||May 27, 2013
Two men with tortured pasts confront an attraction that cannot be denied, but in the matter of love and trust they must unravel secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
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Tony Mitchell is a loner who spends most of his life staying low, denying who and what he is until Aiden Caldwell walks into the shop and changes everything. Tony thinks his new supervisor hates his guts, but that doesn’t keep Tony from dreaming and yearning. His fantasies drive him to follow the older man, revealing a secret that only confounds Tony’s obsession.
Conflicted and confused, Tony falls under the spell of a man called Tank who leads Tony down a dark path of seduction and dangerous cravings. Under Tank’s guidance, Tony learns to suspend reality, to succumb. The one thing he doesn’t learn is how to say no.
Aiden Caldwell pulls Tony from the precipice but not from the addiction that threatens to consume the young man.
In the matter of love and trust, can two men intent on hiding their most secret selves find common ground as fate and their own tumultuous pasts conspire to tear them apart?
Tony cleared the cash register and carried the metal insert with the day’s receipts into the makeshift office. He had at least an hour’s worth of admin, then a run to the bank for the night deposit and maybe a quick bite to eat before tying on his apron and filling the empty hours with his bartending gig.
That didn’t leave any time for relieving the itch, unless…
Caldwell poked his head in the office and snarled, “Mitchell, you got everything under control?”
“Yeah,” he muttered, not bothering to look up at what he’d lusted after for six months, ever since he’d taken the assistant manager position. A real career boost in a two stoplight, loser town filled with downsized has-beens and illegal immigrants.
And gays like him, afraid of his own shadow, trading off tequila shooters for Jorge’s nimble tongue and squatter’s rights in the closet.
In a town full of machismo, there wasn’t much space left for maricons or what Jorge called ‘comepingas’. The kid was second gen Cuban, but not exactly living the American dream.
Not that he was either.
“Is there a problem, Mitchell?”
Tony startled. He’d forgotten the lust of his life was still hanging in the doorway, watching, like his loser assistant manager was aiming to run off with the family jewels. Nothing said trust like having sable brown eyes drilling into you, interrogation style.
Caldwell pulled a pack of Marlboros out of his shirt pocket and lit up, inhaling with a sigh of pleasure. The exhale hissed and wheezed, tendrils of hazy wet breath spewing into the hot, closed space. Stretching his chin upwards, he drew in, deep, holding it, his Adam’s apple taut. He had a lean neck, ribboned with tendons that pipelined into broad shoulders, the line to the hip long and sinuous.
Tony allowed one quick breath of second hand smoke, his heart double timing, knowing what he breathed in had filtered through Caldwell’s lungs and that made it delish and exotic and forbidden.
Tense, on the edge of out-of-sorts, his boss continued to stare at the ceiling, smoke now trailing from nostrils flaring with a shitload of none of his business.
Tight, everything was tight on him. The set to his full lips, the rigid thrust of his shoulders against the door jamb, the…
Fuck, fuck, fuck… Don’t. Do not look down. Not at the crotch, anywhere but there.
Face flaming, he concentrated on tapping the few bills on the pitted counter and wrapped the stack with a rubber band. He hated when the man hung around, staring like a jailer. Tony knew his job, he didn’t need the supervision, though … right then, it seemed different in a way he couldn’t explain.
Sometimes Caldwell liked to bait him on nights like this, when he wanted nothing more than to have Jorge join him for a few brief moments. And Caldwell seemed to know that, maybe he even enjoyed being the gatekeeper, saying when and how often.
Maybe his boss was a closet pimp instead of a drag queen.
Tony wasn’t comfortable making small talk, especially not when his tongue had gone thick and spitless under the man’s scrutiny. He was about to ask if there was anything he wanted, and ached for an answer to his prayers, but Caldwell finally shut down the interrogator face and moved back into the garage.
Tony heard him say to Jorge, “He’s all yours, pingita,” and felt his lungs collapse, as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. Jorge muttered something in rapid Spanglish, the door slammed and the familiar snick of locks being engaged had his cock twitching in anticipation.
He didn’t have long to wait. The swarthy boy poked his head around the door and leered.
Tony asked, like he always did, “Is he gone?” keeping to the steps in a dance he knew too well, repeated week-after-week. Sin on a schedule. It was pathetic. But it was all he had.
Not one to be missed
Sometimes we hurt ourselves because we are too terrified to feel good. Honestly, how many of us get this life thing right? If you are looking for a book that has sweet romance don't bother reading this book. This is the story of a soul searching for his place in this world when he was brought up to believe he would never fit. He makes choices some good, some self destructive. But each choice he makes brings him closer to the realization that he always did fit. There is a place for everyone. I found myself weeping and laughing and cheering. Would I read this book again? Yes, in a heartbeat.
An absolutely incredible ride!
From the very beginning, I was drawn in to Tony's torment. Nya Rawlyns paints such perfect pictures with her prose and dialogue that it is impossible to forget the universe she has created - or even to put the book aside until the journey is over. The torture of Tony's life 'in the closet' is perfectly described, as if Ms. Rawlyns had not simply created him as a character, but had crawled into his very skin as a man, knowing the taste of his sweat and tears. The rest of her cast - the quiet 'beast' we meet in Tank, the surly porcupine we come to know as Aiden Caldwell, the outrageously large-hearted (and blunt best friend) in Ruby - are equally as memorable. Even the side characters, who fill in the niches of each scene as it unfolds its secret pains and pleasures before you, are not easily tossed away. Pleasure, torture, intrigue and heartbreak filled these pages and myself until the breaking point. To be concise, this is NOT a book ANYONE should miss, though it may not be for the faint of heart. I highly recommend it - and I wish I could give it a thousand stars, because that's easily as many times as I'm going to read the story!
Sexy and Uncompromising
Here is a five-star read that will not compromise in its odyssey of pain, both physical and psychological, searching for ecstasy. Rawlyns almost dares a reader to keep reading, keep seeking that ticket to heaven which may never come.
It's about as unvarnished and rough as sex can get, and still yield the frantic geyser of an orgasm.
It's a melding of the excruciating and the ecstatic, a trip to transgressive hell and back for its central character Tony. Without giving anything away, I'll say that there are other riveting characters who spring full-blooded from the pages and have a certain charm all their own.
All this being said . . . this book is a young man's journey from self-loathing to the discovery that he is unique, desirable and even lovable. And in that odyssey, that angst-filled trek, lies a kind of rapture and deep satisfaction. For him, for his lover, and for the reader.
Here is a book that will thoroughly titillate your every sensual nerve end, and will stay with you a very long time. As a long-time fan of Rawlyns, I can say that THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT is her finest work to date.
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