Review: Adam Arkin – Freedoms Shore

35555193Author: Adam Arkin
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary: When a shy student decides to spend a summer on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, he has no idea of the life-changing adventure that awaits. For years Adam has denied his true yearnings, until a visit to a gay-friendly nudist beach inspires him to act on his naked impulses.//Slowly his mind is coaxed open to a world of new pleasures, in the experienced hands of the uninhibited hunks that frequent the cruising zone beyond the palms-a place where nothing is taboo.

As Adam learns to embrace his sexuality, he develops intense feelings for the enigmatic Javier, a young man with a secret of his own. Infatuated by his friends smouldering allure and striking Latin looks, Adam falls recklessly in love. As passions flare over the course of a long, sultry summer, both men must risk it all, if they are to satisfy their deepest desires.

Review: This story was less a romance and more of a self-discovery, in my opinion. There is a love interest, in Javier, but it is just an interest for most of the book as Adam makes his way into his sexuality and tries to figure out if Javier could be interested back. It is the story of Adam coming into his own – figuring out who he is, embracing and exploring that. “I considered myself a bisexual man who’d never had a homosexual experience.”

It takes a visit to a nudist beach for Adam to discover just how much he’s been missing out on. Told in first person by Adam, we get all his thoughts and ideas, the good, the bad and the horny. “Though I had often wondered what it might be like with another man, I was terrified to pursue the matter.” That time has come to an end. Of course, the fact that Adam is at the gay-friendly area of the clothing optional beach and doesn’t even realize it makes him a little naïve and a little more cute. After a disastrous attempt at bottoming, he decides it was just a momentary out of character moment. He is conflicted and questioning and that seemed very real. During this time, he meets and begins to fall for Javier, who he is to be tutoring in exchange for free room and board at his family home. Their interactions are sometimes sweet, sometimes awkward. Javier is a lovely character and Adam spends time fantasizing about him, not knowing whether Javier is gay or attracted. They are sweet together, even just talking as friends.

One thing that lowered my rating a bit was the formal, sometimes stilted, sound of the language that didn’t seem how he would talk. “…quelled the burning fire in my loins.” “…flagellate my member…”  This might be due to the fact that he’s a college student and it just didn’t seem natural.  Javier speaks in a broken English and that sometimes seemed forced.

One thing to note – if you are a reader who wants their MC to have sex only with each other, which is what I like best, this may not work for you because Adam definitely is exploring this new understanding of himself.
Freedoms Shore ends on a questionable note for the relationship ofAdam and Javier, but honestly, to me it made sense. This is the debut for Adam Arkin and I thought it was good. I’ll watch for more of his books, hopefully one with more sex between the two MC and less with anyone else, but that’s just me.

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