Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau
It's out! I thought I'd share this review today, though I read Straight Shooter a bit back as an ARC. What can I say? I never pass up a chance to get a Heidi Belleau story. At first, I was pretty leery after I read the description. For all my open-mindedness about kinks, humiliation just doesn't do it for me. It makes me pretty uncomfortable, actually, because the shades of denigration usually feel more damaging than anything else. Plus, I somehow get embarrassed for the characters.
Yes, I did spend some time reading this literally squinting with one through my fingers as I cringed from the page on my reader. I still really, really liked it.
Austin was such a complex character. He had a lot going on, pressures and feelings and insecurities, and a serious issue with impulse control. I loved watching his evolution through the story as he came to know himself in a deeper way... and relate that to the people around him in positive ways. And yes, a big part of that came from the kink he explores with 'Puck'.
Heidi also exposes a lot of the duality of those in the porn industry--both the good and bad sides of it. Yes, they're characters but they're people too with lives, likes, and loves completely divorced from the person on the screen. Yet... obviously that person is a part of their psyche too. Add in that Liam, aka Puck, is a real person with feelings and flaws and we have yet another lovely character driven piece of wonderful fiction.
Seriously, read the synopsis and excerpt for this. If you have no issues with humiliation kink and like coming of age stories that are firmly rooted in reality--yet still have that wonderful dose of just right angst, you should read Straight Shooter.
Oh, did I mention it has college jocks? Yeah. Hockey players. YUM
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