Behind the curtain
Title : Behind the Curtain
Author : Amy Lane
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 266 pages (e-book)
Published : January 6, 2014
Rating : ★★★★★
Dawson Barnes recognizes his world is very small and very charmed. Running his community college theater like a petty god, he and his best friend, Benji know they’ll succeed as stage techs after graduation. His father adores him, Benji would die for him, and Dawson never doubted the safety net of his family, even when life hit him below the belt.
But nothing prepared him for falling on Jared Emory’s head.
Aloof dance superstar Jared is a sweet, vulnerable man and Dawson’s life suits him like a fitted ballet slipper. They forge a long-distance romance from their love of the theater and the magic of Denny’s. At first it’s perfect: Dawson gets periodic visits and nookie from a gorgeous man who “gets” him—and Jared gets respite from the ultra-competitive world of dancing that almost consumed him.
That is until Jared shows up sick and desperate and Dawson finally sees the distance between them concealed painful things Jared kept inside. If he doesn’t grow up—and fast—his “superstar” might not survive his own weaknesses. That would be a shame, because the real, fragile Jared that Dawson sees behind the curtain is the person he can see spending his life with.
Behind the Curtain is another (almost) angst free book from Amy Lane. I know her tagline is Angst & Pain, Amy Lane and I have adored all the angst and pain she has written over the years because I know I will get my happy ending. The humor in this book is wonderful. I laughed out loud from the beginning and during various parts all through the book. It has moments of tenderness, sadness and, ok, maybe a little angst, and a little pain, but it is so well-balanced that it kept me on an emotional high from page one until the very end.
Dawson and his best friend, Benji, work in the theater on their campus. They are the guys behind the curtain, doing props, lighting, sound, they do it all and love it. Life is good. One day while they are preparing the theater for a guest dancer – a very famous, handsome dancer named Jared Emory – Dawson, falls coming down a ladder while trying to retrieve a book from the lighting scaffold, right onto Jared’s head. Have I mentioned that Dawson is a bit clumsy? He is adorable though, even with his near concussion he is sweet and humorous and endearing. Jared wears a mask of indifference but every once in a while some real emotion leaks through and Dawson is just the person to bring it out.
The book builds from the time Dawson and Jared are getting to know one another during his time working at the theater. This is also a time of growth and change for Dawson and Benji. Benji has just met the girl of his dreams, and they have taken in another roommate. It is a big step for Dawson to allow his heart to be put out there for Jared. He is not experienced in relationships and it is beautiful watching this unfold. When Jared has to return to LA where he performs for the LA Ballet they decide to try a long distance relationship. It is working well, texting, emails, calls, and PM’s make the time pass faster but the closer they get and the more Dawson learns about Jared’s past, the harder it is for both of them during these times apart. When Jared shows up very sick with the flu for one of their weekends together, it makes Dawson more determined than ever to close their physical as well as emotional gap.
I loved the way the author builds this ensemble cast into a tight-knit family. Even though Dawson and Jared are the main focus, Benji and the others characters are just as important and necessary for this story to be told.
Relationships are difficult, let alone one where they must be apart for long periods of time. Then factor in one who is younger and has their choices open before them, but knows where they want to be, and one who is at the top of their career, driven to excel but lonely; and the only one that really cares about them, they keep pushing away.
There are many poignant moments that pulled at my heart, and some moments I was laughing so hard that I was in tears. That said, there is a perfect mix of humor and tenderness. This book is so well written, that even though I have never been involved in theater or dance, I could visualize what they were doing and empathize with what the characters were going through.
If you are looking for a fun, sweet, humorous, story about growing up, family, love and relationships, I highly recommend Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane.
Go. Buy the Book!
Rated 5 stars by Deb