Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale

Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.




Welcome to my favorite characters list. Were I good with words, I'd write you a poem or maybe a song. Alas, I am not, so you'll have to settle for a gif.

Avery will not be for everyone. He's stubborn, kind of all over the place, impulsive, charismatic, extroverted, loyal, self-deprecating, hates to disappoint others and is endearingly insecure. 

Avery has never understood the idea of wanting to be by yourself if you could hang out with people you like. If they're not available, then you take a nap.

In short, if you like this guy...

You should like Avery.

Now, will you like this story? Maybe.

I'll tell you why I really liked it.

Avery is a junior architect at Ratcliff and Roberts. His boss is the enigmatic Malin Lacroix. Can we have an awesome name break moment? Because Lacroix. Every time I read it I heard it in my head all French and nasally and dramatic. Like there should be people clapping or maybe horns announcing or something. I may have even growled it a couple times. Anyway. Where was I? Right. Avery. Malin.

Their relationship, initially, is dysfunctional, somewhat acrimonious and hella lopsided. And kinky. Like crazy stupid kinky. It's not safe or sane and it's marginally consensual. They never have a conversation. There are no safewords. Neither have any experience with kink. And they are engaging in some dangerous edge play. Somehow they only really fuck up once, but with all the fun stuff comes the aftercare which isn't as sexy but essential. You can't just smack someone around and call yourself a dominant. Annnddddd this is where the wheels started to come off the track.

Thankfully, Avery has many good friends (who are all hilarious and charming in their own right) who help him to see how toxic this relationship is. He takes a break, has a sex filled weekend with a girl who's probably not named Allison, plays a boat load of Candy Crush Saga and watches an inordinate amount of girl on girl Spice channel porn, but he cannot stop thinking about Malin. Cannot stop wanting Malin and what Malin gives to him. He's never felt these masochistic urges before and he's not ready to give up on Malin despite his iciness.

THIS was when I really started to fall for Avery. He went to Malin, set some boundaries and stopped trying to be something he's not and lets the chips fall where they may. And the ice man began to thaw a little as I knew he would. They still have work to do, but it gets better.

Avery's is the only perspective that we get, but Gale did an excellent job of interspersing sly insights into Malin which Avery is largely oblivious to but led me to believe that he's a lot more attached to Avery than he likes to let on.

Malin has suffered through his fair share of tragedies and misfortune, but essentially he's an introvert to Avery's extrovert. I'm not an easy sell when it comes to opposites attract relationships. I think you have to have some common ground, but I think these two will make it because they intrinsically understand one another, eventually. And they both benefit from the relationship which is another check mark on my list of things I look for to make a successful relationship. It's a long road and that's what made it a rewarding experience for me. The story isn't overly dramatic but it has an honesty to it that spoke to me.

The kink tapers off into mostly biting and D/s after they get back together. As long as we're talking about the kink... some people will object to their initial play. It's rough and ill-advised and unsafe, BUT who ever said people make smart decisions when it comes to sex?

They're both inexperienced and mistakes are made. *shrugs* I like characters that are imperfect. Plus, I have to give them credit for doing some research and being more conscientious after they reunite.

This book was not perfect. Avery reads very immature and some are excessively repeated. I was shocked to find out he was 31, but he made me laugh and he's kind of a mess and he reminded me of Stiles and he likes naps. Ok, I kinda have a crush on him. Whatever. Sue me. 

The dialogue was sharp and witty. The secondary characters enriched the story. The character development was layered and any writer who can make me want to cyber hug a fictional character warrants my attention. I will be back to read your writes, Ms. Gale. 

An engaging, well paced and all around promising debut from this author.

No review copy was provided. *sad face* I just felt like reviewing it.

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