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Hanging Loose

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  536 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
When you fall in love, it can't all just be hanging loose...

After graduating from art school Nate left the Midwest for sunny Southern California, not quite sure what he hoped to find. It was almost certainly not falling in love with another man. His whole world and assumptions about himself begin to slowly turn upside down on one hot summer day. Seeking respite from the he
ebook, 129 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Loose Id
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Best "Out For You" Romance
217th out of 621 books — 1,551 voters
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Best Gay Light-Hearted Romance
104th out of 290 books — 368 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,176)
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Oct 15, 2016 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really enjoying this sweet ‘n slow tale about a mid-western boy falling for a sun-kissed Cali surfer. Until it just…ended.
I flipped back and forth and even gave my kindle a harsh shake.
Where is the ending? It was just over??
I was grumpy and was thinking maybe 3 stars.
Then I slept on it and realized I DID really like it despite the abrupt conclusion.

Nate graduated from college and doesn’t know what he wants to do, but knows for sure he won’t find it in Indiana. He bravely packs up and heads
3.5 stars
The story moves in a steady pace (almost flat-like) with no over the top angst or drama; and the only time the pulse increases is when Nate confronts Jez because Jez thinks that Nate is leaving him. It's still a nice story though, reading day-to-day life of Nate, a 23-year-old young man from Indiana, who moves to L.A. to find a more fulfilling life, and ends up making friends with a beach-surfer-loving Jez. Nate thinks he is straight but after living with Jez, amidst the classic movie w
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
3.5 stars

Midwestern boy meets laidback surfer on Venice Beach. Midwestern boy, Nate, is naive and innocent, a little lost and unfocused, working as a server with a graphic arts degree under his belt. Surfer dude, Jesse (Jez), is a beach bum and so much more. Jez is straight, but Nate is...well, Nate doesn't really know or think about it much. I'd classify this as a OFY story. Once Nate is in, he's ALL in.

This wasn't the sexiest book I've ever read, since the love scenes are short and a bit abst
Jul 01, 2014 Vivian rated it liked it
Super mellow.

This was quietly complicated. There was no screaming or wild shenanigans, but there was a intensity in the quiescence. Loved Arthur and the stories, and how things change but don't. Jez was quintessential Southern Californian beach, laid back, easy going and open-minded without the glitter. Nate and he wander from friendship to more and it is so organic and believable that it's all good. Very enjoyable.

Favorite quotes:
If you leave yourself open to possibilities, a lot might happen
Aug 06, 2011 Mandapanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: various-romance
Lazy and seductive GFY about Nate, a quiet country boy and Jez, a surfer dude. Brilliant characterisation! Loved the reminiscing about the golden age of Hollywood. It was a pleasure to read this author's writing.
3.5 stars
A smooth, sweet, non-angsty read with a few poignant moments and some depth that doesn't beat you over the head. Goes down easy but still has some potency. Like sipping on pina colada...a pleasure.
Sep 02, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2read2, fv-review, m-m

Quick 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.

Smith Barney
Gentle easy-breezy flow of words in a down-to-earth story.

And can I just take a moment in appreciation and thank fuck! for the additional below (left) cover versus the (right) original shit cover! Because I'm just that f'ing shallow.

Dec 28, 2012 M rated it really liked it
So there I was, happily reading along and then bam! The book ended. That was waaay too short. It's a lovely, beachy, summer read. Just exactly the kind of chilled, angst-free romance I was looking for. Nothing really happens in this book, it's just a teeny bit bland. I would've liked a bit more tension (or something), but it suited my present mood so well that I'll forgive it's brevity.
May 21, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Justin by: Amy
4.5 stars

Loved it! Just what I was in the mood for too....HOT guys, some UST, a small amount of angst to keep it interesting and believable ROMANCE! I also liked the secondary characters, especially Arthur.

Thanks for adding this Amy. When I read the blurb it spoke to me and I knew it would be my next book to read.

Lou Harper
Jan 14, 2012 Lou Harper added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: wrote-it
After having come across a few disappointing examples of it, I simply wanted to write a GFY story I'd like to read. I aimed for a short story, but the characters had other plans, and we ended up with a novella. The light tone and lack of angst was intentional.
This was really sweet and I liked it a lot. Just the right mix of sweet, sexy, and a tiny bit of angst that felt realistic but was easily resolved with some communication. I loved the Arthur side plot and even the little Mark bit at the end (view spoiler)

The sex was hot and not fade to black or anything, although it didn't go into too much graphic detail (I wouldn't have minded a little more but
Josephine Myles
Jun 10, 2011 Josephine Myles rated it it was amazing
First things first, Lou is a good friend and I beta read this story, so all claims to objectivity should be defenestrated. However, I adore this quirky novella and I want to share the love, so here goes my thoroughly biased “review”.

Hanging Loose is an original and beautifully written novella with a great cast of characters, narrated by Nate, a young man with a off-beat way of looking at the world. Even reading through the story for the umpteenth time, I was still charmed by his way with words,
Aug 21, 2011 Yvonne rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
There's a laid back drifting quality to the romance between Nate, a midwesterner who ends up in Venice Beach & Jez with the hippie style background. Nate doesn't so much make decisions as he let things happen to him, so when a stranger he just meets, Jez offers him a place to live he impulsively agrees to it. The depiction of Jez & Nate's transition from friends to lovers makes for a very enjoyable read. It's not quite a GFY story & more the fact that Nate has hidden that aspect of h ...more
May 23, 2015 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this ages ago and I'm pretty sure I'd marked it as read a long time ago, along with a few other books by this author, so I'm weirded out to find them not included in my Read books. Does that happen if it's a new edition with a different cover?
May 31, 2016 Natalija rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, re-reads
2nd read: 11.-12.04.2016
Nate & Jez are one of my all time favorite MM couples. I love them to pieces.

1st read: 24.-25.03.2014
This was such a great book! Although it's different from the other books I have read by this author, I loved it so much that I want to read it all over again. There was less wit than I have come to expect from Lou Harper, but I was enchanted by the mellow flowing of the story and was impressed by how well she portrayed the characters, especially Nate and Jez. Their rel
Vanessa North
Dec 24, 2013 Vanessa North rated it it was amazing
This isn't at all what i expected, and what it turned out to be was lovely.

I went into this book with a guarded hope that it would be sweet and fun and not too cliched. It was sweet, and it was fun, but it was also poignant and a little bittersweet, and the writing was lovely. Gorgeous figurative language but not so imagery-heavy that you feel beat about the head with the metaphor stick.

I loved it.
Jun 06, 2011 Lasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: jessewave
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cole Riann
Review posted for Lou Harper week at The Armchair Reader.

Though this was Lou Harper's first published book and the first one I ever bought of hers, it lingered in my vast online library for just under two years before I decided to start reading her backlist. You could say I caught the bug to read all of her books after reading and falling in love with Harvey and Gabe (and Denton too) in Spirit Sanguine, and that unexpected review of such a wonderful book is what made me decide to go back and rea
Sep 17, 2011 Feliz rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, m-m
A slowly building GFY relationship between a surfer and an artist/ waiter. In the beginning, both MC's are mostly drifters. As their relationship grows, so do their lives, either slowly moving towards stability to a believable and nice HEA.
Both heroes were likeable, they had good chemistry and they made sense together. The GFY trope led to one of them going into the relationship as a quasi-virgin which led to some tender and sweet sex scenes; the premise was also prone to lead to some misunders
Shelby P
Mar 28, 2014 Shelby P rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, drug-use, freebie
I really liked the laid back vibe of this story. I like that Jez and Nate were friends first and didn't immediately start in on each other. This is how I like my "gay for you" stories. I like that the guys didn't immediately jump to the intercourse. There are others things you can do when your same-sex sexuality is awakened.

I really enjoyed Arthur and his stories. He was a dirty old coot. I hope he finds his beloved in heaven. The story felt a bit heavy (view spoiler)
Apr 12, 2013 Plainbrownwrapper rated it liked it
Shelves: mm
This is a pleasant but unexceptional novella, with several potential conflicts that peter out rather than developing into anything particularly interesting. There's never any real doubt that the MCs will be together, and the erstwhile straight MC doesn't do a lot of soul-searching over his "conversion" to the gay side. The whole book, in fact, reflects the spirit of the title -- Hanging Loose. Don't worry, be happy -- it's all good, dude -- and so on. This makes for a nice relaxing read, but don ...more
Dec 13, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: mm-read, z-2012
There is quite a slow-paced romance between Nate and Jez. They start off as friends and roommates, until Nate admits to himself that he has feelings for Jez. I found myself a little frustrated at times because, although, the MCs talked to each other about a lot of important and difficult times in their lives, they seemed to find it impossible to talk to each other about their relationship. The book was sweet and funny by parts, too, and I would never have guessed Jez's secret at all.
Jun 13, 2011 Kyra rated it really liked it
It was great to read about two ordinary guys for a change. I'm not saying the book was boring, what I mean is there wasn't any unnecessary drama or Big Misunderstanding, just, like another reviwer said, "regular, everyday human life". It's written in Nate's 1st person POV and I really liked his "voice". I loved the banter between Nate and Jez at the end. It was one of the funniest endings I've ever read. :)
Momof3-in an Ash and Cael sandwich
4 stars. I really enjoyed this story. It was my first Lou Harper, but won't be my last. The characters were very enjoyable, and it was a well-written story.
I had a few issues with it (view spoiler)
I also could have done without the drama portion around 63%, but the issue should have been...idk...maybe more of an issue, maybe more discussion, less insecure argument that is brushed over after. idk.
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Aug 21, 2011 Mandy*reads obsessively* rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-faves, m-m, ebook-owned
Sweet story and a fun read!
I love Harper's love of easy-going men who get along alright, seemingly without ambition or need for material success.

Nate is brave to trek to LA with nothing but his sketchbook and a desire to get away. Meeting Jez is both random and convenient (sooo conveninet), and their friends-to-lovers story is not all that predictable and certainly not boring.

Jez is a mystery, but a surf sex god, so who's going to pass that up? Not Nate. It just takes him a while (& a death) to accept his attraction.
From start to finish, I absolutely loved this! The writing was excellent, the characters - especially the main characters Jez and Nate but also the secondary characters and family - were real and fleshed out, and the sex was hot. I really liked the flow of it was regular, everyday human life and reading about a relationship beginning and the problems that follow. And I adored Mark thinking that Nate was his lucky charm, very amusing in the epilogue! It was just what I was in the mood ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I was afraid when the book opened with the main character talking to a fly. But happily, Hanging Loose got better from there. Harper’s story of two men falling in love was well-written and entertaining. The story concept was so simple and yet appealing – following a couple’s everyday life, including their real relationship issues, felt authentic. This presumably light-hearted story, with a deeper undercurrent, will stay with readers after they finish it.

For my full review, go to www.theromancer
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Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren't romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.

Lou's favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books,
More about Lou Harper...

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“Did you make plans."

"Nah. I tried once or twice, but they always went to hell. Eventually I just learned to let life take me where it wanted; it was easier that way. If you leave yourself open to possibilities, a lot might happen that you couldn't have planned for.”
“If you want the advice of an old man, don't be afraid of making mistakes. That's life. Just be sure you're making them for the right reason.” 2 likes
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