Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere
AUTHOR: L.A. Witt
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 194 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 26th, 2017
Blackjack dealer and stripper Adrian West has lived in Las Vegas long enough to be numb to beggars on the Strip. Their destitution is a sad, ugly part of reality in a city where people win or lose it all at the tables every single day.
So he’s at a loss to explain why the homeless man in the suit catches his eye. Why he can’t just keep on walking like he always does.
Former advertising executive Max Reynolds is a Las Vegas cliché. After a run of bad luck costs him his boyfriend, his job, and his home, he’s decided to go out with a bang—a week of high-rolling capped off with a peaceful overdose in a luxury hotel room.
When a last second epiphany keeps him from finishing the job, he’s ready to live again… but he doesn’t have a dime to his name. He has nothing.
That is until a stranger takes him in off the street. Max may have hit rock bottom, but now he has a glimmer of hope and an unexpected friendship.
A friendship that just might turn into everything neither man knew he was missing.
This novel is approximately 51,000 words.
Wow. This sneaky little story had me in tears!
Adrian works as a blackjack dealer for one of the big casinos in Las Vegas, as well as dancing at one of the strip joints nearby. One evening on his way back to his car, he passes yet another man begging on the street in front of the Bellagio fountain. He initially walks by, but something about the man catches his attention, and he goes back. He is surprised to see how well dressed the man is, and how broken his expression is. Adrian offers to buy him dinner at one of the nearby buffets, and the two begin to chat. The homeless man is Max, who has gotten himself into a desperate situation.
Max has lost everything, and the decision he makes is to take what little money he has left and blow it all in Vegas. Then take a handful of pills and put an end to his misery. He stops barely in time, but now is left with nothing. He is surprised by the kindness of a stranger, and shoves his pride to the background and accepts the help that Adrian offers.
The two men get way more than either thought they were getting. And I got more than I expected out of this story! I am a fan of Lori’s, so I’m not surprised that I liked this book, she’s a fantastic author. When I read the blurb, I thought it sounded good, and then let it sit as a sample on my tablet for months. I was poking through my TBR collection and realized I hadn’t read this one, after checking to be sure no one else had reviewed it for Love Bytes, I asked if I could. So anyway, I expected to like it based on the author, but my initial impression was that the story wouldn’t be exactly unique. There is another book about a man that goes to Vegas to spend his money and kill himself. There are other books about strippers/rent boys falling in love, this author has written some of them. There are a ton of books that have the they-can’t-be-together for whatever reason storyline. This book has a man going to Vegas to blow his money and kill himself, who contemplates a relationship with a stripper/sex worker, and they live in different cities with different lifestyles. But this one manages to be unique, and I think it’s a combination of perfect writing and excellent characters.
Both of these characters need so desperately to be loved and accepted for who they are. Max needs a life for himself, and not for his job. Adrian needs to accept himself for who he is, and he needs to find a man that will love him as he is. Both are fiercely proud and independent. Max has to accept that he needs help, and he can’t control his life anymore. Adrian needs to let go of some of his independence and let in another person. A good person. Both of these men are so good, so needy, and so lonely.
So I cried at the beginning when Adrian makes eye contact with Max. I cried when we see Max remember his moment of doubt. I cried when Adrian makes a painful decision. I cried again later, and again at the end, but I won’t tell you why! Now I’m not talking about angst level crying, but my eyes watered, and I sniffled. I was emotionally involved with this story within moments. I freaking loved the ending! That got a bigger sniffle. I loved Max and Adrian! I loved their individual stories, and how they came together. I loved the hot sex they share. I loved the solution to their issue. I loved that they had to accept what was offered, in such a good way. I even loved the shifting first person perspective. I’m usually pretty clueless when it comes to the craft of writing, I know if I like the way a book is written, but I don’t always know why. I can’t tell you much about perspectives normally, but I do know first person. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, it worked very well for me. So yes, great writing! Great details, great setting….
My one question since reading it is what happened to Adrian’s fish?? He goes to LA from LV with Max for a few days, and no mention is made of who cared for his fish. I was worried about the stupid fish!
I highly recommend this book, it has lots of things I like to see in books, all in one place!