Book Reviews

On the Right Track (Boy Next Door 1) by Lissa Kasey

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 16-September-2019

Book Blurb

Ru Nakimura was a boy band superstar until his ex-boyfriend outed him. Now he’s in hiding in the Midwest to avoid the press and the ensuing storm of judgment. He never expected his dream guy would be a high school jock that he meets at a small-town library.

Adam Corbin is a high school football star on the verge of graduation. He has big plans of escaping his small town and living life unafraid of being a gay man. However, seeing how his openly gay friend has been treated, Adam stays away from socializing, and focuses on fading into the background to avoid exposure. The last thing he wants is to have everyone examining his life.

When Adam and Ru have a chance encounter sparks fly. Ru wonders if it’s okay for him to still be a musician and openly love another man. And Adam dreams of finding the courage to love openly even if doing so brings his life into the limelight. Will their love survive the scrutiny of the world?

First edition under series name 'Vocal Growth' and author's pseudonym, Sam Kadence, was published by Harmony Ink Press, August 2013.

Book Review

There’s a lot to be said for a book that you don’t want to end; whose characters linger in your mind and have you thinking they are friends you can connect with later, only to get that hollow ache when you realize that you have finished reading the book. For me, this is one of those stories and I really did not expect it to be. What I expected was a lighted-hearted tale of a young musician finding love and what I got was that and a whole lot more. A careful and tender portrait of two young men trying to navigate the waters of love without letting fame, being outed, and bullying, destroy the relationship.

Seventeen year old former boy-band member Ru Nakimura is hiding out in Minnesota to catch a break from the storm of infamy brought about by the release of photos showing his ex-boyfriend kissing seemingly everyone but him. This after his ex had been responsible for outing him to the world, which resulted in him being kicked out of his band. Heartbroken over the betrayal of his boyfriend, less so over being kicked out of the band, Ru uses his alone time to recover from the breakup and to ready himself for his debut as a solo artist. A chance visit to a high school library has him spotting a beautiful boy who fires his songwriting imagination and his heart, but how can he approach the high schooler and ask of him to carry the burden fame often brings to a relationship? Besides, it’s possible the kid isn’t even gay.

 Sixteen year old Adam Corbin treads the path between the cool and uncool kids at his school carefully. While he doesn’t neglect anyone, to say he belongs with either clique would be incorrect. Barely coming to terms with his late-blooming sexuality, let alone the fact that he is drawn to members of his own sex, Adam is an innocent. What keeps him balanced despite the jungle of high school life is his love of running and the solid comfort of his family. Adam is an only child and as such, his parents truly are his best friends, providing love and advice that he can rely on. His talent at running led him to be on the football team, but he is beginning to grasp that he doesn’t like football or footballers and that the sheen of being seen with the cool kids means nothing to him. Nate, the quarterback, has everyone falling over themselves to be near him and Adam deliberately keeps his distance in a show of compassion. When Nate approaches Adam seeking running tips, Adam is surprised. Soon he thinks nothing of Nate’s friendly overtures as a chance encounter with a gorgeous stranger sparks feelings long dormant and Adam gets caught up in his first romance.

What follows is a day-in-the life story of Adam and Ru, as they charter the waters of new love. Excellent supporting characters bring a depth of realism to the tale as snatches of Adam’s history with Sebastian, the school’s only out gay person, bring dark and serious undertones to the story. Likewise the rivalry and work ethic of the boy band arena are explored by glimpses of what Ru and his close friend Tommy have to contend with as they try to ready Ru for his upcoming debut. I would be remiss if I did not mention that both Ru and Corbin are adorable and share some pretty hot kisses. Actually if you go to the author’s Facebook page (guilty), you can see some cute portrayals of Adam and Ru.

All in all, the tenderness of the love story is well balanced with the book's darker moments creating a rich, invigorating tale that made me hope for a sequel. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a good coming-of-age male-male romance, but even more so to parents, teachers and young people everywhere.

Thank you, Lissa Kasey, for this extremely palatable story that shed light on the bullying problems facing today’s youth while offering encouragement and support for its victims. “Sweet, Gutsy, Love”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 208 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-September-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link