Friday, September 5, 2014

The Truth About Riley by Henrietta Clarke

Title: The Truth About Riley
Author: Henrietta Clarke
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: #1
Main Characters: Riley and Cameron
Release Date: July 2013
Publisher: Bottom Drawer Publications
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Riley Aylworth’s life has been completely devoid of intimate contact since a fire three years ago left him with horrific facial scarring, so when he finds an ad for a phone sex service, he decides to give it a call. Except that the number is not a phone sex service—it’s the revenge Cameron Kirkwood’s ex-boyfriend took on the uptight advertising executive after Cam forgot their anniversary and accidentally put him in the hospital. Needless to say, after thirty-nine disturbing calls seeking phone sex, Cameron is at the end of his tether and yells at his fortieth caller. What he doesn’t expect is for Riley to hit redial and yell right back.

The argument helps both Cameron and Riley vent about their issues, and when they’ve calmed down, they decide to exchange numbers and talk again. From this decision springs a friendship that, over time, grows into a gentle romance—all over the phone, because Riley is too scared to meet Cam in person. Showing a potential boyfriend his disfigured face is the fastest way to get rejected, right? Even a month of scorching hot phone sex can’t change his mind, no matter how hard Cam tries to persuade him that with their phone chemistry, the sex would be so much better in person.

Meanwhile, Cam is haunted by the scarred blond he seems to be seeing everywhere, and Riley can’t get the handsome brunet who always seems happy to see him out of his mind. It’s a shock to both men to realise that the guy they’re falling for over the phone is also the man who brightens their day with just a smile; but it’s one thing to let a stranger smile at you and quite another to let him close enough to see into your soul. If Riley can’t break down the walls in his mind and believe that Cameron loves him in spite of his scars, their relationship may be doomed before they’ve even had a chance to kiss.
My Review:
Wow, wow, wow! A fellow reviewer and m/m lover who I exchange recs with all the time sent me a note on this one before she'd even finished it. Immediately the blurb caught my attention and I was in the mood for something a bit angsty so I started reading. I didn't stop again until I reached the last page. This book was so good and was interesting in that the two heroes aren't physically together throughout most of the book. This is a relationship built on a true mental connection and I loved that about it. 

Three years ago, Riley was left with scarring burns on one side of his beautiful face. Before that time, he'd been a bit of a manwhore...hooking up with random men all the time. Now, three years later, he's a bit of a hermit. As a writer, he works from home. Although he does try to force  himself out and goes writing at various coffee shops. He's even tried a few times to flirt and pick men up, but has never had a positive reaction to his fact just the opposite. The looks of horror and terrified children have left him with a bit of a complex about the way he appears. He hasn't had physical contact with another man in 3 years.

Cameron just came off a four year relationship with a guy he thought was the "one", but when Cam spent one too many nights with his job rather than his boyfriend, the boyfriend had enough and dumped him with a broken heart. The boyfriend in a spiteful fit after the breakup put an ad in a gay magazine offering phone sex using Cam's phone number. Riley is desperate for some kind of human connection when he calls the number. Cam is just way too fed up after too many of these phone calls from horny men and the two of them have a huge fight...which leads to a fantastic friendship. 

There is only one word for this story...heartwarming. I absolutely loved every minute of reading it. Dying for the two of them to finally meet. How was it going to happen? How would Cam react? I'll admit, the author was a genius with how she had the last 25% of the book play out. I shed a few tears and smiled a ton through those tears over their little moments. 

I adored this book and am so, so, so happy that there's going to be another book. Although I'll admit to a fear that nothing can live up to the magic of this first book. I loved Cam and Riley together and their chemistry and friendship was an example of a perfect romance in my book. It was romantic and so sweet and I LOVED every moment of it!

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