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Names Can Never Hurt Me

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  77 reviews
What if sexuality wasn’t a definable thing and labels merely got in the way?

Nick Jones can’t remember a time when he wasn’t part of the in crowd. Everywhere he goes, he stands out as the best looking guy in the room, and women practically fall into bed with him. Then, after kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on many occasions, Nick’s “screw anything” reputation e
ebook, 1st edition, 340 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 10th 2014)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Audio performance - 3.5
story - 4

It took me a while to warm up to Nick. He was incredibly vain and so very dense. All I kept saying to myself is “this guy is an idiot”. Between the voice given to Nick in the audio and how his character is written, Nick epitomized the doped up immature lazy dumb jock. I really didn’t think I would like him. After a long, long while, I did warm up to him. Especially when he became less self-absorbed, and focused on becoming the kind of boyfriend that RC deserved.


Not sure how to rate this really...very well written by Wade as you'd expect, but the main character irritated the hell out of me (although others may like him) so I think 4 stars is fair.

Right, let's start with the main character...Nick. He was an extremely indecisive, irritating and dense 23 year old doofus who looked like a movie star, was finally holding down a job in a local pizza parlour, and apparently a man-whore (sex on a stick) but still lived with his parents, and his mother still tr
Jul 13, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-it
I can't review it as I wrote it, BUT I can say that I have confidence in my beta readers who assured me it was good. I have to trust them.

Note: This also comes in paperback which is not listed here on goodreads as of 7/13/14
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
When you stop and think about it, the amount of unconscious labels we put on people is amazing. The second you meet someone you have probably already put them into a broad category or two without even knowing it. There are also those times where someone labels with harmful intent. The labels that stick with and hurt people.

Nick is the good looking, seemingly shallow, clueless party boy who skates through life from girl to girl (and one particular flamboyant guy named Corey) not really thinking
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, bmbr-reads
Review previously at BMBR.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING: The following review contains a lot of fucking swearing.


Where do I start with reviewing this? Looking at my highlighted notes I've got way more parts coloured than I normally do - usually if I've got a lot of highlighted passages it means I have really not enjoyed the story or that it was particularly lyrical in an appealing way. This book kinda falls into the former - bits of t
Lena Grey
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“I'd thought sexuality was instinctive or natural, but it's profoundly linked to inner security and cultural context.” ~ Tahar Ben Jelloun

If there was ever a clueless person, it would be Nick Jones of Wade Kelly's book, 'Names Can Never Hurt Me'. He's been skating through life for years, without giving too much thought to who he is or what he wants; he's satisfied with what's readily available and easy. He has no concept of how others see him, mostly because he doesn't involve his brain in anyth
Lorraine Lesar
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the hell out of it more than hated the hell out of it (does that make sense?). Frustrating at times, engrossing at others. Gotta be 4*.
Morgan  Skye
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars really - full review here:

Nick Jones is a hard character to like, especially at first. He is a very self-absorbed, aimless young man, vain, wandering, screwing around in and through life. We are first introduced to him at a party where he is dared to kiss another boy for the first time, and lo and behold, “he kissed a boy and he liked it!” His reputation isn’t harmed by this little endeavor, it seems to merely open doors for more sexual explorat
Joyfully Jay
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Nick Jones is obviously conceited, self-involved, sex-driven, and shallow. Except. He is also scrupulously honest, caring and loyal almost to a fault, and I believe written as a character that suffers from ADHD. His scattered thoughts, his inability to focus on one task for long, and his aimless drifting through life would indicate that he is an adult in need of meds to help him stay on track. So, now this almost typical male version of a “dumb blonde” becomes so mu
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, although its main character should have driven me crazy - I so do not like his kind in real life, but apparently I have different tastes when book characters are concerned.

Nick Jones is a male version of a "dumb blond", if I were to put a name on him that is; because that is partly what this book is about, the names we put of people, the boxes we put people in (almost in a manner that would suggest it's an inherited human trait and maybe it is, people appear to be doing it all
Jeff Adams
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!
Review excerpt: "This is a wonderful book about an important topic not only for college kids and college grads today but also for people in general. In this era where everyone is so quick to judge and apply labels to people, this novel takes a deep dive at the damage those labels can cause."
Full review at
2.5 stars SO all over the place... there was a good book in here somewhere, but it was hidden under hundreds of pages of the same conversation over and over and over, the same indecision over and over and over, and an inconsistent main character who's motives and actions were flakey at best.

I read a lot of reviews who hated Nick, thought he was a womanizing, arrogant ass. Problem is, for the first 100 pages, I didn't know what they were talking about. Yes, he was immature, and had a lot of ex-gi
Jeff Erno
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-romance
4.5 Stars

I'm giving this book 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for Good Reads, not because it is perfect, but because the story is very powerful. I also am thrilled that this m/m romance does not present picture-perfect, model-like characters, but characters who are real. I really appreciated that the love interest is husky, hairy, and average-looking at best. I liked that the main character was a bone-head who did not know his ass from his elbow.

Isn't that far more realistic than two guys who look l
eARC Review: Names Can Never Hurt Me by Wade Kelly

What can I say but: Wade Kelly did it again!

Names Can Never Hurt Me is a title that sets the readers' minds to think. The cover image is disturbing for these are some of the most common and worst mean words to be ever said in disdain and intolerance to anyone. The words on that cover are those that bullies use as punctuation marks and they hurt. So how could someone say they could not be hurt by these?

Nick is a beautiful man and he knows it. In f
I vacillated between loving this and being annoyed. I personally believe names can hurt. They have hurt me.
I have trouble with someone not being in touch with who they are...when you have gay sex while pretending to be straight, you really need to understand yourself better. For someone as smart as Nick is about some things, it strikes me as odd that he did not see he was being used as a sex toy by the girls in his clique.
I felt so bad for RC. I can fully understand him, his childhood, school an
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story about growing up and changing. I liked Nick. And was happier when he met and fallen in love with RC. This way both of them discovered they are right for each other. Their story developed slowly, which wasn't to slow, simply right.

21/August/2014 - 5 star rating
Wow, this is truly an amazingly written romantic story. I'm impressed by Wade Kelly!
This story was really well written, emotional and full of humor. Some characters were annoying, but acceptable. I really liked Nick, he was an
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. At the beginning you think one thing and then you discover something else. Well, that's what happened to me. Nick is our MC and even if he's a big sl*t, he has a huge heart. I don't like spoilers so I won't do it, but Nick finds his HEA with someone that he's always seen... and I'm not talking about his physical features. Thank you for writing this story about something more than a hot body and handsome face. Love is not that.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Ma
Lynn S.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, the characters came alive and jumped off the page. Wade Kelly does it again, never taking the easy road, this author keeps it real and gives you a love story but always, always so much more than that. Loved this story.
T.M. Smith
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Stellar story dampened by just ok narration"
Would you consider the audio edition of Names Can Never Hurt Me to be better than the print version?
Nope. Now, I won't say the narration was horrid, I have listened to worse. But the narration didn't always fit the story and, at times, pulled me out of the story.

What did you like best about this story?
Nick's naivete about life in general. He wasn't some blushing virgin or clueless guy, not at all. But the way he was written, there was this odd innocen
Lisa The Novel Approach
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading the blurb for Names Can Never Hurt Me, I knew that I had to read it. I am already a HUGE Wade Kelly fan, and this seemed to be something kinda new from her. I have read her funny and heartwarming work, and her heartbreaking work, so I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us next. What I found was a very well written, personal journey from a young man’s point of view that you just might find difficult to like.

Nick Jones was not someone I would want to associate with when he is
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wade Kelly is an auto-buy author for me and her latest, “Names Can Never Hurt Me” is another great addition to her line-up; truly a Wade Kelly Special! For those of you who read and follow the Author via her blog or on Facebook, you know we have been anxiously awaiting this release. “Names” was definitely worth waiting for. In “Names”, we meet Nick, and get to experience a slice of his world and see how he conquers life in his inimitable way. Nick is a popular, pampered, fairly egotistical, good ...more
Nov 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Nick Jones is a bit of a "himbo." Generally the most attractive guy in any crowd, but never the brightest, Nick cruised through high-school as a part of the attractive but vacuous crowd. Now in his mid twenties, he's always had all the sexual satisfaction that he could handle with a string of attractive girls who want to add him to their score cards. But when two girls dare him to kiss a boy cause they think it's hot, surprisingly, so does he. And when it's followed minutes later by the best blo ...more
Michael Chulsky
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Names Can Never Hurt Me (here-after referred to as NCNHM) was a very good novel.

I fell in love with Wade Kelly's novels and picante writing style when I picked up My Roommate Is a Jock, and I haven't been disappointed since.

Nick, the main character, has a bit of an ego, but don't judge him based on that alone. He's a sweet guy who has the tendency to be a bit dense which causes him to make bad decisions at times...but then don't we all?

RC, ugh, he was the breakout character. He is the perfect em
A few quips first... there were times where Nick turned awfully girly. I would suggest to any female author of M/M books to go back after the flood of creative writing and double check areas where the guys kind of slip into a female voice/mannerisms. Typically the emotional scenes and the sex scenes are common places where this happens. So, if you picture yourself exactly in this scene, then it's probably too girly. lol I know he was growing as a person, but it went too far for me.

Okay, that asi
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time with the beginning of this book. The main character was so vain and egotistical I had a hard time liking him at all! He had such a struggle with his sexuality, but why? His parents were great and understanding, and he still had a hard time. Maybe I just don't know what being a 23yr old boy is like? And I do mean boy. He gets closer to being a man later. My heart broke and cheered for RC aka scruffy dude. Overall I enjoyed the story, but the MC still rubbed me wrong throughout t ...more
Karen BookAddict
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lu cette nuit jusqu'à 3 heures, incapable de le poser. j'ai vraiment adoré !
je lui met 4 étoiles et non 5 à cause des répétitions, de certaines réactions de Nick (à claquer parfois avec son "je suis tellement magnifique que tout le monde veut coucher avec moi et je les comprend") et du passé de RC qui est un poil tout much...
une lecture vraiment addictive et un page turner ♡
BookPixie's Bookshelf
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the slow build up and watching Nick and RC overcome their pasts and troubles, and slowly coming together. They helped each other in their own unique ways. This was a beautifully written story. I whole heartily recommend this book.
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
so good. this is is going to be a reread.. often.
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. No instalove, great descriptions and a well established love story.
Love Bytes Reviews
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 star review by Dan

This is by far my favorite Wade Kelly book so far. I loved the story, and I loved the way she wrote Nick as the story’s narrator. Many times when Nick’s thoughts were described I let out a bray of laughter. It took great talent for Ms. Kelly to write a character that is that clueless. Really “pretty”, but dumber than a box of rocks. I think we’ve all met a “Nick” a time or two, be they male or female. She wrote the character perfectly!

The story starts at a party several years
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Dreamspinner Press: Names Can Never Hurt Me by Wade Kelly 2 14 Oct 03, 2014 05:20AM  
  • Screwups
  • You're Always in the Last Place You Look
  • Two Dumb Jocks (Dumb Jock, #5)
  • Braden's Story
  • King of Snowflakes (West Coast Boys, #1)
  • I'll Always Miss You
  • The Red Sheet
  • 151 Days (Tales from Foster High, #6)
  • Get What You Need
  • Finding Home
  • Ravages
  • Light Outside the Closet (Haven Coffee House Boys #1)
  • In Me an Invincible Summer
  • Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2)
  • Hot Mess
  • Impractical Magic (Newton's Laws of Attraction, #2)
  • Louder Than Sirens, Louder Than Bells
  • A Hole in God's Pocket
Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one's beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is ...more
“You’re the perfect combination of everything that makes me horny.” 2 likes
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