REVIEW: That Summer in Spain, by Lawrence I. Hill

Title: That Summer in Spain

Author: Lawrence I. Hill

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Self

Pages: 198

Reviewer: Pat

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

It wasn’t just a role this time…

Xavier Duran is ready for the breakthrough film role of his career, and he thinks he’s found it. 

Not only does this new job take Xavier to the beautiful countryside of Spain, it also takes him right into the arms of his silver screen crush, Hollywood hunk, Dennis Herbert. 

Dennis may be gorgeous but everyone knows he’s straight. 
Or is he?

Lines blur and soon Xavier can’t tell if Dennis is just playing his lover or if he wants to take on the role off-screen as well. And what about Dennis’ beautiful model girlfriend? 

Xavier has been burned before, and he isn’t sure he wants to be the secret lover again. He’s certainly not ready to risk his feelings on something deeper. 

But passion presides and soon Xavier and Dennis are tangled in a web of fraught emotions and uncertain advances. Is this only a fling? Or is this the beginning of a real romance?

One thing’s for certain, it’s going to be a scorcher of a summer.

The Review

Hill’s story of two actors—one an accomplished action star and one an up-and-coming newbie—is ultimately a charming and insightful exploration of lust, love, and sexuality as played out in a romantic Spanish village.

Megastar Dennis, who is engaged to a Hollywood starlet, accepts the role of a gay man to prove to himself and the world that he is in fact an actor, not just a hunky body and pretty face.

Stage actor Xavier doesn’t have to pretend he’s gay. He came out way before he’s cast as Dennis’ lover in the new film being shot in Spain. But as he starts the shoot, he does have to pretend not to be infatuated with Dennis, whom he’s lusted after from afar for years.

Putting them together under the hot, sultry sun, in an out-of-the-way village and giving them time between shooting to get acquainted, eventually intimately acquainted, is a little like putting a match to a powder keg. Will their relationship eventually explode into everlasting love or bitter hatred?

They must answer some sticky questions before they reach a final conclusion, however. Will Dennis figure out why he wants to and likes to kiss and make love to Xavier? Or will he be able to walk away, leaving both of them with memories of a hot summer as Xavier expects? Will both of them be brokenhearted, just as the characters they are playing? Or will real life end happier than the film?

Hill skillfully leads readers through the minefield of Dennis and Xavier’s torrid affair both on and off screen, ratcheting up the heat. His story adeptly explores what sexuality is and how two men, whose job it is to make people believe their scripted sincerity, must work to make their lover believe they are being true and sincere.

The line between film and reality often shifts, keeping both the men and the reader on their toes and adding just enough suspense to make this an exceptionally enjoyable story.

Hill is an author I’m putting on my must read list and am waiting eagerly for his next book.

The Reviewer

Pat Henshaw:

  1. Is a she, not a he.
  2. Writes MM romances.
  3. Has interviewed Arlo Guthrie, Big Bird, Fred Rogers, Liberace, and Vincent Price.
  4. Has lived and worked on all three US coasts and in the middle of the country, too.
  5. Has been a reviewer, costumer, librarian, and teacher.
  6. Has ridden an elephant, touched the pyramids, and stood at the edge of a volcano.
  7. Believes love is essential to everyone’s happiness.
  8. She wants you to remember: Every day is a good day for romance!

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