Reviewed by Tammy
TITLE: Rent Mate
AUTHOR: Ash Penn
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 260 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017
Liam has principles, and sharing a home with a rent boy goes against every one of them. Even a rent boy as alluring as Martin.
Martin ‘Button’ Bailey is a twenty-one-year-old rent boy with an aversion to gay men. Liam West is his reluctant flatmate with an aversion to rent boys. Especially those who go by the name of Martin Bailey.
That suits Martin, because it means there’s no chance of Liam wanting anything more from him than the occasional argument. Sex is never going to be an issue between them because Liam is one hundred percent straight. He’s also in love with their third flatmate, Katie. Even if that love is painfully unrequited.
While it’s fair to say that Liam can’t stand Martin, he wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to the guy. So, when Martin comes home one day covered in bruises, Liam can’t help but show concern. A concern that is quickly batted aside, until the next night when Martin shows up having been half-drowned in the river.
Reason enough to believe someone is out to get him.
As Liam becomes more embroiled in the mess that is Martin’s life, the two men find themselves drawing closer together. And other feelings begin to develop. Unexpected feelings that a budding friendship can’t quite cover.
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to sexual abuse of a child.
Oh, my lord Rent Mate is one very intense, at times dark, emotional story that is so worth your while reading!! This is my first book by Ash Penn but it will definitely not be the last.
Martin Bailey is renting a room from Liam West and his best friend Katie. Liam has believed himself in love with Katie for years but he’s never found the courage to admit it to her. Liam thinks his secret is safe from everyone, not realizing that everyone knows! Liam is insanely jealous of anyone who forms any type of relationship with Katie, so when Katie agrees to Martin renting the spare room Liam takes an instant dislike to him. When Liam finds out that Martin is a male prostitute his hatred goes into overdrive.
Martin becomes his alter-ego Button, a naïve, almost innocent 17-year-old whilst he’s working because most of his punters prefer a nubile, young “almost” boy. Button has been in existence for the last three years. Although Martin thinks he’s a very good judge of people he really isn’t because he tends to take people at face value when he really needs to look below the surface. Three months ago, Button took on a new client Roy, Roy is in his mid to late 60’s, he’s also married with grandchildren and he happens to like sleeping with very young boys. Martin thinks he’s completely harmless when he starts asking him to become Roy’s exclusively but Roy doesn’t stop pressuring Button.
Liam finally gets Martin to leave the flat when everything changes. Martin has a stalker and Liam’s protective instincts come rushing forward. This is when Liam starts to get to know the real Martin and discovers he really likes him but hates what he does for a living. Liam has a hard time understanding the way Martin reacts to different things that are happening to him but he works very hard to overcome his own prejudices to understand Martin, where he’s been and what happened to him as a child. For the first time in his life Martin has someone who cares for and about him, not Button.
I’m going to leave it here because I will give away too many spoilers. I can’t recommend Rent Mate enough, go and get your copy now!! You won’t regret it.