Title ~ Naked Truth (Saving Liam #3)
Author ~ D.P. Denman
Publisher ~ North Shore Press
Published ~ 7th October 2014
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance
Buried lies never die.
Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.
Book 3 of the Saving Liam series.
Part three of Liam and Justin's story and if you've been reading the series you'll know that at this point the two of them are now in a fairly comfortable, established relationship, living together and both working hard in their respective jobs, so much so that as the book opens their time together is being slightly infringed upon by Justin's long hours at the hotel and Liam's late night shifts at 'Spark' the strip club he works at as a go go dancer. It bothers Liam slightly, as Justin doesn't wait up for him now when he comes back from his session at the club but unfortunately they both have to work so they go with flow...
One of the main issues throughout the series has been Liam's skittishness around sex, but that seems to be settling down for them. The sex scenes are hotter and more frequent as well as being far more playful and adventurous in all aspects, especially foreplay. Liam is more confident around their sex life to the point where he loves taking charge when making love to Justin, who is happy to let Liam top him; all down to the trust they've built because of the innate thoughtfulness and patience of Justin and the deep love they share. As the book starts he's not fully there yet, as he still can't let himself relax enough to have penetrative sex, but they manage to keep that a non issue by means of toys and the intervention of 'Fuckable Fred' a fully functioning mannequin that serves as an aid for Justin when he needs that type of relief in their lovemaking.
It's coming up to Liam's 20th birthday and he's definitely maturing as a person. Not so much the young, lost soul any more, he's slowly getting stronger and blossoming because of Jason's love and devotion, but there are times when memories of his poignant past still creep in to slightly taint what he's achieved at this point in his life. The deep ache he sometimes gets when thoughts of his family, who cruelly and thoughtlessly abandoned him to the streets fill his mind... the odd dreams about the loss of his siblings and old friends who he will never see again...all this still lies beneath the surface but he mentally pushes himself to let it go and accept that what he has now is worth so much more than the crap he carried around with him before meeting his kind hearted, considerate lover who, it turned out, was his true saviour. He still has issues but they're slowly taking second place to the new life he's forming for himself.
Things were good now. They were damn near perfect and there was no point ruining it to cry over stuff he couldn't change. It had all belonged to a kid who had died the day his parents had thrown him out for being sick and defective. The one who had lived as a ghost until he'd been resurrected as Angel, a poor bastard who had ended up just as dead.
At the club he still works under the persona of Damon, his go go dancer alter ego, and apart from the odd run in with horny, delusional women who think they can get in his pants...or realistically...his tiny thongs, he manages to get through his nightly shifts, dancing both on stage and privately in order to bring in better money and larger tips. As Damon he just about manages to knock back the fears that plagued him as Angel, the porn star created by his ex nasty boyfriend Cord. The man who forced him into a life that not only put him in danger of predators but also knocked his confidence sexually and emotionally by placing him in the path of creeps who only saw him as a viable product of the porn industry he never wanted to be a part of and treated him as a sex object. Exactly what he had to face in the previous book when he was targeted by a sleazy colleague-slash-fan at his last place of work, whose assault on him ended in Liam having to give up his mainstream job to look for work in an area where his past wouldn't be as much of an issue, hence the decision to work in a strip club. But even there, the concern is always at the back of his mind and as it stands it would seem he has reason to worry when another dancer poses a request that puts him in a precarious position.
Inadvertently this leads him to a new friendship with pierced, tattooed Blue, a guy who lives in their condo with his older lover Brady. They meet when Blue sees Liam practicing his self defence moves at the gym and they tentatively begin to make friends. Another stepping stone towards a more normal life as he feels a platonic kinship he's never experienced before with this new guy, who also has a darker past that adds to the bond they form. Everything seems to be on the up until things happen that once again threaten to topple everything good that he's built so far. Liam argues with himself whether to tell people the truth about his sordid (as he sees it) past or not. If he makes that choice will it be the step towards healing that finally allows him to let go of his past or will it just backfire like he suspects and put him right back to square one? Can he and Justin survive another emotional onslaught or will this be the one thing that will make Justin say enough is enough?
This isn't an action packed series in so much as most of the story is mainly focused on Liam and Justin's relationship as they find their feet together. In this book, apart from some scenes in Sparks, most is centred around the new apartment; showing us how they're coping with their work schedules, their expanding sex life, Liam's and Justin's thought processes and worries etc etc...so the introduction of Blue and Brady (who I really liked as a couple and would love to see a lot more of) brought something new to the plate for both them and us, and the surprise life altering revelation that occurs—which resulted in some long awaited changes in his and Justin's relationship—injected some extra drama to the plot that had me pondering on how it was going to play out!
I wondered if this was going to be the wind up for Liam and Justin but it appears there's more to come. This ends with an awful lot of hope for the two of them (Yay!) but there are still things hanging in the wind and I'm curious to see where DP is going to take them from here. Will Blue and his partner Brady have more airtime in the next story? I'm actually hoping they do as I loved what they brought to the mix. Blue in particular as I was definitely drawn to his character and I'd love to find out more about him and his history.
If I'm being totally honest, sometimes I find myself missing a touch of 'something' in the storyline to balance out the drama and conflict. I don't want to use the word "fun" because Liam's plight is a serious one, the psychological battering he's had to take; hard to get past that easily and I understand that this is a very emotional subject but now that Justin's calming influence is gradually working on him, I just wish that every so often we could see a bit more of the lighter shade of Liam, instead of the side of him that tends to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. It's mostly shown in the love scenes where we're certainly seeing a more relaxed side of him as he softens up in Justin's arms but I'd kinda like to see it come out in him in other scenarios. Despite the odd little niggle though, I have to say that I'm totally invested in this series and I'll be staying with it until the end game when Liam finally gets the complete and no holds barred HEA he really deserves...and I have no doubts that at the very end of this he'll definitely be getting it with the gorgeous Justin: whatever the world throws at them. If only we could all have a guy like that in our lives...Lucky Liam!
Buy It Here
D.P. Denman interviews Liam
Liam walks into the room and settles in a chair. He rubs his palms on his jeans and glances around the office with an expression somewhere between curios and anxious.
"Relax, Liam. This is going to be fun," I tell him.
"Uh huh." His tone is as enthusiastic as his expression. "Why are we doing this, again?"
"Because your fans want to know more about you."
He blinks. "I have fans?"
"Yes." I smile. "What do you think about that?"
"That's kind of cool." A small smile loosens his expression.
"This is your chance to tell them anything you want them to know."
Liam scowls for a moment. "Go Whitecaps?"
I laugh. "We can start there. You're a soccer fan?"
"A little. Blue's getting me into it."
"Excellent teaser. See, you're already a pro at this. What do you want to tell people about Blue since they haven't met him yet?"
"He's the best friend I've ever had. He's real, you know? None of that fair weather bullshit. When I need him he's actually there." His smile flows back to concern. "Can I say 'bullshit' during this?"
"You can say whatever you want."
"Good." He settles back in the chair, elbows on the armrests and hands on his thighs.
"How do you think Blue sees you?"
He scowls. "I don't know. I hope he sees me as a friend, too."
"How do you see yourself?" I ask.
Liam drops his gaze to his legs and starts picking at invisible things on his jeans. "I don't know," he mumbles. "Complicated, I guess."
"Sorry, Honey. Let's try a less depressing question. Let's pretend your life is a movie."
"Oh God." Liam covers his eyes with one hand.
"What category of movie would it be?"
"A fucking tragedy." He flops his arm back down.
I cock my head. "A tragedy?"
"Like Batman losing his fancy toys and getting stomped into a grease spot by the Joker...and not the old fashioned, kind of crazy, kind of okay, Joker. The Heath Ledger fucking out of his head Joker."
"No happy ending?"
He pauses to consider the question. "I guess there sort of is. I mean, things aren't as bad as they used to be but it's not the way I would have planned it if I'd had control over it."
Liam shrugs and goes back to picking at his jeans.
"We could call it a romantic tragedy, half fucked up, half not," I offer.
"That could work, I guess."
"Are you the hero in this movie?" I ask.
"No." His head comes up. "I'm not a hero. That's Justin. He's the guy in the cape and Spandex swooping in to save people. I have enough trouble dealing with my own shit. He wants to make everything better. I just want to survive it."
"So he's a pretty great guy, huh?"
"He's better than great. He's like those people you read about who dive into the water to save someone they don't even know and then walk away, pretending they're just doing what any decent person would do. The thing is, nobody else would fucking do that. They'd walk away, making excuses about why it's not their problem or stand on the shore and cry over the poor drowning bastard, but they wouldn't jump in. It's all talk, pretending they care when they don't do a fucking thing to help," Liam's lips press into a tight line, his forehead puckered with annoyance.
"It sounds like you've run into a few of those people who stand on the shore."
"For a long time I thought that's all there was until Justin. He's an incredible man. Sometimes I can't believe he's my incredible man." A smile wipes away his annoyance. "I'm the luckiest guy who ever lived. Put that in your movie." Liam grins. "Seriously, he could be off somewhere making someone else's life perfect, but he's not. He's in mine, putting up with my bullshit and acting like I'm not a pain in the ass sometimes." Liam glances at the clock on the wall. "I'd better get going. The white knight will be home soon and it's my turn to make lunch." He pushes up from the chair.
"What are you making?" I ask, getting up with him.
"Wow. When did you learn to make that?"
"It's really easy. You cut open the bag, dump it in a bowl, and stick it in the microwave." Liam smiles and strides toward the door. "See you later."
Saving Liam (book #1)
You do what you have to do to survive. For eighteen-year-old Liam Newman that means living the life of a gay porn star, a job he loathes. He isn't a star. He's a prisoner and his warden is the man who saved him from the cold Vancouver streets.
Justin has been Liam's next-door neighbor for two years and has had a crush on him for just as long. Oblivious to Liam's porn career, he 's content to mind his own business about Liam's turbulent relationship until the truth stumbles drunk into his apartment one night and he realizes something must be done.
When Liam's boyfriend turned producer decides rent boys make more money than porn stars Liam's nightmare takes a horrible turn. Justin must find a way to rescue him before it's too late.
Skin Deep: A Saving Liam Story (Saving Liam #2) by D. P. Denman
Book 2 of the Saving Liam series.
Sometimes the problem is the answer.
Liam Newman escaped his abusive past to start a new life with the man who saved him. Unfortunately, the old life refuses to stay buried. When a fan of his porn star persona appears, he’s forced to reinvent himself in a surprising new career. Will it give him the rebirth he craves or lead him deeper into the life he’s trying to leave behind?
About the Author
DP Denman writes character-driven m/m romance about survivors. Her stories are real and intense but always resolve in the type of ending that makes readers want to start the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city that is dear to her heart.
In her spare time she is a dedicated gay rights activist fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.
D.P.Denman will be gifting an e-copy of Naked Truth (Saving Liam #3). All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.