Author ~ Felice Stevens
Published ~ 28th April 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he's chosen, the one person Noah can't seem to help is himself.
On a drunken dare from the senior partner's grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn't certain if he's pretending. He's left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he's failed his parents. Talking to "Dr. Noah" helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he's lying to Noah or himself.
For Noah, trust is paramount; he's been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can't hide if he wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.
Another New York City romance from Felice Stevens and another win for me. This one is a standalone, but the author manages to incorporate some very special people and places that her fans will be familiar with and happy to see. Both Oren and Noah are a little bit lost, a lot closed off and living lonely lives until one phone call changes both their paths.
Oren removed himself from his family’s Orthodox religion and home years ago. Although he is crushed with guilt over the secret he’s been keeping and the disappointment he has already caused, they are a loving and close family and Oren’s love for them has never changed. Growing up poor, Oren has done everything he can to land a high paying job that, while crushing his spirit and soul, allows him to help support his parents and sister.
As a teen, Noah was once an in-demand model, a life his mother had once aspired to have for herself. As much as Noah hated the life, he craved her love and felt that was the only way he could get it. When his modeling career came to an end, he threw himself into helping other people as a psychologist. It’s the life he knows he was always meant to live, but his mother’s refusal to acknowledge any success outside of modeling weighs heavily on him.
When Oren calls into Noah’s talk show, Noah is immediately taken by him after only hearing his voice. There is something in Oren’s story that tugs at him and he is desperate to make a connection and help Oren. Both men seem to have completely different lives, but they have so much more in common than they can imagine. Noah may not be able to take his own advice and deal with his problems, but he is determined to help Oren change his life. It’s easy to feel for Oren from the start, but, behind his turmoil is a force of nature that throws Noah’s life into an upheaval that he never expected. Noah’s walls are thicker and higher than Oren expected from the man who outwardly seems to have it all together, but Oren is determined to get through and give back everything that Noah has given him.
There is an immediate attraction between Noah and Oren, but this is a slow burn. Oren has repressed his sexuality, trying for the sake of his family to live up to expectations, but he has always known he is not attracted to women. Noah ignites something in him and he finally realizes he can’t go on pretending. Noah tries to keep a distance under the auspice of him acting as a therapist to Oren, but he soon finds a way to work that out and then there’s no stopping the passion from flaring between them. Sure it’s tempered by Oren’s occasional feelings of guilt and shame but the men talk things out and lean on each other for support and when Oren finally starts to accept himself he is not shy about getting what he wants. The two men had great chemistry and melted my heart whether it was with sweet confessions or smoking hot sex.
I’ve said it before that Felice Stevens always places an importance on family relationships in her books and this one is no exception. The family dynamics aren’t always perfect and here both men have trouble communicating with loved ones and have put themselves in a situation where they put their family first regardless of the impact on their own lives. This is to me the biggest thing the men each had to overcome. There was tension and some tears as both Oren and Noah eventually face their biggest fears while holding their breath that the family the love so dearly won’t walk away. You’ll probably have a tear in your eye at least once during these moments so have a tissue handy.
If you’re a fan of the author or looking to try one of her stories, I can easily recommend One Call Away. It has everything I’ve come to expect from her books including romance, laughs, plenty of feels, and two men who just need to find that one person that understands them like nobody else ever could.
Meet Felice Stevens
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed. But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back. Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
To celebrate the release of One Call Away, Felice Stevens is offering the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.