Title: Sexual Healing
Author: Shawn Bailey
Publisher: Phaze Publishing
Characters: Ezra Benedict, Maya Chiyo
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Interracial Romance
Twenty-seven-year old Ezra Benedict has given up on finding true romance. He is a romantic at heart and has always believed in the sanctity of being in a monogamous relationship. But unfortunately the men in his past have been anything but faithful. He jumps at a chance to relocate to Japan to fulfill his dream of being a travel photographer. During a photo-shoot before he leaves he sees the most gorgeous young Japanese woman he ever laid eyes on, who flirts with him shamelessly while she poses. Ezra’s body responds and becomes aroused.
He can’t figure it out because one, he’s been impotent for a year, and two, he’s gay. Following his doctor’s advice Ezra visits a club and tries to flirt with women to see if he can obtain an erection again, but nothing happens. Ezra leaves for Japan and goes in search of the model Maya Chiyo since he’s convinced that only she can help cure him.
Nineteen-year-old old Maya Chiyo has only known one American in his life and is curious when he sees photographer Ezra Benedict. He meets the man while he’s in full geisha makeup and costume during a photo-shoot and flirts with him for fun. Little did he know that Ezra took him serious until he sees the man waiting for him outside the college campus where Maya is a student.
Ezra demands that Maya take responsibility and date him once he learns that Maya is actually a guy. Maya thinks Ezra is crazy, but is soon drawn to the older guy with the sad expression and beautiful light brown eyes.
Will Maya ignore what his heart is telling him or just do what is expected of him?
It’s no secret that I love a May/December romance, so when I saw this one was up to read and review, I had to read it. Although, I had a few niggles with this read, I still liked it and thought the two heroes were interesting men.
The blurb does an excellent job at describing the story. Mending a broken heart, Ezra, is a popular photographer, who immediately becomes enchanted by a female fashion model, Maya. This confuses him because he identifies himself as gay and he doesn’t understand why he’s attracted to her. Soon, he discovers that Maya isn’t a beautiful female, but a stunning male model, whose androgynous look allows him to easily pass as either sex.
Soon, Ezra finds himself transferred to Japan, and he becomes more acquainted with Maya, and soon learns that there is definitely more to Maya than meets the eye. As the two men begin to form a friendship that develops into more, Ezra is faced with the choice of taking a chance at having something very special with Maya or keeping his heart guarded at becoming hurt again.
Ezra was a likeable man. He’s ambitious and his talent for capturing unique and beautiful pictures has given him a good reputation. Although Ezra’s career is on an all time high, he’s been nursing a past hurt that has affected his ability to gain an erection. But once he meets, Maya, he’s not only physically attracted to him, he’s also intrigued with the younger man as well. Maya is very family oriented and his determination to make something more out of his life is really attractive to Ezra. But Ezra is worried that the younger man will hurt him, and he knows that Maya still has a lot of life to live.
Maya knows that even though he’s a popular model, it’s not something he can rely on forever. Determined to be a doctor, he goes to college, studies hard and still tries to make time to be with his family and friends. As soon as he meets Ezra, Maya is immediately attracted to him. Ezra is handsome, successful and an easy person for him to become friends with. As their relationship develops, Maya finds himself falling hard for Ezra, but when an old flame reappears in his life, he is soon faced with a decision that will change the rest of his life.
Sexual Healing was a good read. The characters definitely had some strong chemistry between them. I also enjoyed watching Ezra learn more about the Japanese culture as well as truly make an effort to be with Maya. The reason why this is not a higher rating for me is because there were a few things that were quickly washed over as Ezra and Maya’s relationship developed. I didn’t like how Maya dropped everything (including a heated moment with Ezra) to meet up with his ex-boyfriend. This caused me to believe that he really DID have unresolved feelings for his ex and that he was in denial of them.
I thought Ezra was a very forgiving man and at times Maya was a little immature. *in Maya’s defense he IS only 19* In the end, this was an interesting, easy read that I enjoyed. I honestly do not know if this couple will be together a few years from now, but the ending was great and I still have high hopes for them.
Reviewed By: Gabbi