“What happens in P-town is supposed to happen. This is a special place, It changes people’s lives. The problems and worries that you bring with you don’t mean as much.”
Don’t forget to check out the Book Trailer at the end of the review!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
So what did I think?
Zach has been dumped. He is lacking self confidence, shy, clumsy and with a poor image of himself. He is re-evaluating his life, wanting to get back into his writing and Provincetown provides his escape.
For Zach, P-town is like the ultimate fantasy escape. Under the guidance of new friends Gary and Quinn, he undergoes a makeover and starts to experience a side of life that is very new to him – parties, drinking, dancing, sex…
Van has lived in Provincetown for years. His bad experiences with love have resulted in him escaping into his porn star persona and protecting himself by not getting emotionally involved.
Van is attracted to the pre-makeover version of Zach, the slightly geeky and sweet man, who seems quite different to the typical men he encounters so is disappointed to see Zach behaving in party-boy fashion. Zach is instantly attracted to Van. He makes the most of what Provincetown has to offer but can’t stop thinking of him.
Over the course of Zach’s holiday (yes, the romance is a quick one), Van and Zach come to mean a lot to each other but the road to true love is fraught with emotional ups and downs.
The story has quite an emotional element which is interestingly set against a backdrop of casual partying and good times. It delivers a strong message of love and acceptance. Zach comes to understand that he doesn’t need to change, that he is worthy of love exactly as he is and that Van’s career choice doesn’t impact how he feels about him.
The secondary characters in the book are fabulous, the setting is gay man’s paradise and the sex is lots and sizzling! I was quite intrigued by the references to each man’s stink – as in “he could smell Van’s stink on his beard” (not quite sure I like this but I’m not a gay man! :)) and so very different to all the other books where the characters seem to shower all the time.
The whole Provincetown location had a real ‘fantasy island’ feel so it was easy to accept the insta-love and the grand-gesture happy ending!
For more information on Jacob Z. Flores and his books visit his website.