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Acting Out

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After one very long tour of duty in Afghanistan and an honorable discharge from the USMC, Elijah Preston comes home to nothing. He barely scrapes up enough money for a cheap motel in Quantico, Virginia, with no money-making opportunities in sight. A chance encounter in a local Walmart finally gives Eli hope for employment. Elijah is ready to sign on with Royce Mackey's proposition... until he hears what’s required. Royce operates a gay military porn site and wants Eli as his next star, never mind that Eli isn’t gay. Desperate and broke, Eli grudgingly accepts Royce’s offer and soon finds himself immersed in a strange new world.

Hamish Turner’s been there before. Taking Eli under his wing, he teaches him everything he can about Royce’s operation. The two quickly become friends, easing the way for their first scene together. Awkward at first, they both ease into it and find there is more of a connection between them than either expected. Curious to see where their mutual attraction takes them, they begin a relationship off-screen. But life gets complicated when a crazed fan of Hamish’s starts sending threatening letters demanding the scenes between the two men stop. Or else….

200 pages, ebook

First published September 24, 2014

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About the author

Scotty Cade

22 books191 followers
Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication. When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, most of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Martin.
745 reviews410 followers
October 4, 2020
I am MADLY in love with this story.

Porn plots are one of my secret vices. I often find myself irritated though, because deep down I'm a pretty conservative gay guy who can't shake the feeling that romance and porn don't go together.


But I remember a few years ago I was blown away by K.C. Well's First, which gave me a soft spot for porn books and which I still consider one of the best porn themed books ever, but surprisingly, "Acting Out" comes REALLY close to this level of epicness.

I was originally intrigued by this story, because I found it on a MM romance list, but the blurb described it as straight military guys doing gay for pay porn. Major red flag, right?

I mean, I know there is 'gay for pay'; people who are straight with girlfriends/wives/kids and STILL earn lots of money doing gay porn (which is so mindboggling to me that my head spins just thinking about it).

But the odd thing is: These performers ARE in fact straight. So how does that fit even remotely into a MM setting?

Thank God sexual orientations aren't carved in stone in romance books, right? Because this book is so perfectly low-key romantic and shows our hero Eli work himself through his doubts, moral questions, fears of what others would think and even his piquing interest in his friend and porn colleague Hamish, who literally teaches him the ropes.

Everything Eli processes internally makes perfect sense to me and that is the ONLY way that a porn plot can work for me. You know, 'work' in the sense that it is a setting for two guys getting romantically involved.

I want the guys to think about what they are doing. I want them to have doubts and work through their emotions without coming away as lifeless shells with no inhibitions and no more moral values.

And this worked surprisingly well with Eli.


The actual plot is super simple: Eli Preston was honorably discharged from the Marines a few weeks ago. His alcoholic parents spent all his savings and salaries without him realizing while he was deployed overseas. Now he's out of work, out of money, lives in a seedy motel room, has no family to fall back on and can't find a steady position in his field of education.

A stranger he runs into at Walmart offers him a job as a gay porn performer for a website that features 'straight' military men (I wonder how often THAT happens in real life, LOL). And after a lot of careful thinking he gives it a try, starting with a solo performance and working himself up the porn career ladder.

One of his co-performers, Hamish, however, strikes up a close friendship with Eli and soon the emotionally distant sex that the performers usually share starts to have a certain emotional color with Hamish.

And oh my God, it was such a delicious pastime watching these men work through their emotions. And yes, the porn scenes were hot as hell, even though the author did a great job separating the 'porn' scenes from the 'romantic' scenes.

I truly think this book is a bit underrated. The writing is great, the characters are extremely likable and even the 'porn family' was a nice enough setting (and didn't drown in fairy-tale like sweetness so far from reality it might actually take place on Mars).

Yes, the ending was a bit abrupt and more of a HFN than a HEA, but still, I'm in love <3

All in all, an amazing story. The author watching hours and hours of military gay porn certainly did pay off. I bow my hat to his efforts and dedication :-))

5 stars and a favorite!!
Profile Image for Heidi.
947 reviews2 followers
November 6, 2014

Oh no, what happened? Things were travelling along really well. Interesting and believable story line and then the last 10% ......

It's a story about a young (straight) ex-marine's introduction into Gay for Pay porn. Down on his luck, Eli is taken under the wing of a veteran (Hamish), who shows him the ins and outs (pun intended) to making a living in the industry. It is well researched and I can imagine that this is very much how things are done when starting out and filming various scenes. There's a lot more than one thinks In becoming the next Colby Keller/Levi Karter.

I did like how the author broke down the whole concept of porn/gay and the issue of "labels".

“I hate putting labels on anyone,” he said, “but technically, most people define being gay as anyone who has relations with the same sex. And maybe that’s true for the masses. However, in my opinion, being gay might be what you are, but it doesn’t define who you are."

And in its basic of porn terms...

“A blow job is a blow job, and a warm hole is a warm hole. Once you get over the taboo of having sex with another man, you realize that sex is sex, it’s all the same, and you’re home free.”

I didn't quite feel the connection between the two MCs but this was only a minor glitch. Where the wheels fell off for me was the 'suspense/drama' side of things. .

Still an easy read at 3.5 stars!
Profile Image for Maartje.
62 reviews
May 20, 2021
YES! I actually finished two books in one day so YAY for me. Though I didn't really enjoy this book as much as Shadow and Bone. While reading Acting Out, I was entertained enough to read on but some aspects of the book weren't that great. I cannot give this 3 stars but 2 stars seem low. Regardless, Acting Out gets 2 stars from me for several reasons.

The story revolves around Eli, an ex-marine who hit rock bottom. He is discharged from his service and has to live a normal life from then on. However, the money he carefully saved over the years is gone due to his parents. So, he is left with almost nothing and on the verge of sleaping on the streets. When he is out buying clothes, Eli comes across Royce who has a proposition for him. Royce runs a porn website (YES you read that right) that basically revolves around ex-military men who are gay for pay. Eli contemplates about this for a long time but eventually decides to do this for the money only. He is so not gay... right?! Until he comes across Hamish, another ex-marine, who strikes up a friendship with him. While this friendship evolves into something more, someone starts to threaten Hamish because of his on screen chemistry with Eli. This all happens while Eli struggles with himself as a person.

I have to be honest. The plot really intrigued me. Never have I ever read a book that basically has a porn plot. And honestly, that just threw me off. I wasn't the biggest fan. Especially when both men clearly had feelings for one another, they had sex with other men. Sure, it was their jobs but personally I couldn't get over it. Also, the chapters were odd. The whole book had like 7 chapters and some of them had 90 to 70 pages. Those are LONG CHAPTERS?! That was difficult to navigate sometimes.

Eli was struggling with himself as a person regarding his sexuality. He assumed he couldn't be gay. (SPOILER AHEAD) And Eli refused to admit he was in love right until the end. The ending was a bit abrubt as well. The story was building up to a climax, which it was. Only it was proper wrapped up and as a result the ending was not the best ever. I just wished we got more of a happy couple instead of sex and fights only. Sure their friendship was sweet and wholesome. The romantic relationship was lacking while it only focused on their "sexy times". And that is certainly a no-go for me since I LOVE emotional connections.

Acting Out isn't a book I would praise highly. It was enjoyable enough to want to read the relationship development, only it was lacking crucial aspects of it. The porn plot wasn't really my deal either. There are readers out there who probably like it so this is certainly the book for them. Just not for me.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,195 reviews395 followers
December 25, 2015

***2.5 stars***

BR with my girls, Karen, Tara and Elsbeth.

----Spoilers ahead---

I am angry at this book. Really angry.

This book started out great. We have Eli and Hamish, who meet in the gay for pay business. Eli is struggling with his feelings about having sex with men for money while he’s not gay, so he takes it slow. He starts with a solo job and works his way up to the real sex.
So far so good.

I wasn’t sure how the whole gay for pay thing would be explained. But I was happy with how the subject was handled.

“I hate putting labels on anyone,” he said, “but technically, most people define being gay as anyone who has relations with the same sex. However, in my opinion, being gay might be what you are, but it doesn’t define who you are. Most guys come into this biz thinking they are most definitely straight, including myself, but most of us leave identifying as bisexual.”

Hamish looks out for Eli and the two form a great friendship. When they have their first scene together, it was so hot, my underwear caught fire.

So I was feeling very content about this book so far.

But then at 80% it suddenly all went downhill. Let me list the things that bugged me. Bigtime!
- We get angst, major angst! Eli cannot wrap his head around the fact that he has feelings for Hamish, but feels that he is not gay. So he tells Hamish they cannot see each other anymore. These guys go from being friends to being angry with each other all the time.
- The guys are threatened by some crazy stalker all of a sudden. I felt this could have been completely left out. It did not make sense to introduce us to this story line at 80%.
- The police get involved and make totally unrealistic conclusions based on a hunch.
- When Hamish goes out for a run, Eli is scared something happened to him. Hamish promised him he wouldn’t go out alone. So Eli gets so angry with him, he punches him! Right in the face. How on earth is that okay? If you are angry at someone you don’t go around hitting them. I don’t care that both of them are men.
- After the big stalker scene everything is suddenly alright. They say ‘I love you’ and all is forgiven. The end scene with the kidnapping and the HEA literally lasts 8 pages. A bit more would have been nice. There was a lot of unfinished business. It was very confusing.

This book could have been a 4 star book for me, but now it only gets 2,5 stars and even that is stretching it. The last 20% just sucked, big time!

I am not happy.

November 14, 2014
I would like to start by saying that it's been a long time since I've read such good smut!!

Man, the hotness level reaches critical levels!!! It bas basically reading porn instead of watching it!


Then why 3 starts you ask? Well then the 80% percent mark happened and it's all downhill from there. There's a plot twist that was completely unnecessary from my point of view! I mean: Why? Why? And you see, the writing during this time was kind of bad.. don't know how to explain it...

Still if you're in the mood for some extremely hot man on man (on man) action and are in the mood for reading porn instead of watching it, then you must try this!!!

p.s. since this book is about porn stars and stuff don't expect the sex to be only between the MCs
April 17, 2018

OMG What a Hot Read!

Scotty Cade did his work. Gay for pay as well as our military jargon (Terms)

This storyline was hard for me, being I was in the same position as Eli processing out of the Military (Army) only 2 days ago. to simply begin reserve duty. It felt to close for comfort. I am very glad I decided to read this. I found it to be a bit refreshing. Just knowing it could be worse… and just get better.

I totally enjoyed this read. My heart went for Eli, love at first read. But I must say Hamish, was my absolute FAV Sigh… And the HOT smexy scenes Yum!

I always believe someone is always looking out for us, and right on time Royce, appeared in a time of need. I love that part.

I enjoyed the well-written plot, straight Marine, in desperate times. Mind you this is at no fault of his. However, The gift of fault goes totally to the grubby greedy parents (shoot them!). Eli is left with little choice for survival – which is where gay for pay porn begins.

Love the stalker storyline. I found plenty of cops action and guns, fun fun fun!

Military storylines, I am often critical in this sector. So I must say once again Scotty Cade, did his work well. I found one thing that made me smile, when Royce called Eli a Soldier, yeah I know he is a Marine “Semper Fi “ Remember Royce, was Army so like me. In the real world, I do that often. So once again I smile. Scotty kept it real! The rainbow in that… end the end we are all one family, out to save our little section of the world!

Oh and speaking of the end I absolutely loved the sweet sweet ending.

Profile Image for Karen Wellsbury.
822 reviews38 followers
November 18, 2014
I came into this with high hopes, but they were dashed.
Both MCs were likeable enough, and initially the chemistry and banter was excellent.
I am sure that the porn side was realistic (I have no experience so I'm just guessing here), and it was hot, no doubt about that, but while my organs may have engaged, my head did not.

Once the guys discovered they may have feelings for each other (3 weeks) i desperately wanted 'something' to happen that wasn't sex, be careful what you wish for!

Then thrown onto the mix was relationship angst/ gay angst plus a ridiculous plot twist that seemed solely insert into the book to bring everything to a swift conclusion.

Overall clichéd and disappointing.

Profile Image for Julia.
408 reviews10 followers
November 24, 2014
This was a bit of surprise for me in the best way. I completely expected the heat. The gay-for-pay thing never gets old, but often it stops with the heat. This one followed through with depth and emotion. The emotions Eli felt made sense to me and served to allow me to connect with him and Hamish. I read it for the potential points for a challenge and walked away a fan of this author.
Profile Image for Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆.
2,438 reviews28 followers
August 24, 2015
All military men, gay for pay porn?

Nice quick steamy story, with not a lot of substance. But that's okay. Sometimes you are in need of some steam.

I never really felt the love. Friendship, maybe, but not love.

Still, it was a nice break from reality, and I enjoyed it.
74 reviews
April 22, 2021
So I quite liked this book, I would say that it’s probably the best approach to the “Gay for Pay” porn trope. It had a degree of realness which I feel this type of book often lack. However, this book felt rushed it read more like a Novella than a fully developed book. I just needed more in terms of the relationship build up, not only because it actually happened too soon, but because even though the don’t actually get together until 50% of the story, it still felt rushed. Also the way the drama at the end played out felt over the top and completely unnecessary.
This was my first book by this author and I’ll definitely try some of his other work.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,730 reviews104 followers
January 2, 2023
It's not been that long since I first heard of gay-for-pay. A few years, maybe. I know, I know, I'm naive. It had never occurred to me that straight men would, or could, do gay porn. Having a strong military kink, myself, the description for 'Acting Out', by Scotty Cade instantly appealed. When I got into it, and saw the closeness this 'family' had for one another, it was easy to see that for a number of these men, the camaraderie was much like what they had while serving. It was comfort and family, and they were all doing it for the same reason. Money. Each of these guys was doing gay porn in order to support themselves, or family, or both, and thus they all made sure to treat one another with respect, and no shame.

Eli just got honorably discharged after an eight year stint in Afghanistan as a Marine, only to come stateside and discover every ounce of money he'd socked away was used by his parents to fund their alcohol addiction. As bad as he wanted to get away from them and life in his small hometown, it never occurred to Eli that they'd actually steal from their only child. Twelve weeks he's been living in a crappy motel, spending every day trying to look for a job in his field, or, anything, actually, that he can do, but money is running out. That's when he meets Royce who tells him about his online hotmilitaryguys.com site, and invites Eli to come check them out. There, Eli meets guys just like himself, including Hamish, and once Eli sees the pay scale, he really has no other choice. The next day he moves into the mansion, and begins to work.

Eli starts off very, very slowly, in front of the cameras. In fact, he's not even sure he'll ever be able to do blow jobs, anal, or rimming. He and Hamish become friends, and Hamish answers all the questions Eli has, and some he didn't even know he had. And when Eli decides it's time, he asks Hamish to take his anal virginity, on camera, of course. Their first time together is skyrocketing hot, and even Royce has never seen the like in his ten years of owning an online gay porn site. What happens, though, when the feelings go beyond just friends? And will they get a chance to explore those feelings, or will Hamish's stalker have the last word?

I really enjoyed this book. The author didn't take the easy route, and, instead, allowed the main characters to struggle with their choices, and really agonize over how loving another man could change them. It was a refreshing change of pace because none of it was easy, and it came across as very real. I can easily recommend this as a very good book.

NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Bec.
89 reviews5 followers
October 14, 2014
OK....I was actually laughing out loud at the cafe this morning waiting for my coffee finishing off this book.
I liked it - I mean I read it right through and finished it….but that huge laugh at the end probably wasn’t supposed to happen.

Eli, straight out of the military, has been royally screwed over by his folks, he’s down to his last scrap of money with little prospect of work when he is approached by a guy to come do a bit of gay military porn (as always when I read these scenarios I thank God for the Australian welfare system)….anyway…a porn career awaits
Things begin, escalate and surprisingly he finds himself making a stronger connection with a co-star, Hamish, than he ever expected.

The story unfolds quite well, the pacing is good and the characters are unveiled and connections made. The sex scenes are formulaic but it is reflective of what they’re doing – it’s a porn shoot and you realise how much of a “job’ this is to these guys. It’s the lack of connection that makes the sex scenes appear prescriptive …you know…if you’ve ever watched gay porn….or something….. the portrayal of this was quite good.
Things kind of dipped right into the melodramatic after that
Sorry, not describing it well – realising I should stop stuffing about and get back to work instead of procrastinating on Goodreads

And then super ramped it up at the “drama/conflict 70%” which always seems to occur in these books and that carried it home to the end. It reminded me of a cheesy cop TV show – MacGayver? or something – a little if it wasn’t for those pesky kids kind of thing (hence the laughing at the dramatic climax) “oh it’ll all work out in the end!”…..big HEA

as I said – there was a reason I was laughing

So light hearted porn read (literally) with some action and a big HEA wrapped up in a porny bow
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,480 reviews424 followers
October 31, 2014
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

First and foremost, this is a book about porn. Hot, erotic, well written, and visual, porn. Now that we have that out the way, we can move on. But, it really will just come back to the fact that this book is porn for the mind.

Added in we have our two main men, Eli and Hamish. We get a bit of back story that led both men to the financial strain they found themselves in. Even though Eli was out of the country in the military, he did mention time off where he could have perhaps checked his bank account even once in eight years. Eli at first is pretty freaked out over the concept of being with a man, but Royce takes care of the guys well, and Hamish offers him support and someone to talk to. Once Eli makes up his mind, he progresses pretty quickly to being with men if a salary is attached to it. For a confirmed straight man, it is a fairly quick shift, but it works within the confines of the story.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Sandra.
4,072 reviews13 followers
June 9, 2015
2.5 stars The main reason this didn't quite reach 3-star-status for me was the lack of a connection or chemistry between the guys. I just didn't believe it, and I'm not sure how much of that was the writing and how much was the narration. The narration wasn't bad, but it just felt so casual. There was only one time that real emotion was brought to a characters voice , as opposed to their usual bantery lilt. But again, the dialogue was also casual and flat, so he didn't have a ton to work with.

It started off good. I liked Eli and was interested to see where things would go for him. He and Hamish developed a quick and believable friendship. Unfortunately, we had a few long conversations that turned into a how-to for gay-for-pay porn. I liked that Hamish was taking Eli under his wing, but it was all too rote and clinical. I couldn't really find any of Eli's scenes sexy because, again, they felt very clinical. And Royce's creepy commentary didn't really help.

Banter is good, but some of the back and forth was so laden with sexual innuendo and so constant that the side characters didn't feel real. The other guys weren't developed at all. I couldn't help but compare this to the amazing gay-porn series by Amy Lane, Johnnies. And the character development just didn't compare.

When our guys finally get together, we finally got some hot sex. And I did start to feel more of a connection between them. But all they do is have sex. They had revealed one big story from their past when they had first met, and none since. And we didn't get to bask in their glory long anyway, because Eli has a sudden change of heart.

Eli's difficulty accepting that he has feelings for a man should have been the climactic drama. But their really wasn't any. Hamish initially pretended to be fine with it, but then quickly decided he was angry instead and just constantly snaps at Eli. And Eli keeps 'forgetting' and doing things to make it more difficult like licking mashed potato off Hamish's finger.

Then instead, the climax is a random stalker plot line that played out fairly obviously and in only about 8 pages. But, with the appropriate life-threatening scenario played out, we get our HEA in a somewhat blase manner.

I dunno, apparently all I have are negatives to say. But I did round up from 2.5 stars so it couldn't have been all bad. As far as audiobooks go I'd classify it as 'fine'. As far as love stories go I'd classify it as 'meh'. And as far as books go I'd classify it as 'readable but not memorable'. Not a ringing endorsement, but if you've read and liked other things from this author I'm sure you'll be on board.
Profile Image for Wendy❤Ann.
1,757 reviews50 followers
October 13, 2014
Reviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews - 4 hearts

After reading the author’s intro, I was seriously wishing I could have volunteered to be his little research assistant. Yes, it would have taken a large investment of time, but it’s a hardship I would have gladly embraced. Accuracy is important, right? So, I would have put my heart and soul into scouring the Internet for gay porn and investigating key details, but alas, my dream job didn’t materialize. :( Instead, the author got all the pleasure did all the work and I just had to sit back and appreciate “the sacrifice” he made in order to add authenticity to this story – thank you for that (you lucky man)!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I felt every ounce of Eli’s desperation with no place to call home, no job, and only enough cash to last a couple of months or so due to his sorry excuse for parents. Royce Mackey’s job offer came along when Eli was nearing the end of his rope, but even in as dire a predicament as Eli’s, could someone truly go against every view they had of themselves (morally, sexually, etc.)?

It’s hard to predict what anyone would do if faced with the same scenario, but I believe there were several things that really made the difference for Eli. First, Royce Mackey himself was just likeable. He seemed very honest and showed genuine care and concern for all of his “employees”. Second, the basic rules all the guys followed and the atmosphere they created made for the most positive environment possible. Respect was crucial and no one judged anyone else – everyone had a story and a reason for doing what they were doing. And third, there’s Hamish. Eli couldn’t have asked for a better “mentor” and ultimately a friend. These guys were great together, and when they finally paired up for a shoot, I thought I was going to spontaneously combust from their heat level. If I were a viewer, I would have helped crash their servers as I played that particular video over and over again! I’m getting hot just thinking about it one more time!!

With a combination of military guys, a struggle over defining one’s sexuality, an internal battle over doing whatever it takes to survive, a bit of a mystery, and explosive virgin gay sex, this one tripped quite a few of my happy triggers. At the end, I’d have liked to see a little more drawn out angst around the threats targeted at Eli and Hamish as well as a little more foundation between Eli and Hamish to build a future. Other than that, it was just about perfect and totally my cuppa!
Profile Image for Christi Snow.
Author 70 books743 followers
October 27, 2014
My Review:
Wow...I liked this book, but I didn't expect it to be as deep as it was.

The story begins with Eli as he's trying to adjust to civilian life and find a job after leaving the Marines. He'd saved every penny during the last 6-8 years of service only to discover that his parents stole every cent of it while he was overseas. My heart hurt for Eli as the weeks go by and his self-worth drops just as quickly as his meager bank account. The hard thing about this story was how easy it was to see something like this happening.

He runs into Royce, a middle aged Vet who gives him a ride, at Wal-Mart. When Royce hears Eli's story, he gives him a card and an opportunity. Gay for pay porn. His site specializes in military men...usually straight...acting out gay fantasy videos. Eli says no way, but as things become more and more bleak, he becomes more and more willing to compromise his morals. It's either that or live on the street.

The first guy he meets on the job is Hamish. Hamish has been with the company for a while and he takes Eli under his wing and they quickly become friends. In fact, all these guys are friends. I don't know how realistic it is, but I loved that whole aspect of the video company. Guys view sex as just that...it's a physical act, not emotional for them and that's the way they view what they are doing. It's just sex and they are all doing this to support their families so they support each other without judgement. But I also really loved how Hamish and Eli formed this incredibly strong friendship first. In fact, for Eli there isn't really much of an attraction there at all. He is straight, but this is a great gay-for-you story.

I have to admit that I have a weakness for m/m books that feature porn careers, but this was truly a great one. I loved both these characters...Eli for the difficulties and vulnerabilities he has regardless of his hot, alpha persona and Hamish for being just such an all-around good guy. I could see myself liking both of them completely in real life. They felt real and even with the bizarre circumstances, the story line felt true. I liked it...a LOT! A definite recommend from me especially if you're like me and like military/porn star themes.
Profile Image for Ina.
14 reviews
February 20, 2016
I found this book by coincidence when I visited Between the Covers with Scotty & Jo, SJD Peterson`s blogspot. In the description, it looked interesting and the kind of story I usually enjoy. Bought it on release day, and it didn't disappoint! When I started reading, I couldn't put it down. To keep my attention can be hard, and I get easily bored. But this one did, and it only took me hours to finish it. And because of that, it's worth 5 stars in my book! This is the first book I've read from this author. And I'll come back for more. Conclusion: Bought it, read it, loved it. And I recommend it.
Profile Image for Kukko.
554 reviews20 followers
August 27, 2015
Main Characters: Eli Preston (Cal) and Dawes Turner (Hamish)
Key Themes: Gay for Pay, Gay4U,
Location: San Diego

MM story between 2 straight ex-Marines who are down on their luck and have to turn to sex work to pay the bills.

This story aims to make the case that gay for pay is real…Both characters are straight in gay porn...as we are continually reminded....time and time again...I personally did not feel I needed that much convincing.....so the “gay for you”/ “gay for pay” theme seemed a bit over done.

Unfortunately, the other big theme ...of a deranged stalker... was somewhat weak and seemed a bit like an afterthought....
Profile Image for Devon.
136 reviews2 followers
February 10, 2017
I LOVED this book! I not only liked Eli and Hamish, but all the "supporting" characters as well. Royce was great and the other gay-for-pay guys were hilarious. The sex scenes were great as well, whether it was 2, 3 or more guys.
I really enjoyed the slow burn, friendship/protégé relationship between Eli and Hamish. The stalker aspect was kinda to the point though. The only problem I had with this book is the ending. It was rather...abrupt.
10/20/16 - Still LOVE this book! I wish Scotty Cade had turned this into a series. Would have been a good one and hot!!
Profile Image for Tina.
1,658 reviews1 follower
November 1, 2014

This one was fun, hot and entertaining. I was always wondering how ‘Gay for Pay’ works… how a straight guy can fuck another guy for money. I got my answers. :)

All in all, Acting Out was an fast-paced, hot, light-hearted porn read with some suspense and a nice HEA. Recommended! :)
Profile Image for Bitchie.
1,464 reviews77 followers
May 9, 2015
Some of it felt like a how to manual for gay for pay porn, and I got really frustrated with Eli a few times. I also thought the ending felt rushed, and would have liked one more chapter, rather than having the whole thing resolved in one paragraph.
Profile Image for Kassa.
1,118 reviews108 followers
June 19, 2015
Surprising exactly no one that follows my reviews, I did not particularly like this book. I feel like I should have known better going into it but the author was not familiar and the subject matter actually sounded ok. Plus I find audiobooks more forgiving so I took a chance. Yes, yes bad me. Le sigh. In this case I can’t really tell if the narrator for the audiobook made things better or worse because I did not care for him. Beyond the narrator though, the plot is kind of silly and just not sexy or all that interesting. The author tried to be authentic in a way but also gave in to the easy out of fiction, which just doesn’t work. I think a book really needs to do one or the other and not try to use both. I didn’t hate it to the depths of my soul but I was really really glad it was finally over and had to force myself to finish towards the end.

Acting Out is told from Eli’s POV as an ex-marine recently out of the service. His deadbeat parents have stolen all the money he saved in the military, and trashed his truck, so Eli is stuck in a dead end motel praying every day to find some work. Enter Royce, a middle aged gay man who runs a gay for pay porn site featuring military men. Eli isn’t gay, he’s very clear on this point, but needs the money. Once he realizes almost everyone else doing the porn site is also straight and just in it for the cash, he dives in all the way. Literally. An unexpected connection with another model throws Eli as does the appearance of a stalker.

For the majority of the story, the plot focuses on Eli and his transition to gay for pay porn actor. The first third of the book spends a lot of time and detail describing and showing how desperate Eli becomes; how hard he tries to find a respectable job. When he finally gives in to do the gay porn though, he’s in all the way. He goes from being unsure and agreeing only to jerk off in front of the camera to anal sex, giving and receiving, the very next day. The time frame is so fast and abrupt that it really changes the entire pace of the book, given the pretty slow lead into the action. Now I didn’t mind the lengthy set up from Eli’s POV because he’s an interesting character and this is pretty much the only character development for the entire book. Once the sex starts, my interest almost immediately waned.

Part of this is simply that showing the authenticity of what happens behind the scenes in a porn shoot exposes just how routine and unsexy such things really are. The sex scenes here sounded like stereo instructions to me and were quite boring. The characters keep repeating over and over that there is no connection, no intimacy, that it’s just a warm mouth and tight hole and nothing else matters; sex is just sex. I’m actually fine with emotionless sex if it’s at least hot but the story takes pains to talk about the preparation, the camera, the direction given and it really took any of the sizzle out of the scenes entirely. Instead I just wanted them over with and to get to something more interesting, which considering this part took up almost the rest of the book I was bored a lot.

Furthermore the narrator here did not help, at all. He’s actually a fine narrator and has a pleasing voice but he’s not suited to this material. He sounds very middle aged and his voices for the different characters blended together too much. I kept imagining Eli and Hamish, mid twenties marines, as slightly overweight 40-somethings due to the voice. So I definitely wasn’t feeling any chemistry or spark in the sex scenes. Then the story decided to throw in the utterly ridiculous stalker issue. This was also a mistake since the book goes from attempting authenticity with the porn site to now absurdity with a stalker. The way the issue was handled from the beginning to the end, including 24/7 undercover police presence was completely over the top and so unbelievable it was borderline jump the shark.

I think the premise would have been enough with Eli conflicted about his sexual orientation and eventually working it through with Hamish, especially adding in the addition of whether they could handle having sex with other men on camera once they were together. It could have been a much more interesting, cohesive book without the unnecessary and distractingly bad stalker element. The stalker element took a book I was mildly bored with and turned it into something I could almost not finish. I think the writing is basic and perfunctory without a flair for wording. That’s not bad per se but it doesn’t help save the book when the plot takes a bad turn unfortunately. Overall I wouldn’t recommend it but anyone following my reviews probably already knew that.
Profile Image for CakeForBreakfast.
76 reviews4 followers
September 30, 2020
Not steamy/descriptive enough to be enjoyable as porn, and too much NO HOMO talk to be enjoyed as a mm romance.
Profile Image for Love Bytes Reviews.
2,529 reviews36 followers
October 1, 2014
3.5 star review by Vicki

I’m having a hard time starting this review… I was quite excited to see the description for this book a few months ago and got my request in for it quick! I love stories featuring military men and porn models so combining the two seemed right up my alley. I wish I could say I loved it, but I didn’t. It’s not really Scotty’s fault either. It’s hard not to compare books to other books, and there are some really good, realistic books out there featuring porn stars. I am trying not to hold this one up against a popular series of books, but it’s not easy. This book doesn’t have the realism I needed somehow.

Eli Preston is right out of the Marine Corps and is struggling to adjust to life as a civilian. He’s been screwed over by his parents and is stuck in Virginia, living in a dumpy motel desperately looking for a job. He’s doing everything right, watching the want ads locally for anything, while searching nationally for a job in his career. Interestingly I know right where he is, I have a family member in the Marine Corps stationed at Quantico. I’ve been to the town of Dumfries Virginia, and I’ve been to the grocery store Eli mentions. That was kinda cool! So Eli is desperate, about out of money, doing a bit of shopping in Walmart when he is approached by an older man who chats him up. Turns out the man, Royce, owns a gay for pay website featuring military men. He offers Eli a way to earn some quick cash and a place to stay. Eli does some soul searching and eventually calls Royce.

Hamish Turner has been working with Royce for a couple of years, also a former Marine, earning money to support his younger brother. He is a pretty open and honest person, accepting that sex is sex, and not worrying about labels. If forced to choose, he’d say he is bisexual. He’s seems like a pretty good guy, just living his life. He sees Eli, the new guy, come in with Royce and offers a fair amount of help to get him started in his new career…

This story is from Eli’s perspective, so we get to know him best. Hamish was a little hard for me to get in to, although I liked him. The first half of this book is Eli and his issues, then getting started as a porn model, his first few experiences, and learning how to have anal sex. It was all very clinical, a bit hot I guess, but unemotional feeling. The connection between the two main characters is slow to develop and not very romantic. Eli is too worked up about labels, freaking out over not being gay, pulling Hamish close, then pushing him away. I really didn’t care if they got together or not. I’m not sure I even liked Eli. I’d like to say something really positive about this book, I can say that I appreciated the effort Scotty put in to the research of the porn models, and the realism of the gay for pay world. I get that it’s an odd thing for these men to do, a way to make money, and they can distance themselves from the emotional side of sex. I think what I had a hard time with was the realism of this story. Now I’m not a gay man, I’m not 27, and I’m not in the porn business, but it is possible that they can go from scene to scene, having sex three times a day, for a full week? Including anal sex? That’s seems a bit much to me. Also the amount of money they earn. Damn. I WISH I was doing gay for pay!

I liked parts of the plot, or at least I liked the concept of the plot, straight Marine, desperate and lost, does gay for pay porn, realizes he’s not as straight as he thinks, and finds love. That part was fine. The stalker storyline was interesting at first, then when it comes clear who is doing it, I was all “What? Who? Why? Huh….” It didn’t work for me. Overall I just didn’t see the emotional connection as clearly as I would have liked. I think Hamish was in to it, but Eli bothered me. I’d start to see some “romance”, they went out to dinner, they spent some time together, then Eli would freak out and I’d lose the feelings. So I guess it was an ok book, but not great. I can see the author put effort in to getting his Marine details right (accept for Royce calling him a soldier! Don’t DO that!), and his gay for pay porn details right, I wish I liked it better….

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. Please visit www.lovebytesreviews.com to see this and many more reviews, author interviews, guestposts and giveaways!
Profile Image for Morgan  Skye.
2,784 reviews27 followers
January 5, 2017
Eli was in the military for 8 years, signing up in the first place to get away from an abusive, useless family situation. He saves up all his money while in the service only to find out his a**hole family has spent all his money and wrecked his car. Now he has literally one paycheck, no job prospects, a little training in a career no one is hiring for and a lot of hopelessness.

He runs into Royce at the Walmart and Royce sees someone who could fit right in with the bunch of guys he works with at hotmilitaryguys.com. Royce offers Eli money to “perform” on camera with other straight guys like him. Though he’s skeptical, nervous, embarrassed and doubtful, Eli agrees to check things out, mostly because he’s run out of options.

What he finds is that Royce is totally up front and honest, and he really does work with a bunch of straight, ex-military guys who just need the money. He also meets Hamish, a guy who’s been there for the last 2 years for his own reasons, and is willing to show Eli the ropes.

Essentially, Eli takes to “performing” like a fish to water and he and Hamish form a “bromance” that eases the way for Eli to go from solo scenes to group scenes in the span of 2 weeks.

Though neither Eli nor Hamish will admit to being gay, it becomes clear that the two mean more to one another than just friends and both admit the chemistry between them is undeniably hot.

It’s this chemistry that gets them in trouble.

Someone is watching their growing closeness and is not happy about it. After a video of the pair is aired showing just how steamy they are together, threatening letters and emails arrive, demanding their separation “or else”.

On the relationship front, Eli can’t wrap his mind around being involved with a guy romantically and this drives a wedge between him and Hamish.

The danger of the stalker forces them together and forces them to confront their feelings for one another. Of course we have a very HFN (probably HEA).


Most of this is really hot gay sex as discovered by a truly straight guy and it’s written very well.

The relationship between Eli and Hamish is sweet and fairly realistic and enjoyable to watch unfold.

The bit about the stalker felt a little contrived, something to force the relationship in a speedy fashion. In a way I wish the author had stuck with the main hurdle, overcoming labels and dealing with the idea that two “people” can love whomever they want, despite societal expectations. The groundwork was there and it wouldn’t have taken much more effort to forge through Eli’s barriers. Sure, the stalker did it faster, made him re-think his priorities sooner, but the pay out would have been bigger had he come to the realization on his own. (In my opinion.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, it’s fast paced and super hot. I give it a 4 of 5 hearts and recommend it to anyone who likes the GFY trope or enjoys the gay porn trope. It’s very satisfying!

4 of 5 stars


Randy Fuller is hit or miss for me. His voice fits some of the characters in this story, but he doesn’t alter his inflection much to differentiate different people. He also, vaguely, sounds like he’s upbeat all the time, regardless of the tone of the scene. As a result, he doesn’t really add much to this, as far as emotion goes. His voice is easy enough to listen to, and I didn’t catch a lot of mistakes, so it’s a fair way to experience this if you can’t or don’t want to read it. I’d give this middling marks, it wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible.

3 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ula'ndi Hart.
904 reviews15 followers
January 18, 2016
I’m giving it a four but it’s complicated.

I feel the book was worth maybe even a 4.5. I really enjoyed it that much. When I’m in the mood for something like this I read it for what it is. I have a soft spot for the “gay-for-you” genre. If it’s done right it’s fabulous.

So may I firstly share what I loved about this book?
I LOVED the side characters. Even though we didn’t get to know most of them in detail I feel that from the first time Eli set foot in the house they made it feel welcoming and warm . I loved how they immediately put him at ease with the way they are with each other; they really are like a band of brothers. That was done really well in my opinion. I even loved Royce! I was really wondering if this guy was gonna turn the tables on Eli at some point and turn out to be a creep but no, he was just great! I loved it!

I absolutely loved the friendship between Eli and Hamish. I loved how Hamish was just drawn to Eli and how he took it upon himself to look out for him. Awwww... It was just so great.

What I didn’t like quite as much:
The ending basically.

I had no problem with the stalker aspect. Though I feel it could have been done a bit more realistic, Eli is a ex-marine for crying out loud. So my eyebrows had quite a lift or three on that part.

The ending itself...although it was HEA and I’m happy for that, I can’t for the life of me understand why the author would cut everything short like that. Just BAM. Finished.
You had yourself a GREAT thing in the making here, and you go and finish it like that? Hmmm Not so sure about that no. I would still recommend the book, it’s really done well if you overlook the “Okay the end, I’m out of here” thing at the end there.

I think I would love a second and third book here. Maybe another one about Hamish and Eli just to wrap it up you know? And them I’d love to read about the other guys. I liked them so much.
Profile Image for Ula'ndi Hart.
904 reviews15 followers
January 18, 2016
I’m giving it a four but it’s complicated.

I feel the book was worth maybe even a 4.5. I really enjoyed it that much. When I’m in the mood for something like this I read it for what it is. I have a soft spot for the “gay-for-you” genre. If it’s done right it’s fabulous.

So may I firstly share what I loved about this book?
I LOVED the side characters. Even though we didn’t get to know most of them in detail I feel that from the first time Eli set foot in the house they made it feel welcoming and warm . I loved how they immediately put him at ease with the way they are with each other; they really are like a band of brothers. That was done really well in my opinion. I even loved Royce! I was really wondering if this guy was gonna turn the tables on Eli at some point and turn out to be a creep but no, he was just great! I loved it!

I absolutely loved the friendship between Eli and Hamish. I loved how Hamish was just drawn to Eli and how he took it upon himself to look out for him. Awwww... It was just so great.

What I didn’t like quite as much:
The ending basically.
I had no problem with the stalker aspect. Though I feel it could have been done a bit more realistic, Eli is a ex-marine for crying out loud. So my eyebrows had quite a lift or three on that part.

The ending itself...although it was HEA and I’m happy for that, I can’t for the life of me understand why the author would cut everything short like that. Just BAM. Finished.
You had yourself a GREAT thing in the making here, and you go and finish it like that? Hmmm Not so sure about that no. I would still recommend the book, it’s really done well if you overlook the “Okay the end, I’m out of here” thing at the end there.

I think I would love a second and third book here. Maybe another one about Hamish and Eli just to wrap it up you know? And them I’d love to read about the other guys. I liked them so much.
Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 98 books769 followers
October 28, 2014
We all know that life in the military is very different from the "normal" day-to-day stuff we encounter as civilians. And there are a lot of veterans who, unfortunately, have it a lot worse than Eli in this book. But the ting that got to me was that Eli's parents were the ones who selfishly stole his money while he was on duty, so now he doesn't even have a way to support himself while he decides what to do with the rest of his life. I wanted to strangle them. At least twice.

Eli takes his parents' betrayal a lot better than I would have in his position. He is very practical about it, and focuses on what to do next. That is a very helpful attitude, but even so, he is close to giving up when Royce finds him and offers to help - buy having Eli star in gay porn. Say what? Eli doesn't know what to say, but he is desperate enough to check it out. The world that opens up for him is full of surprises, self-discovery, and a love and camaraderie he didn't expect to ever find outside the unit he served with.

Hamish has been round the block a few times and knows what's what. He decides to show Eli the ropes, not expecting more than maybe friendship to develop. He is almost as surprised as Eli when he finds out there is potentially a lot more between them. And then a mysterious stalker turns up and endangers everything the two of them have begun to share. The tension was really well done and almost made me bite my nails.

If you like stories about military men, if reading about a man trying to find his feet and discovering love instead sounds interesting, and if you're looking for a sweet romance with a lot of hot man-on-man action, then you will probably enjoy this novel.

This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.
Profile Image for Inked Reads.
825 reviews21 followers
June 9, 2015

Eli goes through a lot in this book from leaving the military and finding his parents have spent all the money he thought he had saved to doing something he never thought he would for money to falling in love with someone he never thought he would.

There is a lot of naughty scenes that are quite hot and sexy in the book, but there is also a growing romance, bromance if you will, that is touching as well. Although I had doubts that someone would go down the path he would quite the way he did, I also know that desperate times call for desperate measures.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book and all of the characters in it. I wouldn't mind reading more from this author or any of the men in the house.

As for the narration of the audiobook, I had issues with it from the get go because there was an airy quality to it that was distracting, but once I got farther into the book, I learned to tune it out. Another issue I had with the narration was that the characters all had about the same voice, which made it hard to tell the difference of who was who at times. I did like the over all sound of the narrators voice though, even if I didn't care for the tone used for Royce and Hamish.

I'd give the book itself 5 stars and the narration a 4, which brings the total to 4.5 stars.
I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads.
Profile Image for Aerin.
595 reviews1 follower
September 30, 2014
This was going to be a 5 stars for me...until the last 20 pages.

As much as I loved the book, the last part fell short for me. It was rushed, and that bothered me because up until then, the whole book was very well put together. The ending was unrealistic, and if we had an epilogue or something, maybe I wouldn't have the feeling things are temporarily patched. I want to know they're still together, I wanted Eli to meet Josh, and most of all, I really wanted to know how they handle their relationship after they find a career change.

But the sex was so damn hot between Eli and Hamish, it left me feeling speechless.
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