Monday, June 19, 2017

Random Review: Off Stage: Beyond the Footlights by Jaime Samms #Review #Giveaway

Author: Jaime Samms
Book: Beyond the Footlights
Series: Off Stage #3
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Length: 300 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Kilmer and Jacko’s relationship has been foundering for a long time. With the end in sight and despairing that he might never find a Dom who suits him, Kilmer heads to a local bar to drown his sorrows—and meets country singer Tanner.

Tanner feels oddly protective of the broken man and eventually convinces Kilmer to hire him to help remodel the small, sad house Kilmer once shared with Jacko. As Tanner and Kilmer get to know each other, Kilmer regains his lost independence and Tanner’s dominant streak rises to the surface. But will it be a help or a hindrance to the trust they’re trying to build?

The answer might lie in the music Kilmer gave up not long after he met Jacko. Music always granted him solace, clarity, and an outlet for his emotions, and with Tanner’s encouragement, he picks up where he left off. Playing together eases them into honest communication, and though a happily ever after will still take patience and work, taking a chance on each other sounds sweeter with every note.

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I am huge Jaime Samms fan, y'all. Like HUGE. And I'm especially fond of the Off Stage series. These guys, man,they've been through some heavy stuff. Book three of the incredible series (if you haven't checked it out thus far, I urge you to do so ASAP), Off Stage: Beyond the Footlights is a little different in that Kilmer Hennessey isn't a member of the rock band Firefly which is the focus of the first two books. He is an important person in the periphery of their lives though and we've seen him in book two so he's not new. He's the ranch manager at Vance Ashcroft's ranch and his ex-submissive as well. He's friends with Vance's partner Lenny and this bond plays an important role in the book as a whole. 

These books are all a bit interconnected and Beyond the Footlights picks up right after the ending of book two. And what a beginning it is! It's a bit rough to get through, but it's obvious from the get go that Kilmer is in for some big changes. He's been with his Dom, Jacko, for years and things haven't been the best, to say the least. Kilmer is unhappy, and it's not until he is literally forced to face the unhappiness and dissatisfaction in his situation that he makes a change. With the help of his best friend Vance and Vance's partner and a fellow submissive, Lenny, Kilmer is finally able to take a step back and see what and who it is exactly that he's searching for. He just doesn't expect that someone to be the sexy front man singing in the local bar. Tanner Jones at first glance seems like a laid back good ole' boy, but there is a Dominant simmering just below the surface. From the moment these two meet there's an instant attraction and a recognition that if they just tried, they could very definitely give the other what they want and need.

This is Jamie Samms so you know things aren't going to be easy, and they aren't. Kilmer is really struggling to try to understand where and how things went so wrong with Jacko and get to a point where he trusts his own judgment. Jacko really did a number on Kilmer's self-esteem and even with Vance and Lenny's love and support, this isn't an easy journey to heal for Kilmer. Tanner is dealing with his own ghosts, but I've got to tell you guys, Tanner was SO fantastic. His goodness and genuine need to be there for Kilmer was so swoony and sexy. And yes, when these two find themselves in bed together, they definitely steam up the bedroom! But their relationship is based on much more than just sex and D/s. They like one another and are friends ... even though this takes a bit of time to develop.

As much as I loved Kilmer and Tanner's story, I have to say my very favorite moment of the book was the reconciliation between Lenny and his band mates, most especially with his estranged best friend, Damien/Trevor. My heart melted seeing these two finally come full circle and be able to be the kind of friends they were always meant to be. A truly heart-clenching, emotional scene and one that totally encapsulated their long, painful journey toward healing. *sigh* I am so sad to say goodbye to these fabulously written characters. None of them are perfect and they've all been through so much, but Samms more than delivered on their happily ever afters. Don't miss this book or this series, it's really something special.


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