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Calling the Show
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Calling the Show

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Senior stage manager Jesse Ferelit and sophomore light board operator Simeck Whedon meet while crewing a college theater production. Jesse hates everything about Sim, from his lack of theater experience, to his obsession with LGBTQ politics, to his infatuation with, of all things, Hula hoops. Well, he doesn't hate everything. He doesn't mind Sim's eyes, or hair, or his sur ...more
ebook, 260 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Loose Id
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,053)
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Lisa Henry
What did I think of this book?

I bought a hula hoop. For serious. I couldn't decide between the green sparkly one or the blue sparkly one for ages. I went with the green.

I also bought some Lego, but that's got nothing to do with this book. I mostly got that to make my seven year old nephew jealous.

(A proper review will definitely follow)

Actually, instead of a review I'm going to issue a challenge: I dare you to read this book and look at a hula hoop without thinking rude things. Rude, delicio
...more
MandyM
Reread on 23/3/13. Even better the second time around. Just brilliant characters and dialogue. I loved every word. Upping from 4 stars to 5.

Jesse is an aspiring stage manager in his final year of college. He's also a perfectionist and a control-freak, which has only become worse since a nervous breakdown (which he calls a stress-related loss of composure) a few years earlier. His lighting operator gets sick and Simeck, a student from the alternative style New Hall program is the substitute. Sim
...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Light and sweet, college boys exploring BDSM with snark... what's not to love?!

This was my first solo read by J.A. Rock, and it is one of the few M/M paperbacks that I own. Was it worth having it up on my PHYSICAL shelf? Hells yeah! It was hot and such a fun read.

There is a ton of hoopla about the hula hoop scene in this book (get it? *dork alert*), but that one really didn't make it onto my radar. Logistically speaking, hula hoop sex sounds like a disaster. However, all of the sexual tension a
...more
Ami
Aug 01, 2012 Ami rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ami by: MandyM
First of all, I need to thank MandyM for bringing this to my attention. D/s (or BDSM) is never high on my list -- so when blurbs or tags mention it on a book, I will not look at the book twice. Thanks to her review, I decided to give this a try. And boy, am I glad that I did!! I've been feeling jaded with published MM stories lately. I found my consolation in few free-online fics because they seem to do better in offering fresh voices and a forever-after love that is believable (including the in ...more
Vanessa North
I've been stingy with stars lately, really freaking stingy. I didn't expect to love this book, like 5 star love it, and maybe that's how it snuck up on me.

(view spoiler)

Whatever, I loved it. :)

Td
It is a beautiful thing when you have alternating 1st person POV's that works and you don't even need to look at a name to know who is speaking, that is how distinct Jesse and Sim's voices were. Engaging characters in a light on the angst, amusing opposites attract story with some tender moments. The BDSM was also light and more about two people discovering a few kinks together and what worked for them without falling into assumed roles. I thought the technical side of theater was nicely balance ...more
Heather C
OMFG I fucking loved this book!!

Simeck and Jesse were so fucking adorable. I loved the hate thing they had going on in the beginning with all the sexual tension.Jesse was the misunderstood nerotic asshole "who'd rather have a stick up his ass than a dick." (Sim's words, not mine) Luckily, Simeck was able to see past all that and find the real Jesse. Although the real Jesseis still a neurotic assholewho has to be in control of everything and has no brain-to-mouth filter. No, he's honest and real
...more
Virginia
So adorably cute!!! Story of two college aged guys both with a little geek factor going who develop their first serious relationship. They are also slowly exploring their kinky side along the way. Great cast of characters and some laugh out loud one lines. Highly recommend when you're looking for something sweet and funny with a touch of kink.
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Review now up on Prism Book Alliance

”I didn’t have to be anyone I wasn’t."

I’m going to do my best to articulate my feelings about this story, when all I really want to do is skip around in a meadow still drenched in sunshine just before dusk, tossing copies of this book around like the sweet, surprising and strong daisies they are.

Oh, Jesse, you made me snort for the first time on something like page three. The humor in this story is grounded in the characters. Ms Rock knows these characters. Th
...more
orannia
Sep 10, 2012 orannia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: m-m
I really enjoyed this book. It was very funny - there were some brilliant one liners - and the author did a lovely job in writing a slowly developing relationship with a definite 'why' behind the 'I love you' of the two main characters. They weren't perfect characters - they had their faults, but they grew and developed over the book and felt real (which for me is very important). Jesse's anxiety issues also felt very real and resonated with me. And the secondary characters also had their own pe ...more
Elizabetta

This is a freaking fun read. My first JA Rock solo work, I had a suspicion…

The main characters, Sim and Jesse are unique, quirky and always engaging. When Sim volunteers to help out in the university theatre department productions, he is tasked with assisting Jesse, a senior with a passion for the tech side, and the guy who calls the shows.

Having just finished Mark Cooper versus America, Rock’s collaboration with Lisa Henry, I can see where some of the humor and bratty snark in that work comes
...more
Debra
This turned out to be a very enjoyable story about two men who shouldn't work well together, managing a relationship that neither one is sure should be happening.

Jesse is introverted, prone to anxiety attacks and actually quite an ass. When he is forced to work with Sim as a last minute replacement to the stage crew he is managing, he takes an instant dislike to him. Sim doesn't take Jesse's attitude and tells him off. So begins an unlikely friendship, which morphs into something else. Jesse is
...more
Jane
Aug 06, 2012 Jane rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: bdsm, m-m
Love this author's books and this was no exception. It felt real. Real and messy and raw and painful and hot. Hula hoop sales should go through the roof after this because I know I'm not the only one left intrigued and wanting to try it.

I liked that the two of them aren't perfect and do screw up, but that there's never a chance that they can walk away from each other. I wanted to scream at them, 'do you know how lucky you are?' because the way their awakening kinks match and merge is so incredib
...more
Emma Sea
My rating is really for Jesse. I loved Jesse. The two MCs together, not so much. I'd give the story and the ship a 2.86, but Jesse bumped it up to a four.
Kaje Harper
This was a very entertaining and sweetly engrossing book about two college guys trying to figure out a relationship, with the added twist of both having an interest in but no experience with BDSM. I really enjoyed seeing them working out what was good for each of them - how dominance could be a fit for them, and whether a panic-prone control-freak and a hula-hooping social guy could make a relationship work. This was well written and the characters' fumbling and miss-steps seemed realistic. Adde ...more
Ery
Aug 02, 2012 Ery rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
JA Rock reached into my head and pulled out my thoughts/feelings/wants/needs!

This book was amazing. It was real, sweet , hot, and the author must have spied on my brain. Excuse me while I go get a tin foil cap...

Really though. The first thing that drew me in were the descriptors:

"Jesse Ferelit’s eyes were brown, large but not overwhelmingly so, and lit with a fervor that would not have been out of place in the eyes of a South American dictator."

"he was short. A little Shorty McShortson."

"chin t
...more
♆ BookAddict ♨ ✒ La Crimson Femme❇ ♐
The Romance Review

OCD, anxiety stricken and possibly autistic, Jesse is a stage manager extraordinaire. Jesse prefers his world ordered. He's the ultimate prepared disaster recovery planner. He is oddly a cute cuddly control freak. Jesse's well-planned world is sent sideways when Simeck enters in with his hula hooping hips.

This kinky story about two guys fumbling their way through a relationship is a bit crazy at times. J.A. Rock creates two imperfect characters that at times are beyond frustrating. The other ti
...more
Vivian Archer
Never gonna look at my hula hoop the same way.

Two guys with a lot of figuring out to do--and it's really hot while they're doing it together. Jesse makes a puddle out of Sim, whom frustrates Jesse.

Exhibit A:
“I am not in denial. I have full access to and control over my feelings. I lay them all out each morning and select which of them I will use that day, much as I select what clothes to wear.”(Kindle Locations 2384-2385)

Sounds like worth trying.

Exhibit B:
I could deal with being yelled at. I co
...more
Beck
This was a strangely compelling read. I have often wondered how the über Doms start in the BDSM world...this book details the discovery of Domming desires in an unlikely character, Jesse. I know that Jesse had the whole control issue down pat, but he was by no means an Alpha male. This twist to an already quirky tale made it hard to put this book down. There are so many facets to this story that I am sure I will be discovering hidden depths every time I re-read the book. This book made me laugh, ...more
Natalie
3.5 stars. A good story about two college students whose antagonistic working relationship turns into something more. I loved how the BDSM aspect was treated. Instead of the usual cliches, we get a very thoughtful exploration of how real people discover their kinky side. Some of the theater stuff was lost on me, and I would have preferred a more focused plot (it seemed to meander quite a bit), but overall this was very enjoyable.
Anke
After a very slow beginning with an annoying voice of Jesse from some point on the story grew on me. I think the turning point came with (view spoiler). Suddenly I had to know what happened next and even Jesse wasn't annoying anymore. A very good and satisfying read with a fitting end.
Chris
Very good kinky m/m romance about an extremely uptight and socially awkward stage manager for a college production who's upset about a last minute technical staff change, but who slowly warms to the cute new guy running lights...
Lauraadriana
REALLY liked this college boys story. LOOOOVED the hula hooping. Really loved that.
Maggie
I LOVED this book! The writing style, the characters, the story- so damn good!

Jesse is a senior and stage manager extraordinaire in the theater department. He is brilliant at his job but with people not so much. His exacting, demanding, controlling nature doesn’t make him a lot of friends and he is fine with that. He is graduating soon and has his eye on the future, a full-time career as stage manager. However, he doesn’t count on meeting Simeck.

Sim is a sophomore and fills in as a lighting tec
...more
SheReadsALot
Jan 04, 2013 SheReadsALot rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to SheReadsALot by: moonlite_reader
Hula hoops and a pet rat, mixed in with theater kids and BDSM elements make a great story.

The ease of reading and the fluidity between the two men really made this story. It's really low angst and more reality based. The author added uniqueness and enough quirks (Jesse is high strung but add Simeck to his equation, the end results is relaxation)

I liked these two together and enjoyed the ending.
Sherry
I am new to this author so even with the glowing reviews, I was somewhat hesitant to take the plunge....yep, I've been "burned" before.

Jesse is a senior in college whose career goal is to be a theatre stage manager (I don't know if there is redundancy in that term or not...?) who meets Sim when his usual light board operator gets the chicken pox. Needless to say, Jesse is not happy with this development and Sim is underwhelmed by his reception.

Neither MC is perfect, which I liked. Jess is very
...more
Julesmarie
So when I initially read the blurb for this, I got to the part that mentioned hula hooping, rolled my eyes, and clicked right past it. But for some reason the hula hooping idea totally stuck with me and got me more and more curious, so I decided to see read some of the reviews and see if it was worth a shot. I got to Lisa Henry's review and got excited enough to not only buy the book, but to move it to the top of my tbr pile.

And I'm so glad! This book was great! It was unique (in more ways than
...more
Tina_K
Re-read 4/26/14

Original Review

I actually finished this book at nearly 2 am in the morning because I simply could not put it down. I fell asleep trying to identify exactly what was so damn fantastic about it because, really, I loved it.

Jesse, the cranky, crusty, ass was so...endearing.

Sim is quirky and confident.

What really captured my heart though was the relationship and how it developed. You would never think these two characters would get together let alone make it work but wow, yeah, it did
...more
Èmina
I didn't really like this story...it started nice and interesting then it got boring and depressing....and then boring some more.
The bdsm in this story was kinda weird...I guess I don't get the whole humiliation thing in public nor the pain...at one point one of the characters almost wanted to trow up because of the pain...umm..huh?! How the heck is that hot and sexy?
And since the bdsm and sex was such huge part of the story (that is pretty much what the plot is all about...exploring and trying
...more
DaisyGirl
4.0 Stars

Senior stage manager Jesse Ferelit and sophomore light board operator Simeck Whedon meet while crewing a college theater production. Jesse is an uptight control freak with a surly disposition who hasn't been laid in four years. Sim is the president of the Queer Campus Project ("QCP") and active in LGBTQ politics; he's affable, easy-going, and a hula hoop fanatic. Despite his lack of theater experience, Sim back-fills as the light board operator when the position is vacated by a more vet
...more
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J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less- than-magical evening, a server--and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives in Chicago but is still seeing West Virginia behind Illinois's back.
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“The man read Eugene O'Neill on the beach. He had a stash of emergency pickle juice and a pet rat. He was hardly a model of stability.” 2 likes
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