Monday, July 10, 2006

Whew. Not a perfect review, but -- as you'll recall -- I've had worse.
When the Stars Come Out
Byrnes, Rob (Author)

ISBN: 0758213247
Kensington Publishing Corporation
Published 2006-09
Hardcover, $23.00 (304p)
Fiction | Gay

Reviewed 2006-07-10

Byrnes (Trust Fund Boys ) plumbs the depths of variously closeted men in this sly charmer that's less niche than the goofy cover art suggests. Though Noah Abraham is attractive and successful, he hasn't dated in the year since his relationship with Harry ended; his life revolves around the book about closeted congressional staffers ("The Project," he ruefully calls it) he's been contracted to write, but his subjects are less than willing to go on the record. While on vacation in New York City, Noah meets Bart Gustafson, the handsome personal assistant to cantankerous former movie star Quinn Scott and his companion, Jimmy, a former dancer. Noah is astounded to learn Quinn is gay and decides that this -- not the bland exposé of sexually reluctant bureaucrats -- is the real story. Now all he has to do is convince Quinn to break decades of silence, something much easier said than done, as Noah finds himself up against not only Quinn's reluctance, but the fearsome ire of Quinn's ex-wife, a powerful Hollywood player bent on quashing Quinn's would-be tell-all. The romance between Noah and Bart has its intensely cheesy moments, but clever dialogue and an astute rendering of the prices people pay to keep secrets buried add crossover appeal. (Sept.)
So much for my plans to dramatically rip up a copy of the magazine and announce my retirement. Ah well... back to work.