Title: Apple Polisher by Heidi Belleau
Rear Entrance Video Series Book One
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 230 pages/Word Count: 60,800
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
This straight-A student has a dirty little secret.
Christian Blake dreams of being a kindergarten teacher, but making the grade means maintaining a squeaky clean image: no drinking, no drugs, no swearing, no sex. And definitely no falling for his new roommate—tattooed bad-boy Max, who may or may not be a drug dealer.
Most of all, it means no working at a porn store. But Christian’s aunt has cancer, and her beloved Rear Entrance Video will go bankrupt if Christian doesn’t take over managerial duties. Soon enough, Christian finds himself juggling sticky twenty-five cent peep show booths, a blackmailing employee, and a demanding professor who likes to make an example of him.
And then there’s Max, who doesn’t know anything about the store, but hates Christian’s preppy sweater vests and the closet Christian forces him into when they’re together. Max just wants Christian to be himself—even though Max is keeping secrets of his own. Christian struggles to find the impossible balance between his real life and the ideal one he thinks a teacher needs to live . . . all while trying to keep his aunt’s dream alive without losing his own.
This title is part of the Rear Entrance Video universe.
Apple Polisher is a funny, sexy and thoughtful journey of self-discovery. Heidi Belleau perfectly balances real life issues with plenty of humor in this page-turning first installment of the Rear Entrance Video series.
While Christian Blake’s dear Aunt Beverly is fighting cancer, her video store, Rear Entrance Video, is about to go under but he is afraid that working in a video porn store will destroy his chances of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Throw in his (unwanted) attraction to his sexy new roommate, Max, and Christian spends much of his time fretting about his future.
Apple Polisher is written in third person from Christian’s point of view. The narrative is a little rambling and slow moving at times and Christian occasionally veers off on some lengthy thought tangents. But the story begins to come together when Christian begins working at Rear Entrance Video and he finally hooks up with Max.
Christian’s single-minded pursuit of his teaching degree makes him oblivious to a lot of things in his life. Everything and everyone takes a backseat as he devotes himself to school. Christian is slowly losing himself as he makes change after change in an effort to avoid his professor’s scrutiny. But his biggest mistake is his failure to make Aunt Beverly a priority. Trying to save Rear Entrance Video is Christian’s first selfless act and it is the first step in his much needed transformation. He sometimes takes one step back for every two steps forward, but he is putting a lot of effort (and risk) into his efforts to keep the store from going under.
Christian’s other saving grace is his relationship with roommate Max. Their romance is rocky in the beginning but once Christian commits to making the relationship work, he throws himself into it wholeheartedly. Max is just what Christian needs-he does not put up with Christian’s crap and he challenges Christian to think about the choices Christian is making. For the most part, their romance is a slow simmer but when it does heat up? Their sex scenes are positively incendiary and so down, dirty and smokin’ hot your eReader is in danger of melting.
Max remains an enigma for much of Apple Polisher. Tantalizing glimpses give away frustratingly little about him so it is completely and utterly shocking when the truth about him is finally revealed. Christian’s reaction to Max’s revelation is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, the best scene of the whole book.
An excellent beginning to Heidi Belleau’s ingenious Rear Entrance Video series, Apple Polisher is an entertaining and thought-provoking novel. The cast of characters is diverse and multi-layered. The video porn store is a wonderfully unique setting and it provides an interesting backdrop for the various characters and their upcoming stories.