Book Reviews

The Rebel (Red's Tavern 2) by Raleigh Ruebins

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Rent Boys/Escorts/Porn Stars / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 31-July-2020

Book Blurb

Everyone wants to be with an adult film star.
They clearly don’t know Liam Hardy like I do.

At first Liam was just a regular at the bar, and I was the clueless cowboy bartender keeping his glass full… then keeping him full in my bed at night. I had no idea he was about to blossom into a famous adult film star.

But he ripped through me like a storm, losing himself in reckless partying until I had to walk away. I left and opened my bar, Red’s Tavern, here in the middle of nowhere, Kansas.

I never expected to see Liam--all stormy-eyed, tattooed, and smoking hot--show up at my bar now, ten years after we’d cut things off. And it gets worse: he’s asking me to film an adult video with him for his new company. Two words: Hell. No. No matter how hot it sounds to ride in that rodeo again. No matter how much I want to fix that loneliness I’m noticing in his eyes.

My bar is the only boyfriend I need, and I’m plenty happy with my dogs, my old-west house, and my friends.

But I couldn’t help but kiss him. And now I’m aching for him and letting him film videos of me, doing things I’d never dreamed.

And I remember how perfectly we used to fit together, body and soul. Liam’s always been the only one who could get to me...

Like we were made to light each other the hell up.


Book Review

Welcome back to Red’s Tavern. Back in March, I reviewed ‘The Best Friend’, book one in this series. If I equated it to a delicious main course, then book two, ‘The Rebel’, is an adequate dessert. Please, do not be put off by the faint praise, but I think this effort by Ms. Ruebins, satisfying on many levels, is still a little too long and not quite as engaging. However, if you are looking for an assured HEA, preceeded by nicely posed difficulties, and highly spiced with hot sex - you will not be disappointed.

Liam, a recovering alcoholic, is sad and lost. Even a notorious porn star can reach the point where, emotionally, he can’t get it up any more. He is now trying to escape from what he has become, and from the loser with whom he is now sexually involved. Red, his former lover, once had a symbiotic relationship with Liam. [“You were addicted to drinking, drugs, thrill seeking. I was addicted to you.”] Now Red has escaped from this past entanglement and made a life (and home) for himself in the tavern he owns. He has a balanced existence, even though clearly it is far from exciting. But seeing Liam again is disturbing and enlightening. [“It felt like the whole world was finally seeing Liam how I saw him: a beautiful, lost soul who also happened to be good in bed.”]


Can these two find the happiness they once thought they had together? Ms. Ruebins presents a fine double character study, emphasizing personality changes which have occurred over their ten-year hiatus, as affected by a moderately thin plot. Their reconnecting, of course, is marked by their sex-step restoration of intimacy – beginning with (that old handby) mutual masturbation and then on to more complex and fully described acts. It’s especially nice that, as presented by the author, sex is not merely hot, but it’s replete with their familiarity and just plain old fun.


Reviewer’s Snippy Aside: As I am wont to do, here are some of my very general observations concerning this literary convention. [1] Why do so many authors refer to “masseuse” when indicating a male person who performs a massage, without regard to a masseuse surely being indicative of a female massager? It may not make a difference to these authors, but to most of us, it sure does!  [2] I wish authors would stop characters from employing ‘tissues’ for post-coital cleanups. Unless they are members of a chaste (but not fastidious) religious order, they should know that tissues leave a sticky residue. Yuk!


‘The Rebel’ is worthy of your light reading time. And, should you be easily addicted to this time and place, book three is soon to be issued.





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 for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 287 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-June-2020
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link