“Hanging Loose” by Lou Harper


When you fall in love, it can’t all just be hanging loose…

After graduating from art school Nate left the Midwest for sunny Southern California, not quite sure what he hoped to find. It was almost certainly not falling in love with another man. His whole world and assumptions about himself begin to slowly turn upside down on one hot summer day. Seeking respite from the heat and his loneliness at Venice Beach he has a chance encounter with a handsome blond surfer.

Jez is friendly, easygoing, and just a little bit mysterious. Openly gay, Jez offers Nate a place to stay, and the two men become fast friends. Nate makes new friends, adjusts to his new life, but his unbidden attraction to Jez keeps growing. In their moments of closeness Nate realizes that he wants Jez more than just a friend, but it might be too late. To make Jez his, Nate has to face not only his own fears and insecurities, but his mysterious mate has secrets of his own.

Warning: Al fresco man-love, a scene-stealing old coot, and a relentless California sun.



I was really enjoying this sweet ‘n slow tale about a mid-western boy falling for a sun-kissed Cali surfer. Until it just…ended.
I flipped back and forth and even gave my kindle a harsh shake.
Where is the ending? It was just over??
I was grumpy and was thinking maybe 3 stars.
Then I slept on it and realized I DID really like it despite the abrupt conclusion.

Nate graduated from college and doesn’t know what he wants to do, but knows for sure he won’t find it in Indiana. He bravely packs up and heads west to California. He has lived his entire life according to other’s expectations and he’s over it. He’s ready to start fresh and is hopeful California has what he is searching for.

When a sexy stranger rescues him from a cold night of sleeping in the sand, he feels a secluded part of himself awaken. He’s shy, awkward and most comfortable with his sketch pad in his hands. Jez is just the opposite but they easily fall into a friendship and fit together seamlessly. Maybe even more than Nate initially envisioned. His eyes and heart begin to open but will he lose his chance before it’s too late?


The pace is relaxed but not boring. The characters are charming but not perfect. The story is predictable but surprising. It contained small bits of drama to keep the flow steady and has a lovely array of secondary characters. Overall, it was great.


I adored the authenticity of the sexual discovery. It seems to me we have had a surge of sexual revelations in the newer books being released lately. With many  of the stories coming across as forced sexual identifying inclusions, I found this earlier released story refreshing. Two guys become friends, Jez is openly gay and Nate is openly straight. Nate finds himself slipping free from his rigid boundaries set by his family, society and himself. When his guard is down (which is code for buzzed) he can’t hide his attraction to Jez. Jez is patient and allows Nate the time he needs to break through his walls. It was sweet, tender and sexy.

bewareHasty exit. I’m still frustrated that it didn’t have a solid ending. The pace was gradual and calm until the final chapter. It wasn’t rushed it was simply over!


Anyone looking for an angst free yet alluring short story about a young man setting his concealed sexuality free while falling in love.


TITLE: Hanging Loose
AUTHOR: Lou Harper
PUBLISHER: Harper Books
LENGTH: 152 pages
RE-RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2013
BUY LINKS: Amazon, AmazonUK, B&N

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