Title: The Closet Boy
Author: Sean Michael
Series: Iron Eagle Gym
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Cheryl Christie
Release Date: 11/25/2016
Genre(s): M/M BDSM Romance
Page Count: 214
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 1 star out of 5
“Way’ra Bernard is only twenty years old when his parents kick him out of the house. He has been brought up to believe being gay is wrong and he is going to go to hell for it. He tried very hard not to be gay but couldn’t change the way he felt. Now he’s living furtively in a closet on the third floor of the place he’s working as a janitor—the Iron Eagle Gym.
Neal McPherson is an unattached Dom in his midtwenties and a member of the gym. One evening after working out, he notices Way’ra on the stairs, and he’s immediately attracted and intrigued, so he asks Way’ra out. Unable to come up with a reason to refuse, and also interested in Neal, Way’ra accepts.
There are a lot of obstacles to the relationship they attempt to build after their date, not least of which is Way’ra’s upbringing and his lingering doubts about the kinky sex Neal enjoys. But with patience and persistence, Neal might convince Way’ra not only to accept himself, but to loosen his inhibitions enough to explore and find a happy ending together.”
Review: The Closet Boy is one of the strangest books I have read in a while. Way’ra (or Way) is living in an unused broom cupboard inside the gym he works at as a cleaner. Brought up in a very sheltered and religious background, he finds himself kicked out of his home when his parents discover he has been ‘fooling around’ with a boy from school. With no money for rent, he hides out at work, saving every penny he can in order to one day get a place of his own. His saviour comes in the form of Neale, a member of the gym. Neale is quite taken with Way, from the very beginning and actively pursues him and asks him out on a date and although Way finds the man attractive, he’s not sure how he can go on a date and keep is poverty and homelessness a secret.
The two are only six years difference in age between the young men but it feels so much more. Way’s innocence and naivety makes him seem positively juvenile and Neale comes across as a predatory, middle aged man. The two have literally just met and Way agrees to going for a coffee. They’re just sitting chatting when Neale starts asking if he can kiss him. Talk about not wasting any time!?! There were a few moments like that that left me feeling decidedly uncomfortable and their conversations and the language they used felt very unnatural and stilted.
I’m not sure what the actual plot for the story was other that Neale was slowly coaxing Way’ra into a D/s relationship and making it seem like the younger man’s idea. Some of the sex scenes were hot but there were so many of them that it got a bit waring. The idea for the story is good but it just didn’t work for me.