I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Tricks by Rick R. Reed
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Gay, Suspense
Depressed and lonely after a recent breakup, Sean goes to a bar called Tricks on a whim. There he sees a young, sexy dancer. Despite his attraction, Sean is convinced that the younger man couldn’t possibly want an average, middle-aged man like himself, so he leaves. Later that night, Sean meets the dancer again, and he finds that the attraction is mutual.
Arliss dances at Tricks to pay the bills, but he’s not into random encounters anymore. He wants something more, and Sean seems perfect for that. Then a porn producer shows up, looking to cast Arliss in one of his films. Will Arliss give up the only real love he’s ever had to follow a dream? And more importantly—what if the dream becomes a nightmare?
Rick Reed can always be counted on to provide an unusual, suspenseful twist to his romances, and Tricks is definitely no exception. By turns gritty, sweet, and suspenseful, Tricks is a real page-turner. I really liked Sean. He’s not young, or super hot, or really rich. He’s just a nice, regular guy who wants to be loved. I couldn’t not root for a guy who was so easy to identify with. When he meets Arliss, he assumes the sexy dancer won’t be interested. Arliss is young and really great looking, but underneath his sexy façade is a man who is actually a lot like Sean. He also wants to be loved, and he hasn’t had much of that in his life. The only thing standing between him and happily-ever-after with Sean is his desire to be in a porn movie. I admit I didn’t get that at all. Give up love to be in porn? Wh-whaaaa? I had the urge to smack some sense into Arliss when the porn producer came around trying to get Arliss to be in his movie. I guess that just goes to show that everyone has different dreams.
Unfortunately for Arliss, the movie the producers have in mind is not at all what he imagined. This is made clear to the reader very quickly, but not to poor, star-struck Arliss. I figured out part of the moviemakers’ nefarious plan right away, but the other part took me by surprise. Once the suspense kicked in, Tricks kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t stop turning pages because I had to find out if Arliss would get out of his desperate situation. The last section of the book holds many nail-biting events I won’t spoil here, but let me just say my heart was pounding a few times.
Romance readers who haven’t tried Reed’s work before might want to start with this one, as there is a lot more emphasis on the romance here than in the other Reed books I’ve read. Suspense fans, take my word for it: pick up Tricks. You won’t be disappointed.