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Another ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.com review
Rating: 4. 25 stars out of 5
Gael Torres met Liam Barton when he costarred in an adult movie for Woodspring Manor Entertainment, the company that employed them as actors for their porn films. Liam, also known as Lithium in the adult film industry, had just signed up with Woodspring although he was already a legend in the porn industry. Gael, known as Gabriel Knightly, was already an established star at Woodspring for over 5 years. In their first scene together, sparks flew, their attraction to each other igniting far past what the script and acting called for.
But obstacles were already in the way to any relationship between them. Gael was living with John, known to his fans as Johnny Depth, and it was well known that they were a popular established couple and good for Woodspring's image and advertising. And Lithium? The secrets he was hiding were huge, and one night he simply disappeared. No note, no phone calls. Gone.
Shocked, Gael waits as the rumors pile up, many saying that Lithium had died, a notion Gael couldn't accept. Determined to find Lithium and extract some answers, Gael still wasn't prepared for what he finds when the missing Lithium is located.
Liam Barton has left his identity as Lithium behind when he fled LA for the ski slopes of Solitude Ski Resort in remote Utah. Haunted by his past, burdened by circumstances he left behind in L.A., Liam craves the peace and isolated existence found in this small town. The only thing he misses is the actor he thinks he can't have, Gabriel Knightly.
When Gael arrives at Solitude to find Liam alive if not completely happy, the shock is almost overwhelming. Gael is determined to get his answers and show Liam the depth of his feelings. Liam has built a fortress to hide behind. Can Gael break down his walls so both men can find the love and relationship they have been dreaming about? Or will Liam's past destroy any chances they might have for a future together?
What a terrific love story! Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding works on many levels, as a romance, a study of porn actors and their industry, and as a plot storyline that relays the fact that even a HFN commitment takes work and compromises in the name of love. All of these elements and more combine to bring a realistic and even handed look into an industry (and actors) that seldom are given such a non-judgmental point of view. Love and romance are on display in this story in many forms, including the deep love and caring relationship of Gael's parents, great secondary characters whose loving relationship acts as a support and example for those who know them.
Authors Martin and Fielding use characters Liam Barton and Gael Torres to show the different facets to the people who act in porn film and the various types of adult film companies who produce the prodigious amounts of porn filmed each year. It starts off with the company Woodspring Manor Entertainment, a firm whose owners like Preston, take care of their performers, from contracts to health insurance to housing. Woodspring and its owners represent the best of the adult film industry. Among its established stars are Gael (Gabriel Knightly) and Johnny (Johnny Depth), a "couple" favored for their relationship as well as their gorgeous bodies and acting abilities. Gael Torres is a porn star in the business because he loves sex and is good at it. He comes from a loving and open minded family who only want their son to be happy and aren't ashamed of his profession.
Gael Torres is that person you infrequently hear about…the well adjusted porn star. That such a person exists is a certainty but one the media seldom picks up on. Gael is a marvelous character whose believable and appealing personality makes the story and romance. And he comes with one of the loveliest set of parents around, his Finnish mother Leena and Spanish father, Diego, secondary characters who light up the page whenever they make an appearance.
On the opposite side of spectrum of the actors in the adult film industry is Liam Barton, known as Lithium. He represents those who comes from abusive backgrounds, men accompanied by their own painful set of circumstances, a reality of this world as well. His background? That of a ultra conservative Latter day Saints family he escaped from but barely. The background created for him by the authors feels as complicated, haunted and real as Gael's does open, happy, and accepting. The pairing of these two dissimilar men helps to create the drama and believable relationship dynamics that the pair must work through. And all the adjustments and compromises they achieve makes their romance and love seem not only viable but heartwarming and real.
The narrative begins with Liam already in Solitude, Utah but then it switches back and forth between Gael and Liam, the past and the present. The effect that changeover has upon the story can feel jumbled at times but the story is such a good one that an uneven narrative can be somewhat overlooked. These are easy character to learn to care about and the other characters in their orbit are just as believable as they are.
I absolutely recommend Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding. The romance is complicated and heartfelt, the characters believable and compelling, and the story plot marvelous all the way to the end. And did I say it was sexy and hot too? Well, it is! Grab it up today and find out for yourself!
Cover Art by Reese Dante is lovely even if it doesn't exactly speak to the plot and characters.