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Where You Hurt the Most

(Riptide Rentboys: The 2012 Collection)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined.

Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger,
ebook, 44 pages
Published May 7th 2012 by Riptide Publishing (first published May 5th 2012)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  383 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Emma Sea
May 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rent-boy
I didn't like this story, because from his actions and thoughts I didn't read Bill/Adrian as male. I like my m/m romances to be about men (or boys). Bill reads, not as a woman, but as mass-media's insistance of what women are like: emotional, pensive, and unable to work in the sex industry while being in a loving relationship (so much for the masseur analogy). I didn't like Bill's amorphous, nebulous angst about nothing-in-particular. I'm good with angst caused by a purpose i.e. I'm afraid to be ...more
Cole Riann
4.5 stars

Review posted at Brief Encounters Reviews.

This beautifully written story is unique for a story about an escort, with little sex and a premise that is wholly original. Two men, one with hidden hurts and another with obvious ones meeting in an unlikely setting.

I’m not going to rehash the blurb here in my own words because the official one does a very accurate job itself. Adrian is a high class escort. While he does have sex with many of the men he sees regularly, he is truly an escort, wh
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful????
These characters, ohmygod. So well-rounded. And their evolution seemed so fulfilling... I loved the development of their relationship. I am so here for tender, caring and gentle treatment. I am so here for lots of things this story has. Love, love, loved this.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Darien is an escort, he's good at what he does, he's popular with clients and he lives well from the proceeds but really he has no life outside of it, so when his boss and friend Max asks him to take on his nephew as a free client he's quite happy to do so, even when Max explains that Dan is scarred and badly burned after a terrible car accident. Dan is bitter and wary so the first meeting doesn't go very well but Adrien perseveres and asks Dan to return a week later and so a tentative friendshi ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ugh. *groans* This was bad. What distinguishes a three star from a two star for me, is if I can recommend it. I can’t recommend bothering with this story.

The biggest detriment to this story: “insta-love.” That didn’t even start out as “insta-love,” but at the turn of a page developed - with no explanation or even declaration of the change. The moment was confusing and nonsensical.

I grabbed this book while on the Riptide Publishing site in a Voinov bundle purchasing frenzy. Voinov doesn’t contr
3.5 stars.
Loved the vulnerability shown and felt, those first tentative steps taken towards trusting and loving someone again. There is a promising relationship developing here between Adrian and Dan who are quite a pair, an intriguing mix with so much more to discover, too bad the end rushed up and hit me just as I was getting stuck into it, a fascinating insight but so brief it only scratched the surface, hopefully this is only a snippet towards something bigger and better "a novel"!
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, shorts
Emotionally, even if short, well created story of Adrian, as high-class escort, and nephew of Arien boss, Dan. The main dialogues between Adrien and Dan were pulling and grabbed at me emotionally. I felt good at the end, because of the way it ended. With hope.
Kendra T
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adrian is an escort whose focus is not solely sex, and he has high regard for his boss. His boss comes to him asking for a favor: to work with his cousin's son who had a disfiguring accident. The encounters that ensue make Adrian question what it is he wants in life and if he is worthy/able to have a relationship again. Dan struggles with his scars and hides away, but Adrian helps him come out of his shell. It was a short story, but there was a lot packed into the page to make you feel the conne ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2012, done, short, gay, romance, arc
Very good short m/m romance about an escort who's asked to spend some time with a young man and perhaps help draw him out of the shell he's been in since an accident left him terribly scarred. Written in a lovely, literary style, this story was a pleasure to read. My only complaint was that, while the story of the escort and the young man was evocatively told, I wanted to know at least a few more details about the merely implied back story in order to better understand a scene near the end. ...more
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A really unusual book. All told from the POV of Adrian, an escort who thinks he's perfectly happy and content until he is asked to meet Dan, a scared, bitter young man. I loved it, very intriguing, mainly talking and, for a book about an escort, very little sex, but it works perfectly. A beautiful book. ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, short
What a sweet surprise!
I really enjoyed it.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
It's a good thing the story is so short, otherwise my palm could've stuck glued to my face permanently. ...more
Jess Candela
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Review Summary: A surprisingly satisfying, almost magical, short story.

Review: The title of this story perplexed me until I read it and discovered how perfectly it fits. Where you hurt the most is, naturally, the point at which you’re most vulnerable. Sharing your deepest vulnerabilities with someone is one of the biggest risks you can take, but the potential payoff is correspondingly rewarding. When you let someone know where you hurt most and they respond with support, caring, underst
Anne Brooke is a master of conveying emotions on pages; I am always blown a little away when I read one of her stories. Where You Hurt the Most was no exception and I found myself making a connection with characters, and it all had me thinking where I hurt the most.

Adrian is a high-class escort, and he is quite happy. It’s not really a sob story about him hating his life, and he can’t get out of his job. It’s his job and he takes pride in it, and wants all his client to get their money’s worth.
The Bursting Bookshelf of a Wallflower
3 stars!

Where You Hurt The Most was actually a really nice surprise. I got it as an Amazon Freebie and I didn't have many expectations. The blurb is actually saying all you need to know regarding the content! I really liked the writing style and I had the feeling that they characters were well drawn - I would have loved to find out a lot more about them! Their background stories have been mentioned, but a lot of important elements remained in the dark - this story would have needed a few more ch
Mandy*reads obsessively*
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Mandy*reads obsessively* by: Anke

This was a strong story for being so short.
That being said I really would have liked some more back story about Adrian, since really I didn't totally understand his 'hurt'.
Well written and touching.
Tully Vincent
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
A bit too short and simplistic for my tastes. Hoped for a bit longer short story.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Anne Brooke always impresses me. I quite literally love her writing. There’s a sophistication and refinement to the clean, sparse prose that sets her apart. In fact I enjoyed reading the writing more so than the story itself, which wasn’t slacking. The theme of pain is one that Brooke has dabbled in before and intense concepts are truly her forte. Love, longing, need, desire, and characters that are anything but easy combine to offer a deeply moving yet still light story. I didn’t walk
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book's official review says fairly clearly what it is about. What is doesn't say is how beautifully it is written. The words so gentle, kind and human.

Adrian is a young man who is an escort to other men. Men who want and can afford a knowledgeable, personable, outwardly caring, gentle man. One they can take to the theatre, museums, events, fine dining and is attractive and appropriately attentive, without making anything seem sordid. Of course for those who want it, and most do, sex is a par
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Brooke has created her magic again with a story so deep it touches you on every level and she does it with only three characters in this story. Three very strong men that make a lasting impression.

Adrian is a male escort; one of the best in Max’s employ. He is compassionate, sexy, and intelligent. He knows how to make a client feel like he is the only man in the world and is able to touch something that they didn’t even know they were looking for.

Max has been his boss for a couple years now,
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is my second time reading something by Anne Brooke, and may I just say... she is quickly becoming a fave of mine. Her writing is superb, with a literary quality really enjoy. What I also love is... scarred men, be it inside or out. What she gave me with this story was both. And in a matter of less than 50 pages, she managed to reveal their pain, bring the characters together, and begin a process of healing, for both.


The only thing that kept me from giving this one a full 5 stars
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, m-m
Well, the thing is is that I think this would have made a better full length rather than a short/novella. I wanted Adrian fleshed out more. What was he like before he met Dan? How was he with other clients? Did they always go to his house???? Is that safe? Seriously, I was pretty stunned when I read Dan came to his house! I wanted to know more about his relationship with Max. He seems to think he owes him a lot, but there was never a reason why. Where did Max find him to bring him into the busin ...more
Anna D.
I found this incredibly touching.

I can’t quite decide if this was too short or just right. What we’re given is a very short read, but it was satisfying and we also get enough to know the main intention of the story. I supposed I just wanted to see more of the MCs.

I liked the pain and loss we felt from Dan and I equally liked the tenderness Adrian/Bill showed Dan. The moment they spent together was enough to spark life back into Dan and also faith back into Bill because for a long time he was l
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This is an short story about Adrian, an exclusive, high paid escort to discriminating clients. Adrian is also a student of the human psyche. If you can accept that a self-educated prostitute can help one of his clients, Dan, a deeply (psychologically and physically) scarred client find inner peace in two "sessions," you will also be able to buy this story. Where You Hurt the Most is told in a very formal voice and wraps up in a pretty bow. It is well written and its two MCs are intriguing charac ...more
Apr 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaje Harper
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A smooth satisfying short story about Adrian, who works as an escort, and Dan, the burn-scarred client he is asked by his boss to spend time with. Both men have their unhealed wounds, and the unexpected chemistry between them is at once exciting and frightening in its potential. What begins as a simple exchange of time and pleasure becomes something more, and deciding how far they are willing to go isn't easy for either of them. ...more
K Cherry
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This story was emotional..but in good way.

My heart broke for Dan and the trauma to his face. But Adrian, with his sweet demeanor, helped Dan realize the beauty of his face, which, in turn, made Adrian's beauty not just be on the outside but inside too. Sweet book. Kept my attention from beginning to end.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm-read, z-2012
This was a short story about two men, each lost and alone in his own way. It was almost too short to gain any real understanding of the characters but the spark was there.
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-or-gay-lit
Great chemistry between all of the characters. Short but well put together. Makes me want to know all of the story. What happened before and after!!
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Anne Brooke lives in Surrey, UK. She is a multi-published author in a variety of genres, including gay erotic romance, fantasy, comedy, thrillers, biblical fiction and the occasional chicklit novel. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize (for novels set in London) and the Royal Literary Fund Scheme.

When not writing, she spends time in the garden attempting to differentiate be

Other books in the series

Riptide Rentboys: The 2012 Collection (5 books)
  • Priceless (Irresistible Attraction, #1)
  • Cruce de Caminos (Layers of the Otherworld, #0.5)
  • Necessity's Door
  • Riptide Rentboys: The 2012 Collection

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