Book: Beyond the Grill
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: October 5, 2016
Length: 111 pages
Reviewed by Morningstar
Justin Walker is used to being the hookup but never the boyfriend, and that’s okay. Justin has goals—he might sling burgers by night and work on his car by day, but he has plans to go to school and make a life for himself. He also has a few friends and loving parents.
What more could a guy ask for?
Hot, muscular, manly Shane Steel is a walking wet dream. Justin fantasizes about having Shane as more than a casual acquaintance, and one night he works up the courage to flirt with Shane. To his surprise—and terror—Shane is interested. Very interested.
As they bond over their love of cars and drag racing, Justin begins to believe he can be more to Shane than a side guy. Too bad Shane’s manipulative and dangerous ex is dead set against letting that happen.
The best thing about reading new to me authors is that first time reading their story it’s like you are getting to know the writer; who they are and their style. Most times, for me, it typically ends well (sometimes extremely well) and I will be reading more of their work others not so much. What I found with Tracey is that her style is sweet and romantic; stories which I could always use more of. Like little pick me up stories that aren’t heavy on angsty emotions.
I liked the cute banter and sexy sweet romance between Shane and Justin. Justin is that guy who never believes he can catch the hot guy, but with Shane he totally can. But what he wants is a relationship not just sex like all of the others before Shane had wanted. He also has trouble speaking up for himself. Justin does have self-esteem issues but no more than most people do in everyday life. Shane is the hot mechanic that thinks the world of Justin and wants to show him he is worth the effort and work of dating him. Shane was surprised by Justin’s gearhead ways to start off since he thought he was more geeky; but it’s just one more thing they have in common.
There is the “bad guy” in the form of an ex from the past who brings his bag of crazy and finds a way to divide these two men with lies. It’s up to them to work hard and fight their way back together. I felt the ex story and how Shane handled it was way off base on his initial reactions after each scene, like he would’ve not hung out with him since he knew the guy was flirting or been pissed after the night of hanging out with what happened. His actions after each of those made me not like or at the very least be angry at Shane for his handling of it even with his guilt. Some of this part of the storyline just lead me to more questions.
Although this is a short story I felt the pacing was spot on for a shorter story and the characters were pretty well developed. There are some things left out that would’ve made each character a little more clear; but for me it wasn’t something I thought about until after and it obviously didn’t take me out of the story. Overall a sweet and sexy story that will have me looking into this author’s other work.
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