Book Review by Alison Jack


I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I began reading PAULYANNA – INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY, although the title does offer a huge clue as to what the book’s about. The author, Paul Douglas Lovell, delivers exactly what the title promises: a down to earth, candid, and often humorous account of his years working the streets of London and LA. He neither sensationalises nor condemns his former profession; instead, he tells his tale with the skill of a natural storyteller, and the result is an absorbing and highly entertaining read.

The author himself is quick to point out that PAULYANNA – INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY is not a work of erotica. It is a no holds barred account of his experiences, both good and bad, of different gay scenes, working life, highs and lows, friends and foes. Paul has faced difficult times throughout his life, but I never found PAULYANNA to be a depressing read. Far from it; Paul’s wry observations and dry wit often had me laughing out loud. The name ‘Paulyanna’ (clearly derived from ‘Pollyanna’) hints at Paul’s nature. I didn’t know until reading PAULYANNA – INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY that ‘Pollyanna’ is officially a word – it’s in the Oxford English Dictionary – meaning ‘an excessively cheerful and optimistic person’, which says it all. Paul’s exuberant, almost childlike, zest for life is expressed beautifully in his book.

Paul Douglas Lovell has the ability to describe people and situations so vividly it’s possible to believe we, as the readers, are experiencing them with him. He tells of some scary and occasionally dangerous situations, and there are times that get him down, but his natural optimism always sees him through adversity, and the overall feel of PAULYANNA – INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY is upbeat and positive. His relationships with his family, husbands, friends, and customers are all shared with refreshing honesty, as are a few sharp lessons he learns along the way. Some people are constants in Paul’s life, others transient, and as his story progresses he increasingly wishes for that one special person to provide him with a happy ending. Does his dream come true?

I suggest you read PAULYANNA – INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY and find out! I wasn’t disappointed, and I’m sure you won’t be either. This book is an excellent read: a fascinating story told well, and I hope it gets the accolades – and the sales – it so richly deserves.

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