Reviewed by Tammy
TITLE: One Call Away
AUTHOR: Felice Stevens
PUBLISHER: Self Published
RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2017
When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modelling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.
On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.
For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if he wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.
To save his job Oren Leavitt has to make a prank-call to Dr. Noah Strauss’s radio show, One Call Away, New York City’s only relationship advice show on the radio catering exclusively to gay men. Oren has been bullied by the great-grandson of the founding member of the law firm he worked for. If it wasn’t imperative that Oren keep his high paying job so he can continue to support his parents he would have quit years ago. For some reason talking to Noah made Oren begin to look at his life and he has to admit, he doesn’t like what he sees.
When Noah received the phone call from Oren he can’t help but feel there’s a lot more behind what he’s not saying rather than what he is saying! Noah hopes that Oren will call back so they can talk more in-depth about what is happening in Oren’s life.
After talking again Oren is feeling so guilty about the first phone call that he finally tells Noah, who then promptly refuses to talk to Oren again. Noah is devastated when Oren tells him the only reason he called his show the first time was because his “superior” at work told him he had to if he wanted to keep his job but he doesn’t know why. It’s not like he’s even laid eyes on Oren but that doesn’t make any difference, he feels betrayed. Oren eventually gets Noah to listen to his apology/explanation and once they start talking face-to-face they can’t stop. The one thing they don’t talk about is what happened to Noah when he was modelling and a rival attacked him. Even though Noah has completely recovered from the attack, at least physically, mentally Noah hasn’t been able to move on.
Oren has been raised Orthodox Jewish. Orthodox Jewish people are intensely religious, they even have arranged marriages. The one major thing Oren is terrified of happening is that if/when he comes out as gay that his younger sister won’t be able to find a suitable husband and his parents will be ostracized with-in their religious community. These are very real and valid concerns and they’re something that Noah has to learn (with a lot of googling!) about Oren and his family to understand why Oren has never even acknowledged that he is gay, even to himself!!
I could go on forever about One Call Away but I would prefer that you get a copy, sit down with your favourite drink and read til your heart’s content. Felice has written another deep, emotional, love story with all the heartache, love, laughter and just about every emotion in between. There are twists and turns, ups and downs that you aren’t expecting but you’re secretly waiting for. I better stop now 😉