Part of the charm of these romantic m/m tales is seeing the breadth of personalities among this particular contingent of gay men and the unlikely pairings that allow lust to deepen into love. The sadness elicited by the pervasive theme of fear of rejection or persecution when coming out of the closet is offset by the wonderful sense of camaraderie and support that this group supplies for each other. Each has battled painful experiences which has formed the current personality but fortunately, all of them find themselves able to overcome past hurts and open up enough to allow someone new in their lives. I wasn’t terribly thrilled by JJ’s propensity for over the top phrases (although I know that is just his personality) and I was annoyed at Ryan’s attempt to keep their relationship hidden even though I understood his reasoning. That being said, it is still a lovely tale and I was happy to get glimpses of some of the characters from previous stories.
“Snow Balls” by Tara Lain is part of the spicy m/m romance ‘Balls to the Wall’ series set in Laguna Beach, California. JJ LaRousse’s size belies his gentle nature and his attraction to detective Ryan Star prompts him to hide his propensity to flutter his hands and pretend that he actually has a clue about sports. Ryan has painfully learned the dangers of letting his coworkers know about his preference for male lovers so, while his attraction to JJ seems mutual, he wants to keep their relationship hidden. They will each have to find the inner strength to be true to themselves in order to be true to each other but neither of them lacks for courage when it is most needed.
Can a man pretend to find true love?
Big, handsome, and hunky, JJ LaRousse looks like an alpha male but acts like an interior decorator. And he’s trying to be happy about it--until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop, Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes guys who are manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors over his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan. After all, his father always said he should be more macho.
Ryan Star may be tough, but he hides in the closet at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can cost you your life. His attraction to the big, handsome JJ threatens his anonymity, but he can’t seem to resist. JJ is just his type. But when JJ goes skiing and comes face to face with his greatest nemesis, all the secrets come out of the closet. Can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?