Book Reviews

No Apologies (Hollywood 1) by Tibby Armstrong at TKA Distribution

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Sandra on 11-September-2018

Book Blurb

Young love, the curses of stardom, and the chance for happily ever after collide in this emotionally compelling tale of fiction versus reality.

Aaron Blake has never found anyone more fascinating than his brooding, reclusive roommate, Greg Falkner. But becoming buddies with Grayson Academy’s golden boy is not on Greg’s agenda. When a wager erupts into violence, the young men are thrown together with unexpected consequences. And, a single kiss forges a path to an epic love that won’t let go—no matter the obstacle.

At least, this is how Greg, now a successful screenwriter, has always wanted to portray his and Aaron’s coming-of-age story. His thinly veiled biopic, No Apologies, catches the attention of Hollywood—and the loosely based account of the lovers’ origins soars free of society’s moorings to become the most buzzed movie of the year. Still, such an emotionally honest tale has its drawbacks.

Greg believes in the power of imagination, but perhaps it’s caused him to deny the very real and cavernous cracks in his present day relationship. Now he and Aaron must determine if they can rewrite the hard truths of their history, or if it’s too late to pave the way for a new future together.

First edition published by Loose Id, 2011.

Book Review

Whenever a writer pens a story, I think it comes from their own experiences, mainly from the heart; it is rare for a writer to actually reveal that from the start as Tibby Armstrong has in this book. As it is based on Aaron and Greg's real life experiences as gay men in a world that cannot seem to accept them, it is surprising that they have come through their shared ordeals so well. This is a romance in the sense that it is about two men who enjoy a loving relationship, rather than a soppy one.

Aaron is the sort of teen who wants to get to know someone he has just come to know as a friend. He is the affable guy who is comfortable about who he is and can pretty much get on with anyone he sees fit to contact. He knows Greg is the opposite, but as usual opposites can attract in the strangest of ways. He knows there is something about Greg he needs to find out as he sees most men as a path of discovery, something he is deeply interested in, but Greg is different to most as he isn't comfortable with his sexuality or his personality. Aaron understands he has to keep his love a secret once he starts to feel the pangs, but he accepts that while Greg doesn't.

Greg is a gay man who takes a long time to admit even to himself that he is indeed gay, and exclusively interested in men, not women for sexual pleasure and general emotional needs. Aaron offers him the initial break from having to delude himself about being different from his peers, but Greg can't accept that he enjoys the kind of sexual experimentation that is considered taboo. He should know that he is in good hands with Aaron, but coming to terms with being gay can't be easy for someone in his social standing. It doesn't help that his parents don't approve of his sexuality and constantly make him feel bad about himself all the way through. As parents they should be supportive of his decisions, but this in turn is what partly has him deny who he is—even with Aaron.

Aaron and Greg conduct a relationship in secret. The two of them are full of inner turmoil about their situation, that they can't talk about how they feel about one another to anyone is enough to drive anyone mad. Somehow within the confines of the story they manage to keep it together and try to live their lives like normal human beings, but once I took the journey through the book, I found myself wading through a choppy course of life where I didn’t know what Aaron and Greg would do from one week to the next. They are constantly looking over their shoulder to see if anyone notices that they are gay, and that comes across in the way they feel uncomfortable together, even during intimate moments. The two of them come across a great deal of ignorance in this story, ignorance they don't rightly deserve, and the story comes with waves of unhappiness, sadness, and darkness that doesn’t fit in with the surprisingly happy ending that came when I least expected it. If you like angsty teen adventures then this is for you.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 267 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-August-2018
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link