“There are two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don’t dare to let out.” ― Ally Carter
Title: Out of the Gate
Author: EM Lynley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 270 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: British actor Wesley Tremayne thinks he’s close to hitting the big time—a film career—with his role as a hunky explorer on a popular American TV show. Success should be just around the corner, as long as he keeps his sexual orientation a secret. Wes’s best friend and beard, Julia Compton, forms the other half of a glamorous Hollywood couple that’s merely a façade.
Evan Taylor left his acting career behind five years ago without looking back. He’s always been more comfortable around horses than people—especially Hollywood types. His new life training racehorses is a dream come true, but increasing financial problems and an abusive boyfriend have him doubting himself and his choices.
Then Wes and his friends buy a third-rate racehorse—partially for publicity—and send him to Evan’s stable. Wes’s friendship with Evan soon develops into an overpowering attraction he can’t act on. He’s never met a man like Evan, but if there’s any chance for a future together, Wes must choose between a career he loves and the man he adores.
Review: I’ve read several books by this author and have always enjoyed the stories she tells. This was no exception. The author makes you fall in love with her characters and really care about what happens to them. For me, the most important aspects of a book are likable characters and a strong storyline. Out of the Gate has both.
This story centers around Wes and Evan. One is an actor who is deep in the closet, the other has left Hollywood far behind to train race horses. Now, before I go on, let me say that while the “in the closet” concept in this story isn’t something new, the author has a way of making it her own. I felt the story was so solid that nothing in particular stood out as surprising or new, but that’s okay. Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, or a dramatic entry from stage right, I got a chance to just read and enjoy.
I loved how the author let us see both POV’s. We get to know the inner turmoil each man is going through. For Wes, his real concern is being outed and losing his credibility as an actor. After meeting Evan, though, he’s seriously rethinking his situation. Evan is dealing with a boyfriend who isn’t there for him, and his feeling about the Hollywood crowd is one of disgust and shame. I loved that the author didn’t go the cheating route. I know a lot of readers wouldn’t have gone for that at all. Just so everyone knows, Evan was very much a free man when the loving started.
For someone like me, who doesn’t know a whole lot about race horses, I didn’t feel the information given by the author was difficult to follow. I loved being behind the scenes and seeing all of what goes into getting the horses ready for race day. The everyday work that goes into taking care of these animals was a real treat to read, and flowed nicely with the story. Horse lovers are going to love it.
The secondary characters really round this story out. From the group Wes hangs out with to the people who work for Evan, I think each one played their part well, kept the story moving and were quite interesting. Outward appearances aren’t all they seem to be, and a few of Wes’s friends surprised me at the end. I won’t go into details, but I feel a few have their own story to tell.
The mystery involved really had me going. I didn’t have a clue as to who was behind everything that was happening. I loved that I found out right along with everyone else. I really wasn’t too surprised to find out who the culprit ended up being, but the author definitely had me guessing the whole way through.
While the overall tone is light, there are a few heavy issues in here, especially Evan’s backstory, which was just heartbreaking. For those wanting a HEA, you’ll get it with this one. The ending made me smile. This is one I would definitely recommend for everyone.
You can buy Out of the Gate here: