Tymber Dalton's More Than Make-Believe is an absolutely glorious 5-star read that oh-so-wonderfully pushes all of my buttons.
♥ Cute straight boy does gay porn to pay the rent? Check!
♥ Cute straight boy not only enjoys himself, but falls in love? Check!
♥ Hot gay porn star turns out to be gay-for-pay himself? Check!
♥ How gay porn star falls in love with cute straight boy amateur? Check!
♥ Cute straight boy & hot gay porn star get their happily ever after? Check!
Oh my goodness, I cannot remember the last time a book made me so deliriously happy and so unbelievably hot at the same time!
Travis is a wonderful character, a desperate young college student who needs to earn a lot of money in very little time. He is not looking for stardom, just for a way out of his situation. Turning gay-for-pay is certainly not something he ever dreamed of, but he also never imagined encountering such a lucrative offer. His trepidation is genuine, but it is also restrained. We know he does not want to be there, but Tymber does not test our patience with endless protests to the fact. More interestingly, his curiosity is equally genuine, especially once he is introduced to his costar, and his slow build towards pleasure is exceptionally well done. This is no instant-gay fantasy, full of eye-rolling revelations about repressed sexuality - Travis bonds with Marston, develops a friendship with the older man, and slowly takes the freedom to enjoy himself from that friendship.
As for Marston, he is the the kind of character any man or woman could fall in love with. He is handsome, well-educated, comfortably employed as a tenured college professor, and hopelessly devoted to his sister and her sick niece. Not only has he put his personal life on hold, but he secretly continues to pursue his own gay-for-pay career in order to cover his niece's surgery costs. For him, it is nothing more than a job, especially after having had his heart broken years before by the man who took his virginity on screen. His relationship with Travis builds slowly, a tentative friendship full of both caution and cautious advice. He never expected to fall in love with a man again, but neither man can help himself in this situation.
Given that this is a story about two men making a gay-for-pay porn film, Tymber could be forgiven if the sex got a little vulgar, but somehow she manages to restrain herself. The sex is incredibly hot, full of bareback penetrations, eager facials, and lots of stroking, but it somehow remains tasteful even in its extremity. There comes a point where the men stop performing for the camera, and just start enjoying themselves, and I think it is at that point that I completely fell in love. I wanted to be them as much as I wanted to be with them! I never expected to find so much romance in the story, but Tymber stroked my heartstrings as well as Travis stroked Martin's . . . you know what. :)
Far and away one of the most satisfying books I have read this year. I cannot wait to dig deeper into Tymber's shelves.
[Reviewed by Candace]