Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2017
Received From: NetGalley
Pete Griflow is the last person anyone would suspect of being a porn star. He’s quiet, gawky, and can’t even talk to guys without turning red. But on camera, he’s a different person. In the porn world, he’s Jaden Prime, a coquettish power bottom who’s been tantalizing fans for over a year now.
Pete is in a rut, though, and he knows it. And what’s worse, his boss knows it. If he can’t reignite his passion for the biz, he’s going to have trouble paying his none-too-cheap college tuition.
When Pete is given the opportunity to star in a huge summer production, sparks fly between him and his costar, Kyle Darko. Kyle is Pete’s opposite: he’s daring, achingly sexy, and in love with the sex industry. Their chemistry is palpable on and off screen, but dating on a porn set is tricky. Even pros struggle to separate fantasy from reality, especially with a script dictating their seduction. But what’s building between them can’t be ignored, and it’s so much more than getting some “action.”
TROPES: workplace romance, coworkers to lovers, insta love
TAGS: contemporary, new adult, romance, queer romance, sex workers, erotica
WARNINGS: ableism, queer fetishization, sexual content, public play
Action is a fun, cute contemporary that does a really great job of creating a positive portrayal of sex workers. Both main characters are porn stars, and one is unabashedly out and up front about it, while the other does it primarily to help with bills and college, but finds that it’s something he enjoys and is good at but isn’t comfortable being publicly out quite yet. I loved that there were different reasons and experiences explored with Pete and Evan, and that when Pete’s secret came out, his friends were really cool about it. And, I really liked that the novel doesn’t end up with one or both of them giving up their jobs, like the first book in the series does.
There were a few things throughout that felt unfinished or like loose threads. Pete’s dad is only mentioned a couple times and then is pretty much brushed to the side and never brought up again. His ex is brought up often enough that it seems expected that he’d make some kind of appearance, but he never shows. Also I kept hoping to meet some of Evan’s family, especially one of the numerous sisters mentioned, but his family never comes into play at all. These didn’t necessarily detract from the overall enjoyment of the story, but it does leave you wondering why they were mentioned in the first place, and brought up more than once.
Really the only thing that bothered me, outside of the occasional use of ableist terminology (deranged, crazy, etc), was one instance where a female character says something along the lines of “gay porn is for women too.” This is such a harmful thought process to exacerbate in media because it furthers the fetishization of queer people. Also, given the fact that Evan started out in “straight” porn, I was disappointed that the author didn’t take the opportunity to make him bisexual.
All in all, this story was your basic contemporary romance with little to no twists and insta love, but the main characters were really cute together, so it was overall enjoyable.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4
Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.
A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Sherlock, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Buffy, Marvel, and more. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere.
Her favorite television show is Avatar: the Last Airbender, her favorite film is Tangled, and her favorite book is Ella Enchanted. She can often be spotted at conventions, comic shops, and midnight book releases. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her. Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, screwing the rules, finding the Master Sword, guided falling, consulting for the NYPD, guarding the galaxy, boldly going, and catching ’em all.
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