Thursday, April 6, 2017

First by K.C. Wells Audiobook Review

It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia, hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets to sample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.

All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.

When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.

And then a beautiful young man asks Mike to be his first…

Length: 10 hrs, 59 mins
Narrator: Gregory Salinas

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner  Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Wells strikes a very interesting balance between sweet and naughty in First, and oddly enough, I can relate to both characters for very different reasons. Tommy is a shy young man who was raised in a small town in the Southern Bible Belt, so he was raised to believe that homosexuality is evil, sex is dirty, and he can only make God and his parents happy by building a “traditional” family – a wife and kids. Mike is a middle-aged man who has enjoyed a long and successful career as a porn star, who is proud of his success, yet suffers heartbreak after heartbreak because his partner(s) cannot separate Mike from his on-screen persona, Scott Masters. So how, you ask, can I relate to a sweet farm boy from the south and a naughty porn star?

Yes, I know, you didn’t actually ask that, but I’ll answer your unasked question anyhow. I grew up in a small town in the Southern Bible Belt, so I’m familiar with the religious messages that are spread like gospel among a town’s residents, the never-quiet gossip mill, and the prejudices one faces for being different. As a straight woman, I cannot pretend to know how Tommy felt as he struggled with knowing that God made him gay and reconciling it with the sermons about the evils of sodomy and homosexuality he grew up hearing. But I have seen the prejudices that Tommy would have seen, being practiced out in the open for all to see and can understand why he wouldn’t want to admit to himself or others that he was gay. For me, Wells did a wonderful job of capturing all this in Tommy and his intolerant family.

As for Mike, my best friend, my soul mate, my sexually incompatible significant other, was a gay porn actor for about a decade. I met him at the very end of his career, at a time when he was no longer doing scenes but would still make appearances at events. Because of that, I’m well acquainted with the difference between the on-screen persona and the man behind it. I watched my partner don his porn-persona while we were out and about and witnessed the relief as the weight lifted from his shoulders once he was home and could be a regular Joe again. He loved what he did, loved meeting fans, loved the attention, but he couldn’t be “on” 24/7 because it was an act, a heightened and exaggerated personality. He said, on more than one occasion, that it was a relief to be able to come home to me because he could just be himself. So I can appreciate why Mike was so hesitant to tell Tommy about his porn career. Tommy gave Mike a safe place to be himself, absent of all expectations to be Scott Masters when they were together. Because Mike knew that Tommy did not know about Scott Masters, he knew that Tommy was attracted to, cared about, and wanted to be with Mike – and to be loved for who he was and not a character he pretended to be was something Mike had waited for, for years.

I enjoyed watching the romance between Mike and Tommy play out. The age difference (an issue for Mike) and Tommy’s shyness and inexperience meant there could be no expressway to the bedroom. Even when they finally moved past their mutual admiration of one another from afar (or across the barroom), their first step was to become friends. It was as they spent time together as friends that they recognized the potential for more, especially once Tommy asked Mike to be his first. The gradual development of their relationship, the conflict over Mike’s career, and the realism of the characters make First a 5-star book for me. As for Gregory Salinas’s narrative performance... well done, sir. Salinas does an amazing job with the southern accents; so well that at times I was rolling my eyes at the characters for their run-on words, consonant dropping, and word dropping. Obviously, Wells did a great job of capturing the southern dialect, but Salinas brought it to life and had me feeling like I was back home, listening to my friends chat. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed First and have already listened to it a couple times because Tommy and Mike’s story has a special place in my heart.

Born and raised in the northwest of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C. goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer…

Connect with K.C.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of First by K.C. Wells, Narrated by Gregory Salinas to listen to and review.

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