Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rent Mate by Ash Penn


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 flat mate, 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.

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Pride Publishing



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆
Ash Penn is a new-to-me author, and I found the writing style to have a steady pacing, fluid writing, with intriguing characters. I look forward to reading more by Penn in the future.

Rent Mate has several threads woven within its pages. Romance. Mystery-suspense. Abuse. Hurt-comfort. A rent boy who didn't think he deserved any better.

Martin rents a home with Liam and Katie. Katie sees beneath Martin's depths, but Liam hasn't been impressed from first sight. He saw Liam as taking attention away from Katie – attention he needed, so there is a jealousy situation going on. The love-hate tension in the beginning added a layer I enjoy in a story.

Martin is also Button, his alter ego when working the streets. These scenes were written in raw and gritty detail, which I felt lent a realistic bent to the storyline. This added the mystery-suspense angle. Martin was often frustrating for the reader, but I felt his character was written with authenticity. Martin doesn't believe he deserves better, so he's a very self-abusing fellow with his actions (not substance abuse wise). He sets himself up to be harmed, almost as if it's a form of self-harm.

I won't go too in-depth with the plot, as I don't wish to spoil it. Martin is being stalked just as Liam has had enough and wants him out of their shared place. As Martin struggles to come up with funds to rent another place, Liam decides to become the knight and shining armor to protect Martin from said stalker.

As I said, a few of Martin's choices/actions/reactions were frustrating for the reader, but they do add to the story. With quick pacing, I was reading just as fast to learn what was happening. And yes, I did know who was stalking Martin, but knowing didn't remove the entertainment value for me.

Recommended to fans of MM romance, who need a bit of fear and suspense to spice things up.



I’ve written stories about men loving men for as long as I can remember. In the days before computers and the Internet, I used to hide my stories away, convinced there was no market for women who wrote gay male fiction. Fast forward a few years (okay, quite a few years) and there’s not only a market, but a whole empire out there for writers like me. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute my stories and take pride in what I write.

Many of my characters enjoy making my life as difficult as possible by refusing to take the easy pathway to love. They prefer to swagger through the undergrowth and laugh at me as I point at my story outline and demand they get back on the route I’ve painstakingly mapped out.

Lately I’ve discovered it’s far easier to let them dictate what happens and when, although I do get my revenge when it comes to giving them an undesirable trait or two to contend with. My characters are as flawed as their love lives, but they will usually find a kind of imperfect perfection in each other by the time I type ‘The End’.

Connect with Ash

Website  ~  Goodreads


https://www.pride-publishing.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Rent Mate by Ash Penn to read and review.

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