Series: The Truth about Riley, Book #1
Author: Henrietta Clarke
Length: Novel (318 pages)
Publisher: Bottom Drawer Publications (July 10th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: 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 be 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 realize 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.
Review: Three years ago his life changed from a fire accident. What used to be a player, a handsome young man, full of life and confidence turned into a hideous monster, scarred for life and doomed to be lonely. That’s how Riley sees himself, and that’s how he believes everybody else sees him. His loneliness is out of proportions and in a weak moment, he picks up his phone and calls a phone-sex service line.
Cameron had the shock of his life when his, for 4 years, partner dumps him on their fourth anniversary. Yes, of course Cameron screwed up what with being a workaholic, and then he had different dreams from his ex, and to top it all he unwillingly poisoned his ex on their anniversary by giving him some sweet thing that had nuts in it causing his ex a huge allergic shock and a trip at the hospital. But really did he have to simply dump him like that and throw away for years of their life? And if you think that was all, a series of calls came asking for phone sex… How vindictive could one be to do such a thing to him? Not only is Cam lonely but he now has to fend of pervs that upon being told they got the wrong number they insisted on him providing some phone sex anyway because he had the voice. It was number forty that had to deal with the blast though, because by that time Cam simply couldn’t control himself anymore and simply wanted to yell.
Want to guess who lucky number forty was?
I loved this book. It was sensitive in so many ways, it showed how loneliness doesn’t affect only those that are outwardly scarred, but that there are also inward ones that make for a huge amount of hurt. It was lovely how the author got around this topic, a mastery in itself, and made you think really hard about who we are deep inside and how we view things as well.
On top of that, this book was also hilarious and fun. Cam and Riley are two very well written characters, their personality solid and multidimensional, and they work quite well together. The chemistry between them is charming and gripping even if 99% of the book has them on the phone and not having met in person. And THAT was the real surprise for me. I don’t quite know how I feel about it to be honest. Sometimes I think it got stretched a bit too much, others I think it worked well and in all honesty I was kept on my toes the entire read, waiting for that big moments when they’d met to come. When it came was simply “awww” and *sniff* and yeah, left me simply feeling and not thinking much. It was good, it was sexy, hot, and sensual, and damn it I wanted more. Down side was, it was the end of the book. Literally!
Fear not though, there is a second book coming and following Cam’s and Riley’s relationship now together body and soul. I can’t wait for that one, because as sexy as the phone sex was, as masterfully as it was written, I really, really wanted more face-to-face time with this couple. They are so good for each other that I can’t wait to see them in a more intimate scene.
Bottom end, book one in Riley and Cam’s adventures was great. I loved it and enjoyed every second of it. Give it a shot and let it grip you as it did me.