This was my first experience of a Thai Boys’ Love TV show, and it was so much fun to learn about the bl drama culture! It also added to the uniqueness and freshness of this adorable story about a forbidden romance between a gay actor and his supposedly straight co-star with some of my favorite tropes and characters to root for.
The main characters in this novella are the shy Rama, who’s dream is to become an actor and no longer be pressured into starting working for his dad, and the famous actor Pravat, who’s had a setback in his career after being outed by his previous co-star and accused of having behaved inappropriate. Luckily though, not everyone in the business believes the lies and he’s just been offered a lead role in a new bl drama. When he meets Rama at the audition, the chemistry between them is palpable in a way that makes Pravat wonder if Rama is really as straight as he claims to be.
This was such a sweet and adorable story about friendship and support growing into something more, about dealing with mental health issues and about finding your path. Both Pravat and Rama were such lovable characters and my heart rooted for them both. I especially loved the unselfish and empathic way Pravat always supported Rama. I also loved the reverse fake-dating trope. Even though bl dramas are about M/M romances and the actors were supposed to put on a show even outside the film set for their fans, the industry preferred the actors to be straight and had strict non-relationship policy. When the feelings between Pravat and Rama started to get too real, they therefore had to fake their fake dating… that was such a great twist!
There was also some unexpected depth with Rama struggling with mental health issues such as angst, exhaustion and depression, as well as a childhood trauma due to abuse. I just wish that this childhood trauma could have been hinted at earlier, now it was included into the story in an almost abrupt way. I’m also a bit ambivalent to the random and somewhat sudden use of extra POVs for just a chapter or two. While it added some great aspects, and helped us understand what Rama was going through, it also interfered in the pace and the closeness that I felt with Rama and Pravat.
But all in all this was an adorable, heartwarming and wonderful M/M romance in a refreshing and unique setting, and I can’t wait to continue reading about Rama’s and Pravat’s story in the sequel!
Thank you to Prolific Works for the free review copy! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
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