Book Reviews

Free Me (Love in the Pacific Northwest 4) by Beck Grey at Pine & Moon

Genre Gay / Nonbinary / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 29-May-2023

Book Blurb

A gender-fluid cutie, a workaholic hottie, and a hookup gone right.


No romantic relationship could ever compete with my dream job. Sure, it gets lonely, but that’s what occasional hookups are for. Work-life balance? Who cares? I certainly don’t. Until chest pains bring me to my knees and land me in the emergency room.

It’s a wake-up call I can’t afford to ignore.

When my well-meaning family encourages me to make some major life changes, like hiring a meditation and physiotherapist, whatever that is, I’m worried enough to agree.

Imagine my surprise when my practitioner turns out to be the hookup I haven’t been able to forget.


What’s a fabulously vivacious gender-fluid beauty to do when stress is high and Prince Charmings aren’t lined up at their door? Head to the club to recharge my sparkle on the dance floor. I have no intention of hooking up with anyone. Hookups are not my thing.

Then I see the slightly older hottie in the Tom Ford suit, and all my self-restraint goes up in a blast of glitter.

When it turns out he’s my new meditation client and my friend's older brother, I’m sure the universe is messing with me.

Because mixing business with pleasure is a huge no-no.

So why does my heart keep shouting yes?

Free Me is a low-angst, opposites attract, worlds collide, LGBTQ contemporary romance. It contains no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.


Book Review

“Turns out, perfection isn’t a prerequisite for happiness.” So author Beck Grey starts this unusual novel, and then proceeds to approach that standard, relating a coupling which starts as a hookup, then becomes one of client/instructor, and finally… all under the mantra that “Life is complex, but love doesn’t have to be.” What a grand connection – romance and education. The knowledge imparted is fascinating (though I may be too old to easily learn a new usage of pronouns!) and the romance is real and quite satisfying. The dialog will capture almost any reader. “I kick off my loafers at the door and Risky Business into the kitchen. “I’m here, I’m queer, and I have an amazing rear.”


It is not unusual for popular literature to wander into Wonderland, thank you Lewis Carol, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and perhaps some of the Beat Generation. Here we have an example, plus supreme: Some of the quotes are clearly (and successfully) marked to indicate communication by users of American Sign Language; and there is employment of neutralizing gender terms, randomly changing for any scene, effective as varying mood music or stage lighting. Does it work? Is it an exercise in equality or just a demonstration of pseudo chic? So, you shouldn’t be surprised when Stef appears in a mini skirt, barely hiding their significant penal endowment.


Stef and Blake, the main characters, are oddly compared in age, in business experience (publisher vs. physiotherapist), and in life views. While I’ll avoid too much foreshadowing, I took pride in picking up on the author’s early subtlety when Blake notes: “I kiss along her jaw, down the column of her neck, licking her Adam’s apple, …”  Yes, Wonderland!


Plot points will be saved for those of you lucky enough to read this tome.




Fun: While avoiding the slippery slope from romantic tale to a merely erotic episodes, repeated references to the physical reaction of Blake’s cock is much like getting forecasts from a weatherman during bouts of extreme low pressure.


Message: Questions are the way we learn – as evident from the detailed relationship of Stef and Blake. Surely, reading is another way to pose questions and seek answers. Stef acknowledges that Stef’s identity choice was not merely an option, it is just who Stef is. And using selected pronouns feels correct. “Hey Stef. Great to see you. What pronouns are you using today?” “Thank you. And today its they/them.”


A precursor: The cast is so well-varied, full of interesting problems and individual issues. They are well-presented and their engagements move the plot forward without distraction. In the end, ‘Free Me’ is a romance for modern people, leading to a romantic conclusion. ‘Free Me’ is the fourth in a related collection of five novels. Just how they may all connect remains for my reading the others – which I intend to start as soon as I submit this review.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 245 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-May-2023
Price $5.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
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