Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review: Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee

living out loudTitle ~ Living Out Loud

Author ~ Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee

Published ~ 6th September 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, New Adult





Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.
Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought.
When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.

**Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn

**Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.


Lisa’s Review

Living Out Loud is a stand-alone contemporary new adult MM romance written by authors Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. I have read books by both these authors and am a huge fan of their collaborations. There really was never any doubt that I would end up loving this book. These authors certainly have what it takes to pen a seriously amazing MM romance. I loved watching how our two protagonists discover so much more than friendship with each other.

I have been curious about Ben Emerson ever since reading Paint the Stars. He’s the elusive ex that walked away. Ben was raised in a very traditional and conservative household. He is all sorts of messed up as everything he was taught growing up wars with the core of who he is. Ben understands that there is nothing wrong with being a gay man; however, breaking free from his familial bonds and moving to San Francisco to live as an openly gay man is something that may take time to grow into completely.

Ben decides to reach out to a childhood friend that he knows lives in San Francisco. Xavier Ramos is the complete opposite of Ben. He’s vibrant, pierced and all tatted up. He’s sex personified and has no shame when it comes to his sexuality or his sexual exploits. After all, he’s not looking for Mr. Forever. Xavier is a little surprised to hear from Ben given their awkward past; however, curiosity gets the better of him and he agrees to meet up.    

As the pair explore a tentative friendship, both men discover that there’s so much more to the other man. Their relationship progresses organically and as things between them ignite and both men take it beyond friendship, can they muddle through what is transpiring between them? If anything is going to happen between the two young men beyond a friendship, both will have to take a leap of faith and hope there’s someone there to catch them especially when Ben has to return home. Can Xavier trust that the man he’s fallen for will come back?

I really loved this slow-burn romance. I became wholeheartedly involved in the beauty that was Ben and Xavier and so wanted them to get the happy forever as they built on their friendship. Both men were taken aback as to how deeply they began to feel for one another and as they go deeper it left both protagonists struggling with their profound feelings and the unknown future that laid before them. The journey that Ben embarks on was just as wonderful as the romance. Watching him slowly open up and allowing Xavier in was a wonderful progression. I felt like there was a great balance between what Ben and Xavier were dealing with internally and the romance that was between them. This book certainly exemplifies how love and happiness can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

All in all, Living Out Loud is a great book that had me engrossed start to finish. I recommend this read for all lovers of MM romance. Read it!

Purchase Links



Meet the Authors


Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.





Christina Lee

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction. 

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.



1 comment:

  1. This sounds amazing...slow burn does it much better than a flash in the pan! Those tats are gorgeous too!