Series: Love in Laguna 05
Author: Tara Lain
Narrator: KC Kelly
Length: 9 hrs, 17 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th November 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teeny-bopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.
Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never under-stand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?
Review: Fool of Main Beach is the fifth and final book in Tara Lain’s Love in Laguna series. If you haven’t read or heard the rest of the series, you really should, just so that you can do justice to all the characters, because I’ve become so emotionally invested in this, it’s crazy. However, this book in particular is good for those that love sweet romances with a splash of Hollywood.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, with incredibly relatable characters and deep romances, I’ve loved both Lain’s writing and Kelly’s narration. Both were excellent, although I’m going to say that I got a little annoyed hearing Audi pronounced as “Or-dee” as opposite to “Ow-dee”. Though I figure it could be an accent thing, like the ridiculous way Americans pronounce Craig (don’t get me started).
Onto the actual story, Lain has left the sweetest story to last in this series, and other than the pace of the story starting at a good speed and then slowing down at a couple points, there isn’t really much I can criticise. Quite simply, this is a sweet romance and full of heart.
Readers met Merle Justice in book 2, when Ru and Gray got together. Merle was the famous TV actor who starred in the stage production of Hamlet with Hollywood heartthrob Gray Anson. Unlike Gray, Merle has been out of the closet for years and while that has affected his career he’s been pretty comfortable as the lead in a popular teen vampire series (basically, he’s like the Angel or Edward Cullen of the show that he’s in). However, his stint in Hamlet introduced him to a group of down to friends, the very same group we’ve been following for this series. Now Merle is having a home built in Laguna when he can get away from LA, he’ll be close to his friends and in an idyllic seaside location.
One night on the beach some bigots try to attack Merle, but he is saved by a gentle giant called Tom Henry. Later, when he goes through his home with his friend and contractor, Billy from book 1, Merle finds Tom working on Billy’s crew. And now fate has intervened and is throwing the two men together. They start a really beautiful friendship, although at first it takes time for Merle to see that Tom is much more than his outside appearance. In this sense, Merle undergoes a lot of change and development throughout this story.
Tom is a gentle giant. He kind of naïve and has very low self-esteem, but he loves animals and will do just about anything for his friends. His naivety can be easily mistaken for some form of mental illness by the reader, I’ll admit that I wondered this, but in the end he is a pure soul whose doesn’t seem to be touched by the darkness of life. He just wants love and happiness for everyone. Even for his parents who have sent him away for being gay and will do anything, even sending the last of his money, for his beloved little sister.
Together their lives seem incompatible, Tom knows what he wants and knows how much of that he can get because in reality he is not famous as Merle and does not see himself as amazing as the man he could give his heart to. Despite the fact that they are amazing friends, it really does seem to be an impossible dream, to both of them but especially to Tom. But Merle is less accepting of the logical outcome, yet he must contend with his own preconceived notions before figuring out what’s more important.