a new version had been uploaded to Amazon with the spelling mistakes removed. From what I read of it, that appears to be correct, but spell check has not corrected missing words, double use of words, or the lack of punctuation.