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REVIEW: Out of Focus – A.L. Lester

Out of Focus - A.L. Lester

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Alex has never quite believed he’s good enough. Not as a person and not as a lighting technician. He hates that however hard he tries he can’t get his boss, Luke, to like him. In the two years he’s been in the job it’s become a Thing with him and he’s got a huge crush on the man. He needs to move on for his own sanity and his career and he’s just about to accept a job at a bigger theatre when one of the volunteers he’s bedded and dumped pushes him off a ladder.

Luke likes Alex a lot and has done since the day he walked through the door of Theatre Fawr two years ago. He doesn’t date his staff though, or do casual, and Alex is the epitome of casual. So Luke keeps his distance despite Alex’s constant flirting.

Will Alex’s injury give Alex and Luke the push they need to open up to each other? Or will Luke’s inadvertent discovery that Alex has a secret job offer push them further apart?

The Review

Out of Focus is another delightful hurt/comfort short story from AL Lester.

Alex is a lighting technician at the Theatr Fach. He has low confidence in himself, but makes up for it with his charm, flirtatiousness and ability to make others laugh. He’s single, no boyfriends, but he has a little reputation when comes to his large number of hook-ups.  Regardless, everyone still likes him, except for the his boss and production manager Luke.  Alec has feelers out for another job – assistant lighting technician at the Theatr Mawr in Cardiff, which would also help advance his career.

Luke has been uncomfortable around Alex from the moment they first met. He tries to avoid Alex as much as possible, but watches him and the interactions he has with the other staff members. Luke has his own rules, including not getting involved with employees. 

One day when Luke is out taking care of business needs, there’s an accident at the theatre.  Alex has a bad fall – was it an accident or is there more to the story?  Martin, one of the staff members, has gone to the hospital with Alex.

His injuries are serious, but he doesn’t want to stay in the hospital. Luke shows up just in time for Martin to leave. He only planned to check on Alex and find out what happened, but now he’s stuck. Alex is determined to go home, but he needs someone to stay with him because of the concussion. Luke takes Alex home, and takes on nursing duties.

Being in close quarters together, Luke and Alex start to discover many things about one other. Can they survive such enforced closeness? And what will it do to their working relationship?

Lester brings readers another sweet, cozy, quick romantic read. It’s low angst, focusing on Alex and Luke as they try to get past their preconceptions of one another.

Anais and Martin are a couple fun secondary characters who like to tease and give advice to Luke and Alex. There’s also Ben, who lets his jealousy and misunderstanding create a dangerous situation.

AL Lester includes a little bit of Welsh in the story, along with an education about back stage workings and what a Zargas is. And in the “Author’s Note,” AL Lester shares their experience in the theater, and the usage of the word “ladder.”

It’s a charming, enjoyable low drama romance.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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