Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recent release in the Bluewater Bay M/M romance series by Ally Blue. NO SMALL PARTS is a bittersweet, low conflict romance between a bisexual extra and a wanna-be-director production assistant. I really liked it. Like LONE WOLF, RAIN SHADOW and SELFIE in this series, the characters are directly part of the Wolf’s Landing cast or crew. For me it’s always fun to reconnect with that part of this fictional universe.
About the book:
Nat Horn is almost living the dream. His part as a werewolf extra on the hit show Wolf’s Landing has somehow turned into a regular role. Beautiful rising star Solari Praveen has taken an interest in him. He’s even making enough money to think about getting out of Bluewater Bay someday. Except his retired dad’s dependence on pain medications seems to be getting worse, and Nat’s the only one around to take care of him.
When Nat learns that Solari’s interest isn’t romantic, his disappointment is surprisingly short-lived, because in getting to know her, he also got to know her assistant, Rafael. And Rafael turns out to be the kind of friend—and potential boyfriend—Nat never dared to dream about.
Distracted by his astonishing new life, new friends, and new possibilities, Nat lets his guard down, and suddenly his life goes careening out of control. Racked by guilt, he tries to push his new friends away, but the bonds he’s formed are already too strong. In fact, they’re strong enough to pull him forward, into the future he’s been longing for—but to get there, he’ll have to let go of the past.
Nat Horn is a Bluewater Bay native who’s returned to town to help care for his disabled father. While there he got cast as an extra on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing as one of the wolf pack members. He’s barely making ends meet, between his acting and helping on his uncle’s fishing boat, but most of the resources are used to pay for his father’s pain medicine–to which his dad has become addicted. Nat feels lonely and guilty, by turns. He loves his father, but he doesn’t love the addict. Plus, he’s bitter that no one will help him care for his dad–not his uncle or his sister, who both wrote his dad off years ago.
Nat gets invited out by one of the stars on the show, Solari. Solari’s assistant, Rafael is frustrated by this, because Rafael finds Nat completely attractive–and Rafael knows that Solaris’ a lesbian in a closeted relationship with a woman who has been pressuring Solari to come out. Rafael thinks it’s wrong for Solari to string Nat along, and he says so–to both Nat and Solari. Nat’s a bit bummed because he had a solid crush on Solari, however, spending time with her actually cures that crush fast; they get along like brother and sister, having no spark. Meanwhile Nat and Rafael have sparks a-flying. As their personal lives get more entwined, Nat’s even more frustrated with his father, who’s always dismissed his bisexuality, and urged him to only date women.
Just as Nat’s professional life is going great–he’s offered some lines on the show that boosts his income enough to pay for caregivers–he’s facing more emotional challenges. His dad’s health is deteriorating, and hits a serious crisis point. Nat has felt alone for so long, but Rafael is there, and so is Solari and others of his WL “family.” I thought that was really special, and the sad bits are nicely softened by this outpouring of love for Nat. Rafael is a good partner, and he’s got big plans for Nat and himself, that include a side project for a movie and a shiny new future. If only Nat will let himself embrace all these good opportunities. There’s a bit of hard times there, but not too much. I felt Nat’s guilt was understandable, and the circumstances of his father’s decline were avoidable, but not really in Nat’s power. He was a good son, and a did his best to make sure his dad was safe. Sometimes it’s too late to help people–and that’s not a personal failing, as Nat had to learn the hard way.
There’s a little bit of sexytimes, and a sweet and tender friendship-turned-more in store. Expect sad times, too, and for Nat to waffle regarding his grief and his open future–though he doesn’t have to go it alone any longer.
About the Author:
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!