Short and Sweet Review: Hanging Loose by Lou Harper

Hanging LooseQuick Rundown:  Nate has recently moved from the Midwest to sunny L.A. and is currently waiting tables at a local restaurant with no future plans.  After a day trip to Venice Beach, Nate is stranded in the California heat and has a chance encounter with a friendly surfer guy, Jez, who offers Nate his couch for the night.  The following day, Jez asks Nate to be his roommate.  Nate accepts the offer and in doing so has to quickly face his growing attraction to Jez and how it will affect his future.

First Impression:  The author’s well descriptive characters, both main and secondary, were authentic, charming and provided a nice flavor to a story of everyday living.

The Hero:  Nate is a funny, quirky guy that questions himself and his feelings on a regular basis.  After meeting and becoming roommates with Jez, what starts out as a great friendship leads to Nate facing feelings of attraction and desire that he has never experienced with another man.

The Other Hero:  Jez  is the typical hot surfer dude.  He is attracted to Nate from the first time they meet and naturally wants to get to know him.  Jez opens his home for Nate to become his roommate and they form an instant friendship.  Although Jez initially comes across as the carefree surfer, as the story progresses you see the genuine care and concern he has not only for his dear friend Arthur (who is dying of cancer), but for humanity in general.

What worked:  The authenticity of  Nate and Jez’s developing relationship while dealing with everyday problems and responsibilities.  In addition, the secondary characters provided their own humor and nostalgia to the hero’s lives.  Two favorites were Arthur who reminisced in telling his life stories of the old Hollywood Era and Mark who literally viewed Nate as his “lucky charm” for acting gigs after their first kiss at an L.A. party.

What didn’t work:  There’s not really anything that didn’t work.  While the story was not overly intense or dramatic, it was genuine and created an overall “feel good” read.

Final Conclusion:  I believe Ms. Harper penned a charming and original portrayal of friends to lovers and the emotional issues they face in everyday life.  With the California setting, it makes for a nice, short summer read for any m/m romance reader.

Favorite Quote:  “I figured I could follow the example of Blanche DuBois and depend on the kindness of strangers for once.  I conveniently forgot how much it didn’t work out for her.  It was the Casablanca fridge magnet that sealed the deal; nobody who liked Casablanca could be a psychopathic serial killer, right?”

Rating: C+
Hanging Loose by Lou Harper
June 7th 2011 by Loose Id
Contemporary Romance – GLBT
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Comments

    • says

      Jez was openly gay. Nate had a former girlfriend and discovers throughout the story that he is attracted to males. In the end it’s Jez that gives him the reality check on his sexuality! :)

    • says

      Me too. I wish the story had been longer. Both characters were very engaging and I would have liked to have had a little more of them as a true couple.