Straight Shooter

Straight Shooter (Rear Entrance Video #3) - Heidi Belleau One thing I’ve noticed throughout the Rear Entrance Video series is the way Heidi Belleau questions the need to put a label on her characters’ sexuality. This was especially noticeable in [b:Wallflower|18147412|Wallflower (Rear Entrance Video, #2)|Heidi Belleau||25192346] and it is a big theme again in Straight Shooter.

Austin has been having trouble dealing with the changing identities of his housemates, especially Rob, now known as Bobby, and has really backed himself into a corner by coming off as threatening and homophobic. Noah has laid down the law though and Austin has one month to get his act together or be evicted. What nobody realizes though is that Austin is, and has been, struggling with his own sense of identity for a while now and seeing his friends accepting themselves and the happiness they have achieved is making it harder for him to cope. He considers himself straight, but nothing turns him on more than being insulted with a gay slur or a humiliating question of his manliness. His inability to reconcile this with his otherwise “straight” life has caused him serious emotional strain and his questionable coping methods are no longer working all that well. His latest attempt to desensitize himself is to watch gay porn where a straight man is tricked into becoming a sub for Master Puck. Too bad for Austin all this does is turn him on even more. When Liam Williams aka Master Puck himself shows up at Rear Entrance Video, Austin hatches a last desperate plan to work all this out of his system. Liam sees through Austin’s charade and agrees to help him out, provide him with the opportunity to submit himself to the humiliation and degradation he needs, but the relationship becomes a lot more complicated than the two men ever expected.

I was instantly drawn in by Austin’s struggle, his self-loathing and destructive behaviors. The book doesn’t just focus on Austin’s relationship with Liam. Bobby plays a large role for Austin and the rebuilding of their relationship, along with Austin’s interaction with his hockey teammates, really provided great insight into Austin’s motivations for his behavior. Liam considers himself bi-sexual, but is not looking to paste a label on Austin. He believes it when Austin tells him that he’s straight. He never tries to get Austin to label himself as gay or bi, but gives him the outlet and the acceptance to be whatever he wants. I would have liked to see a little more of the private sessions between Liam and Austin and spent just a little less time in Austin’s head, but overall I enjoyed watching Austin come to terms with himself and finding the strength to live his life the way he needs to live it rather than trying to conform to the expected norms.

A copy of the book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.