Review: Jay Bell – Something Like Hail (Something Like #9)

Author: Jay Bell
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Summary:

When life closes every door, and the world has taken away all opportunities, sometimes it’s up to us to make our own luck—and to give ourselves a second chance.

Noah Westwood is tired of life on the streets, so he turns to Marcello Maltese, a man who owns a small media empire… and a few covert businesses, such as an escort service. Noah volunteers for this, but he’s playing a dangerous game. A secret from his past could turn his new friends into enemies, and he isn’t sure he can perform the duties he signed up for, especially when he’s more interested in falling in love than hopping into the beds of his clients. This is complicated further when his hunky co-worker, Harold Franklin, seems to be interested. Or is he? Noah is off the streets, but he’ll have to travel down many roads on his quest to find his happily-ever-after.

Something Like Hail introduces a new character to the Something Like… series, one whose life is intertwined with previous books in unexpected ways.

Review:

Noah Westwood has spent a few years living hand-to-mouth on the streets. When he was first kicked out by his parents, he slept in his car in front of friends’ houses, using their showers, finding food at shelters—in short, whatever he needed to survive independently. Naturally, he had dropped out of school so no one would give him a job. What he did find, however, was a boyfriend—a young man named Ryan. Yes—the same Ryan who was once Tim Wyman’s boyfriend and who ultimately attempted to murder Tim and his family. Noah was with Ryan during the time after Tim broke up with him, and he loved Ryan so much he did anything and everything Ryan wanted him to do to keep Ryan in drugs—including selling himself. And when Ryan flipped out and attempted murder, Noah sold his car to pay for Ryan’s lawyer. Now over a year later, Noah is at the end of his rope, unable to even afford to eat, so he uses Tim’s name to gain entry to a place where he’s sure he can land a job—with Tim’s friend Marcello who runs the Gentleman’s Agreement Club, an escort service.

And though Marcello doesn’t trust the recommendation to hire Noah came from Tim, he sees something good in Noah so gives him a chance. The person who first works with Noah to train him and becomes his good friend is Harold, a character we met in the Something Like Stories, Volume Two. I remember noting that I loved this character and hoped we’d see him again, but although he and Noah maintain a friendship throughout the book, Harold’s life takes a different turn and we never get to see his own HEA.

Noah actually ends up with a young man named Felix. If I’m not mistaken, Felix may have been one of the characters who was present at the youth center Jason attended when he first moved in with Ben and Tim. One of the things I love most about this series is that Jay Bell continually weaves his characters in and out of the whole series. As an aside here, I will also mention that Nathaniel and Kelly make an appearance in this story, as well as Ben and Tim, and of course, Tim’s dog, Chinchilla. There’s lots of feel-goods here, for sure.

The story primarily follows Noah as he moves through the stages of desperation and poverty to becoming an escort, meeting Felix, falling in love with him, and coming to terms with how to tell the man he loves that he’s an escort. When all his plans fall apart—because Jay Bell never makes it easy for his characters—I was rooting for Noah and Felix but at the same time, watching the secondary story occurring in Harold’s life, I was rooting for him as well. All I can say is that this story has a satisfactory ending, but as we know from other “Something Like” stories, this is simply a vignette in the characters’ lives. Anything can happen in the future and most definitely each of the characters is sure to find their way into another story. If not, we are in control of our imaginations and can give them whatever ending we see fit. I personally can’t wait for the next book, which I understand will definitely be the last, but I am thrilled I had this little goodie to enjoy along the way.

I highly recommend this series, and most definitely this book, to fall fans of MM romance. There’s a lot to love here.

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