This was my first foray into the novels of Amy Lane, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. There’s something so warm and authentic about her writing, and her protagonist’s larger-than-life personality leapt out at me from the opening sentence, so that I was instantly there inside his head, sharing his thoughts and emotions. In Behind the Curtain, Amy pulled me into the story from the outset, taking me on a sweetly sensual journey of love and friendship, refusing to let me go until the final page.

Long distance relationships are never easy, and this one is no exception. When Dawson Barnes falls from a lighting platform, practically landing on the head of star performer, Jared Emory, the attraction is instant. Yet, their lives are worlds apart. Dawson is a small-town boy with a loving family and quite content running his provincial college theatre, while Jared exists as a dancing superstar in the bright lights of LA. The times when they are together, intensely steamy and romantic weekends snatched amidst Jared’s hectic schedule, are amazing. All the same, Dawson finds the endless weeks of separation increasingly hard to handle.

The one thing that keeps him going, besides his growing feelings for Jared, is the knowledge that his lover views Dawson’s little flat as a safe haven. Also, being estranged from his family, Jared quickly adopts Dawson’s circle of friends as his own. However, when he arrives for an extended visit, weak and desperately ill, it becomes clear to Dawson that Jared isn’t just lonely. He has been keeping the dark truths about his past locked away, and unless he’s willing to allow Dawson in, their tenuous romance may be over before it has properly begun.

What I loved most about this novel was the characters. Not only do we have two memorable heroes in the exuberant Dawson and touchingly vulnerable Jared, they are complemented by some wonderful secondary characters. From fun-loving Darian and prickly but loyal Amber, to soft-hearted Benji who has had Dawson’s back since they were kids…I fell in love with every one of them, and came away sincerely wishing I could be part of this close-knit group.

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