Beyond the Norm

Beyond the Norm - Shawn Lane

Reviewed at Hearts on Fire Reviews


While closing up his bar in the wee hours of the morning, 27-year-old Dave Johnson witnesses a man being beaten. He approaches the thugs with a crowbar he found in the back of his truck and scares them off. Dave learns that 19-year-old Kyle was attacked for being gay and for his Goth style. He brings Kyle home to recover from his injuries, and the two men develop a relationship.


Kyle has had a difficult life and is in a lot of trouble because of a murder he witnessed. He has not been exactly forthcoming with Dave about his past, and as the two men become closer and Kyle’s problems begin to threaten their relationship, both men have to make a decision that will impact their lives significantly.


Kyle is a very appealing character. He’s strong, sexy, and a survivor. Dave, on the other hand, has many good qualities, but he has a controlling nature that I didn’t find appealing at all. I felt he should have been more considerate and sensitive to Kyle’s painful past experiences.


Dave and Kyle have a sweet relationship, the sex is hot and intense, and I loved their first Christmas together.


The side plot with the drug enforcement agent who was murdered was so lacking in authenticity and suspense that I would have enjoyed this story much better without it. It also bothered me a little that I never got to learn Kyle's last name.