LIVING OUT LOUD
NYRAE DAWN & CHRISTINA LEE
RELEASE DATE: 09.08.17
Wander Aguiar Photography
COVER MODEL: Brook
Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.
Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought.
When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.
**Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn
**Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.
“Get your ass down here.” He frowns and I pat the floor beside me. “I’m serious, B. Get your ass down here. You can take it off when I’m done if you don’t like it. How do you know if something’s your style if you’ve never done it?”
I blow on my fingernails trying to get them to dry. Ben doesn’t move right away, but then he slides down to the floor beside me.
My pulse kicks up a notch. I don’t know why I want this so much for him.
He puts his hand on the table and I paint the first nail.
“I feel stupid,” he tells me.
“Do you think I look stupid with it?”
“Hell no. You look hot but—”
“But nothing. Be quiet and let me work.”
He chuckles. “You’re bossy.”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” I reply before getting back to work on his nails. His fingers are long, thicker than mine. His hands are beat up from his work, rough and abused with little scratches on them. “I can’t wait till you can touch me. I love rough hands.”
“Oh shit,” he says with a thickness to his voice that tells me he’s getting turned on again.
I finish the first hand before saying, “Now, the other.” He sets that hand on the table, but I grab it, suck one of his fingers into my mouth, even though I hadn’t planned to touch him again tonight.
“Fuck, Xavier,” he says and his eyes roll back in a way that really gets me hard.
“You’re trembling,” I tell him as his hand gently shakes.
“That’s because I’m really turned on right now.”
4.5✨s Ben Emerson is a preacher’s son. His parents are very religious and conservative. Ben had to endure conversion therapy when his parents thought he may be having sinful thoughts about men. Ben’s life was a nightmare. He escaped for a few years to attend college in L.A., but when he returned home and his parents found out he had a boyfriend at college, the hell started all over again. Eventually Ben decided to move to San Francisco and live an honest life and be who he is, but it’s not easy after so many years of being told that who he is is wrong.
Xavier Ramos lives his life for himself. He loves sex and has sex often. He wears what he wants, does what he wants and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He also holds everyone at arms-length. His mom died when he was born and his dad and stepmother raised him out of a sense of obligation, but they made it clear that he was never wanted. After living his life not being wanted, Xavier is afraid to let anyone get too close.
Ben and Xavier were childhood friends so when Ben moves to San Fran, he reaches out to Xavier hoping to reconnect. They meet up and Ben is just in awe of how Xavier lives. So, Ben asks Xavier to help him overcome his fears and asks him to help him gain some sexual experience. They agree that the sex will be with no strings attached and definitely no relationship. However, it doesn’t take long for both men to develop feelings.
I really loved this book. My heart absolutely broke for Ben and the hell his parents put him through. I loved seeing Ben open us as written through Xavier’s POV. Reading this story was like watching a flower bloom before my eyes. Both of these men had family issues that they had to overcome, but they did so beautifully and together. The immense joy that Xavier got watching Ben open himself up was incredible and the sex was off the charts hot. This is definitely a great book. On a side note, I haven’t read any of the other books in this series and had no trouble keeping up with the characters.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.
She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.
Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.
Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.
Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.
Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.
I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.