by Eliza David
This third installment of The Follow series chronicles the journey of one of its’ most enigmatic characters, celebrity heartthrob Lamar St. Jon.
And he is saying goodbye to stardom for good…at least, he hopes.
Boasting a successful career in modeling, television, & film, Lamar leaves the glitz of celebrity behind to find his own way – without the paparazzi and online buzz surrounding his elusive persona. Then he meets Giovanni ‘Gi’ Hughes: a self-proclaimed ‘Renaissance Negro’ by day and a strip club bartender by night. The unconventional Gi shows quiet Lamar a side of New York the reluctant star never experienced as a national heartthrob. Lamar finds himself immersed in Gi’s bohemian scene, enamored with his carefree spirit and defiant nature. Soon, the two handsome creatives find themselves tangled in a passionate affair.
The moment Lamar starts forgetting about his turbulent superstar past, his estranged parents come barreling back into his life after coming into financial ruin. When they beg him to step back into the spotlight for a quick buck, Lamar has to choose between stepping back into his old role for his family and forging a new life for himself with Gi.
Don’t Miss This Experience!
Title: Lamar St. Jon Experience
Series: The Follow #3
Author: Eliza David
Publisher: WriteGirlsProblems Press
Release Date: 12/25/2019
Genre/ Trope(s): MM Contemporary Romance; Coming Out; First time
Page Count: 363
SteaMMy Swordplay: 3 out of 5⚔
**For fans of Lynn Van Dorn and E. Davies, comes a New Adult urban drama to remind us of the devastation and shame many struggle with in an attempt to own their own freedom and live their own truth.**
MMy Thoughts and Review:
First my confession…had the author not asked me to read and review this book, chances are I would have never grabbed it to read for myself. It wasn’t the cover that would have turned me away. Hell no! That cover is flamin’ 🔥HAWT🔥!
It isn’t even the fact that it’s in the middle of a series, even though I am sceptical of those kinds of reads, because even when the blurb calls it a “stand alone” you either spend the first third of the book lost because you have no clue who everyone is, or the author spends the first third of the book explaining who everyone is from previous books before getting on with the current story. I give you my word as a reader/ reviewer/ blogger there is none of that here.
I would have never picked this one up because as part of the series it belonged to I would have assumed like its predecessors it was an MF Romance, not an MM Romance. Had I gone on that assumption, and never read this book, I would have missed out on one of the best LGBTQIA stories of 2019, and one of the best MM Romances I have ever read.
The story begins with our MC, Lamar St Jon, child star turned TV and movie star, announcing to the world via a radio show that at twenty four, he’s leaving the biz.
As the media is want to do, many speculate as to why the young actor is ready to pack away his tinsel town suits. The reason for his leaving however something no one would ever believe, which is precisely the way Lamar needs for it to stay.
Giovanni Langston Hughes, is a free spirit. Born with a name like that he had no other options, in my opinion. **giggle… Being a free spirit doesn’t mean you are FREE of all life’s complications though, and Gi, Gigi to his friends, lives his artistic life shining brightly for all to see while keeping his heart heavily guarded under lock and key. (Ohhh…look at that- a rhyme! Go me!)
At least that last statement holds true until he meets Lamar St Jon (not the one in parentheses, silly- the one before it, of course). To say these two men have chemistry is a gross understatement. Gi pegged Lamar at first sight, and when he called him out on it and Lamar denied his true self, the locks tightened around Gi’s heart. Falling for and getting your heart shattered by a man who lived so deep in the closet he hired interior designers every few years to redecorate, was not something Gi ever wanted to live through again.
Goddess this book just does it for me. It goes outside the box of a typical MM Romance to include a whole community of forgotten souls.
The author also makes sure the secondary cast are just as valuable to “The Experience” as Lamar and Gi.
Lamar’s parents are native Haitians and Catholics, he knows he will never come out to them. His father and the abuse (mental and physical) he suffered from him are at the core of Lamar’s issues. So, Lamar is seeing two therapists, one who helps with his sobriety and one coaxing him from the closet, which shock his new friends, because…”they have that now?”
The phrase above spoken by one of the women that have taken Lamar under their wing and who happen to be best friends with Gigi. The women are an established couple, Molly who is first gen Asian-American and Nisha who was Jamaican. These two beautiful souls remind me of goddesses in the Greek Pantheon. They wear many faces for whatever the situation requires. They represent strength, beauty, and most importantly, love in all its forms: eros (their love as a couple; passionate), agape (love and kindness toward strangers- this is how Molly pulled Lamar in), philia (The love of friendship, which they extended to Lamar), and strage (The love of family, which they had for Gigi).
Finally, but no less important I want to mention King and Shauna. These two characters are vital because they tie in book two to book three. King and Shauna’s love story can be found in The Follow #2. King is Lamar’s dearest friend and has been with him through his highs and lows as he battled his sobriety. Lamar actually is the reason King and Shauna are together. Lamar loves them both dearly. Unfortunately, he is scared witless to share one of the most important facets of himself.
This is so much more than a story. It is a beautiful web that is spun with a golden thread. Showing how one person’s life touches so many others’ lives and how then their lives touch. It shows how at the end of it all, no matter the societal class, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, cultural background, or gender class, we are all still connected to each other, like one beautiful giant gold spun web.
If you are in the mood for something to satisfy all your MM tastebuds look no further. This hidden gem will sparkle shine and, glitter for you in just the right way. It is sensual, provocative, dramatic, angsty, funny, charming, endearing, and will leave you cheering at the end! Can’t get more perfect than that!🎭🌈🎭
*MMy Playlist While Reading – Sweetest Taboo in Spotify
5.00 You-must-Experience-it-stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.💋
About the Author
Eliza David is the contemporary romance author of eleven self-published novels, including the Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in quiet Iowa City, one of the renowned Cities of Literature. A member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Eliza also maintains a local literary presence, serving on the Iowa City Public Library’s Board of Trustees, moderating The Scarlet Boudoir romance writing group at The Writers’ Rooms, and serving as an annual headlining author at the Iowa City Book Festival.
In addition to writing the naughty words, Eliza is a blogger as well, having served as a contributing writer for The Good Men Project and Thirty on Tap. Toward the close of 2018 and start of 2019, Eliza will be featured in three upcoming anthologies: Best Women’s Erotica: Volume 4, The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30: Volume 3, and Cleis Press’ Erotic Teasers. In 2018, she was selected as a Pitch Wars mentee for her next project, The Lamar St. Jon Experience.
When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins, acting out on Twitter, and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries.
You can find Eliza here: