Between Loathing and Love Book Cover Between Loathing and Love
Andrew Grey
M/M Romance
Dreamspinner Press
October 12, 2015

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Payton Gowan always dreamed of a career in show business but instead of being on stage he works in the background as a theatrical agent. He now gets people the kinds of jobs he always wished he was good enough to have.

Payton lives in New York City and has a very good friend Val (Valentine). Both men are gay and are very protective of each other. Payton is trying hard to find clients and when he is given perspective clients to look into he feels he has finally gotten recognition from his boss. What he could never have expected was that one of the potential clients would be his high school bully, Beckett Huntleigh. Beckett did everything in his power to cause Payton pain and now Payton is trying to convince himself to throw the file in the trash. It is Val who shows him that this could be a win-win for him. If Beckett is good then it is good for Payton’s career, if he stinks than Payton can get the revenge he always wanted by telling Beckett he has no career in show business.

Unfortunately, Pay’s hope for Beckett being a failure doesn’t pay off because he is not only good he is great. Beckett does not recognize Pay and with a signed contract in hand he begins to find auditions for him. Beckett was a body builder and now it is Pay’s job to find him roles other than ones requiring a muscle bound man who looks good. He wants Payton to be able to play all manner of roles and he works at building a portfolio to show all sides of him. Beckett is every bit as good as Payton thought and it is proved true when he is hired to play an important role in a new play opening on Broadway. In spite of his loathing of Beckett his body can’t seem to stop craving him. How can he be attracted to someone who made his life a living hell?

Beckett comes to find out who Payton is and he is the one who feels anger and hatred. He always believed that it was Payton who outed him in high school. Although he managed to overcome the fact that he was gay and continue to be popular in school it was his personal life that took the beating. His parents and his grandmother were all dead and he thought he was in a foster home where he was loved. He was loved until they found out he was gay and then he was sent to other homes. When old enough he went out on his own and spent some time on welfare. Those were the reasons he hated Payton.

Two boys who suffered because of mistaken beliefs. Now they have to work together and put the past behind them. Except for the time Beckett spent in foster care neither one of them suffered the usual pains associated with being gay. Payton’s parents loved him and accepted him and now Beckett looks like he is going to have a great career. Unlike so many books by Mr. Grey this one centers around the fact that Beckett and Payton have to learn to like themselves. Payton still sees himself as an insecure gay man and Beckett sees himself as a dumb jock. You can look at yourself in a mirror and not see what others see. When I was a size 9 I saw only a fat person in the mirror and that is true for so many.They have to begin to see themselves as others do and maybe they can bury the past and help each other in the future.

Another winner by Mr. Grey and another lesson learned.