Title: Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1)
Author: Shira Anthony
Length: 69,784 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty**
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between**
Keywords/Tags: Series, Shifters (Merfolk), Sea/Rivers/Sail, Under the Sea, Slaves/Prisoner, Indentured (Sexual) Slavery, m/m/m scenes, Multiple/Other Partners, Spies, Civil War, Resistance, Dreams, Superpowers, Reincarnation, Sex in Shifted Form (underwater mermen sex, which is much more interesting than underwater basket weaving)
Rating: Pretty Good
Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.
Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.
Believe it or not (and I can’t), this is the first book I’ve read by Shira Anthony. I have several and there are many of her books that I’ve really wanted to read, but somehow never found the time to. So when I saw this on the Dreamspinner Coming Soon page I made sure that I made room for it in my schedule. It wouldn’t only be a chance to try out this author, but also a book about mermen! Just like unicorns, I’m really an 8 year old little girl who loves the cute and cuddly fantastical creatures. Except, you know, when they have gay sex and aren’t as cuddly anymore, except maybe in a post-coital fashion.
I’m glad that I made room for this book, it was quite fun to read. The whole book takes place over a somewhat short amount of time — about 8 weeks — but the book starts with Taren at a young age and the first few chapters traverse his teenaged years as he’s sold and stolen as a slave and passed through several masters’ hands. The journey that Taren takes in this first book of the series is pretty big. He learns quite a bit about his life and goes through many transitions of change before the end.
Taren doesn’t know anything about his parents, save that his master told him they gave him away. He longs for the open sea and though he’s just a rigger for his master’s shipyard, he hopes that one day he’ll be able to travel the seas and be a proper sailor. When he’s sold to pay off his master’s debts, Taren becomes a slave to a man who runs an inn. He’s not sure how old he is, though he thinks around 18 or 19. He’s been mostly sheltered in his life, so when a handsome captain introduces him to his sexuality in a room full of watching sailors at the inn, he finds himself excited rather than scared and violated. He’s submissive and clings to the safety he feels in a man like the captain, whom he later knows as Rider, because of the man’s kind, yet firm dominance.
Stolen by the sailors of the ship that night, he wakes to find himself the captain’s prisoner and introduced to indentured slavery of the sexual kind. But, for a young man like Taren who has always been a slave, sexual slavery aboard a ship on the open ocean is a kind of freedom that he’s never known. Taren revels in it, especially when he comes to be a loving presence in Rider and his lover’s bed and allowed to put his knowledge of sailing to use aboard the ship.
But there is so much that Taren doesn’t know or understand — why he has such vivid dreams and the extra-sensory feelings that he has in reading the water and weather at sea. When he’s knocked unconscious and lost at sea, he washes up to their rival vessel, captained by Ian Dunaidh. Ian is enamored of Taren immediately and their connection, once he wakes, pushes and pulls between them as they sail to Ian’s home island where a shadowy presence called The Council awaits to judge Taren as a spy in their war against a resistance group of their own people who live on the mainland. Living through the hell of their torture, the betrayal between Taren and Ian and the possibility that he might never be free takes everything in him. All he knows to get him through is that he is destined for a higher purpose than this, if it is true that any higher power is guiding them.
I went pretty far in summarizing the story for you, but that is because there is such a long and twisting plot in this story. Taren goes through so many changes, homes, and relationships with other people for only 70k words. It makes me curious how many books this author has planned for this series because I didn’t feel as if I started to understand the larger picture until the very end of the book. I have no doubt that that was intended for the reader, that we should pull the pieces together at the very end, but it also meant that I had to wait through the whole book to really understand what was happening. Which, ultimately, meant that I really had to enjoy the story for the present, for what was happening to Taren in the moment without understanding where the story was headed to really enjoy the book. Sometimes I felt as if I was right there with him and Ian and I was really sucked into the present of the story. But, sometimes I wasn’t and I felt as if the story lulled, perhaps because the relationship between Taren and Ian is so freaking complicated. For much of the book they’re separated, though not for any very long pieces of time. It takes the whole book for them to really reach the same page, relationship-wise, because they each needed this book to progress themselves. Taren is searching for his destiny, a shadowy purpose that we and he knows is there, somewhere, for him to understand one day, and for him to understand his race and his history. Ian is battling his own demons — regret and guilt — that stand in the way of his happiness.
So once again I say that while I really enjoyed this book, it’s as a first book of a series. I still feel as if I don’t know much about where this series is headed. In a way, I like that because it means that this author is doing a fine job of withholding information until the correct (and perhaps most artful) time to release it. On the other hand, I fear not knowing enough to keep me interested in the big picture, and that it makes my reading experience different. So, I’m excited to read the next book and hoping that the ending of this one — seeing the formation of a more solid relationship between Taren and Ian — will carry forward through the rest of the series.
**There is a pretty big imbalance in the heat level and sex frequency in this book, as far as trying to rate it goes. The first several chapters are hot and heavy, with m/m/m scenes (spitroasting, exhibitionism) that really raise the heat, and frequent sex in those chapters. The rest of the novel has little to almost no sex at all and what intimacy there is is very romantic and tame (the underwater mermen sex).
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, 41-75k, Authors A-C, Fantasy, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Captive/Slave, Civil Wars, Dreams, Dreamspinner Press, Indentured Slavery, m/m/m scenes, Merfolk, Multiple/Other Partners, Prisoner, Reincarnation, Resistance, Sea/Sail/Rivers, Series, Shifter Sex, Shifters, Shira Anthony, spies, Superpowers, Under the Sea
Title: The Erotic Adventures of the Masked Raider – Part One
Author: Ewan Creed
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 31k words
Genre: m/m Comedy, Paranormal Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Charlie Harding Presents, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, Superheroes, Humor, Villains, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, a bit of BDSM, Kink, Voyeurism, Public Sex, Dirty/Raunch, Multiple Partners
Rating: Pretty Good
The Masked Raider is strong, earnest, virile, and determined to combat corruption and wrong-doing in the peaceful community of Harpersville. The lycra-clad crusader has been fighting crime and foiling diabolical plans for years. However, the underworld forces in the area, led by nefarious mastermind Tumescent Edison, have had enough of his do-gooding.
Determined to undermine the strapping superhero, the villain’s plot to obtain a sample of the Masked Raider’s semen to clone the super stud, program the replicants for evil, and have the superhero do battle with himself. Edison and his henchmen, Lumberjacker and Snake Charmer, will use every ploy and fetish at their disposal to get the super juice.
Will they succeed in seducing a load out of the unsuspecting crime fighter? Has the Masked Raider finally met his match? Read the first erection-packed installment of the kinky new series The Erotic Adventures of the Masked Raider and find out.
I have been really excited to read this novella ever since I saw it last month at Wilde City Press. I mean, erotica, not just a short story but an actual novella. That’s great itself, because it means we’re going to get at least an ongoing plot. Then… superheroes! Superhero sex!
Ewan Creed visited The Armchair Reader on Monday and had a really interesting comment about this book. He said, “that whole genre is oftentimes so homoerotic – the sexually charged cockfighting that always seems to be going on with superheroes and their enemies and the closeness superheroes often have with their sidekicks and the secret identities and bondage and domination and all the other kinky stuff is all but inherent in the genre.. That’s what made me want to read the book. The cover drew me to first look at it, because it really delivered this message. Plus, knowing it was erotica helped. I knew that it was going to be somewhat absurd, having a bit of fun and poking the whole comic idea a bit. That sounded really appealing.
And I ended up really enjoying it. The sex in the story is really heavy. There’s hardly a scene where they aren’t having sex of some kind, though the sexless scenes are mostly early in the book. I admit that so much sex for so long was at times taxing, but I actually felt like Ewan delivered the message he talked about while making the book really funny and really sexy. So I enjoyed it quite a bit.
The story is based on the idea that the perfect superhero is totally constricted. He must be perfect and meet everyone’s expectations. In a way, the public owns him. So having his own identity is hard for him. The superhero in this story is The Masked Raider, or “Raider”. He gets his power through sex and in living that constricted life the only way he’s found to expand his power (or “recharge his batteries” heh) is through denying himself orgasm. And because of that, he’s developed an inhuman power of restraint. The public putting Raider on a pedestal for so long has him believing it himself. He is better than everyone else.
That makes the villains in this story more human and more likable. We get to know them quite well and their diabolical plans, while they might have a more selfish endgame, are all about knocking Raider off that pedestal and showing him that sex is good and that he wants it just as much as everyone else. And if they can get his sperm and make him a bottom who begs for it, then it’s all the better. And to do this, Tumescent Edison has the greatest idea! He’ll have his other villain friend, Snake Charmer, who is the sexiest and most charming villain ever, to seduce Raider’s boyfriend to find out all about how to get to Raider.
I’m really looking forward to the sequel to this story. I liked that the story was kindof fun but still was really hot. And I’m actually really interested in seeing where the plot will go. I definitely recommend this one. If you’ve read and liked other longer erotica books, like The Perils of Praline by Marshall Thornton, for example, then you might like this. The subject is entirely different, but the over the top sexual humor and longer erotica format makes them similar in ways, and the best way for me to describe to you if you might like this book. I definitely did 🙂
Posted by Cole in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors A-C, Comedy/Comedians, Erotica, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Paranormal, Sex Freq 5 - Over and Over Again! Tags: a bit of BDSM, Charlie Harding Presents, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Ewan Creed, Funny Guys, Kink, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, Masked Raider, Multiple/Other Partners, Public Sex, Superheroes, Villain, Voyeurism, Wilde City Press, Wilde City Press Erotica Week
Title: Trucker Fucker
Author: Barry Lowe
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Charlie Harding Presents, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, Voyeurism, Public Sex, Anonymous Sex, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Truckers, Artist (Tag), Cops, Blackmail, Straight Men/Bi-Curious, Twinks, Gangbang, Multiple Partners, May/December, Bears, Bikers, Daddies, Obese, Cum Slut
Rating: So So
Jez Hereford is the biggest bull mother trucker that hauls ass up and down the east coast until the cops book him for drug possession—he keeps to schedule with the help of speed. The bleeding liberal judge gives him a choice: his license for six months or play mentor to a street feral who confesses a passion for trucks. But Jez is about to learn it’s not trucks the feral craves, but what the big rig drivers have between their legs.
Atom’s predilection for what big burly men have between their legs threatens Jez’s peace of mind until Atom uses his sexual prowess on highway cops. But what will he do when he’s threatened by a mob of horny bikers?
I have to admit, I have a bit of an addiction to Barry Lowe erotica stories. I suppose… it’s my secret guilty pleasure. Barry Lowe writes the dirtiest, the raunchiest, the sometimes nastiest erotica and very often his stories seem to have a cheating kink. This one doesn’t, thankfully, because I swear I’m masochistic about those. I want to read them even though they tend to bother me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me!
But I recently noticed that the place Barry Lowe used to publish, loveyoudivine alterotica, has seemed to shut it’s doors. Normally I hear about these kinds of things (love the gossip!) but I’ve been out of the loop lately. So I have no idea why they’ve disappeared, but all of Barry’s stories with them (which have to be over 100) have disappeared as well, even from Amazon (except in print format, if you really want them). So I was really happy to see that Barry was now publishing with Wilde City Press. And I knew that I had to read this new short story, especially with a name like Trucker Fucker. That promises to be dirty!
Read the blurb. This author and this story is less about if you want to read what it’s about and more about if you like the style of writing or not. So, read the blurb. It’s pretty obvious that the story is full of sex and raunchiness and that the writing displays this, although thankfully Barry tends to keep the numerous euphemisms to a bare minimum (no 100 slightly different repeats of fuck rod). Nevertheless, there is a bare-bones plot here. Jez is a trucker that is caught with speed (something all the truckers do to stay awake on long hauls) and the judge offers him a deal instead of jail time — for six months, Jez has to chaperone and mentor a young guy named Atom who got caught tagging his art all over town and whom the judge says showed an interest in trucking. To his mistake, Atom actually replied to his question of what he was interested in, Truckerrs. Jez finds that out when not an hour into their first drive Atom is trying to suck his cock. He makes no mistake about it and loves being called a slut. But no matter how many times he sneaks away and comes back from other trucks at their stops smelling of cum and looked pleasantly mussed, Jez holds out. He’s straight, he reminds himself.
it isn’t until they spend more time together that Jez starts to care about Atom, looking out for him when he’s being hounded by groups of men looking for action. And no matter how much he tries, no matter how many guys are chasing Atom down like sex zombies, no matter how underhanded they are in trying to get Atom to themselves, Jez can’t help but be aroused watching Atom love it all and want some of Atom himself.
If you made it through that, then you might actually like this story! Or you’re repulsed 😉 Either way, this story is FULL of sex, one on one, blowjobs, gangbangs, spit-roasting, blackmail by cops for a gangbang in the station… you’ll be entertained, for sure.
This is the reason that I like reading Barry’s stories. I go into them almost laughing at how ridiculous Barry has made this story and then I start to get pulled into it and by the time I’m finished I actually found it pretty hot. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
But, this is for pretty hardcore erotica readers! I had to add some pretty interesting tags for this one, LOL.
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, Authors J-L, Contemporary, Erotica, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Sex Freq 5 - Over and Over Again!, up to 15k Tags: Anonymous Sex, Artists, Barry Lowe, Bears, Bi-curious, Bikers, Blackmail, Charlie Harding Presents, Cops, Cum Slut, Daddies, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Gangbang, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, May/December, Multiple/Other Partners, Public Sex, Short Story, Straight Men, Trucker Fucker, Truckers, Twinks, Voyeurism, Wilde City Press, Wilde City Press Erotica Week
Title: The Leather Bar Mural
Author: Ewan Creed
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Charlie Harding Presents, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, a bit of BDSM, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, Voyeurism, Public Sex, Kink, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, 1970s, Recent Historical, Magical Realism, Paranormal Twist, Anonymous Sex, Erotic Art, Cops, Sailors, Multiple Partners
Rating: So So
In 1975 both gay and sexual liberation were in full swing. Alex loved the sexually charged atmosphere of the leather bar where decadence was in full swing. Anything might happen there and something usually did. One night something happened which he hadn’t quite bargained for and Alex was transported beyond the walls of the bar and into a dark carnal wonderland of sexual abandon. In this shadowed world the men of his fantasies prowled the shifting maze of alleyways seeking sexual gratification in whatever form it appeared. Follow Alex on his journey into the mural and into a world of perpetual desire and fulfillment, a world that can trap a man for all eternity as surely as a spider’s web can trap its prey.
Alex feels the sexual liberation in the air and he’s always been happy with casual hookups. Why conform to heterosexual sexual dynamics like monogamy when he’s so happy having sex with who he pleases and then moving on? That is, until he meets Bill. They have a wonderful time together and to Alex’s surprise, outside of bed as well as in it. Then, after two weeks, Alex finds himself back in the same place, single and alone, but with his perspective completely changed about relationships.
So in a move to cheer himself up and step back into his old life of sexual debauchery and freedom, he heads to his favorite leather bar. While there, he considers the mural in the bar in a way he hasn’t before. The sexy sailor, leatherman and farm boy seem almost real…
This rather surreal story didn’t give me any clues as to it’s final destination. In retrospect, the first part of the story is a setup for what will come later, but as I read it I assumed that this would be a regular gay romp, albeit full of leather, darkroom orgies and well-maintained mustaches. That’s what it seemed like at first, until Alex starts to talk about Bill and work through his own issues with sexual liberation and his — perhaps shamefully buried — desire for companionship and monogamy. The failure of that ideal, when it seemed so impossible in the first place, makes Alex want to feel utterly fulfilled with casual sex, especially in the face of Bill’s post-Alex activities. It seemed to me anyway, that in such a moment of seeming isolation among the crowd, Alex finds his own fantasy in the mural. And his investigation of that shows him pleasure in what he could never feel in the real world.
Okay, seriously though, all analysis aside, this is a pretty hot story as long as you’re into some real raunch and dirty sex and multiple, multiple partners. This is pure erotica, which makes the setting all the more appropriate because besides the magical realism/fantasy aspect of the story, the best place for pure, dirty, animalistic, sex is this time period and setting (though it’s not ever specifically mentioned, the feeling of the story made me imagine the 70s Chelsea Piers in NYC, or somewhere else known for large congregations of public gay sex). Also, though he has a few encounters himself, I found it interesting that Alex has a pretty large voyeuristic streak. Most of the sex in the story doesn’t involve him, except as an active observer.
I like to read an erotica story like this every now and again. Quite a lot of the gay erotica you’ll find online seems to feel that the raunchier the better, but I appreciated that while this story didn’t skimp on the dirty sex it did provide an interesting plot. But yes, the plot does follow the sex, not the other way around 😉
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, Authors A-C, Erotica, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Sex Freq 5 - Over and Over Again!, up to 15k Tags: 1970s, a bit of BDSM, Anonymous Sex, Charlie Harding Presents, Cops, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Erotic Art, Ewan Creed, Kink, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, magical realism, Multiple/Other Partners, Paranormal Twist, Public Sex, Recent Historical, Sailors, Short Story, Voyeurism, Wilde City Press
Title: Keeping Sweets
Author: Cate Ashwood
Length: 66,013 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: m/m/m scenes, Sex Industry, Porn Stars, First Times, At the Beach, Multiple Partners, the “I Know what’s Best for You” syndrome
Rating: So So
**Slight Spoilers included**
Days away from high school graduation, with hardly a penny to his name, Evan Lowry needs to earn money for college. When he comes across an ad for modeling, he thinks his luck has changed—until he learns he’s interviewing for an adult film and will be expected to have sex. On camera. With other men.
For gay porn star Brandon Court, the shine has worn off of regular shoots. He and his producer, Les, decide to try something new: a reality-show porno set at a beach house. When he meets wide-eyed and naïve Evan for the first time, Brandon isn’t sure if he wants the kid to get lost or get naked. Naked wins.
On set, Brandon takes Evan under his wing, and over the next month, they are thrown together in every intimate way conceivable—except emotionally. Both Brandon and Evan are terrified of trying for anything deeper, and insecurities and doubts wear on their hopes, but the chemistry between them won’t let them slow things down.
I can’t help myself — whenever there is a new book released about porn stars, I can’t resist! I have to read it. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with these characters, it certainly doesn’t come from a real-life porn star obsession. I don’t need to analyze it, however, to know that it’s a hot button trope for me. So, naturally, I was excited to read this book, though this author is new to me.
Told in third person close point of view and alternating between the two main characters, Evan and “Bran” (Brandon), Keeping Sweets takes a somewhat more realistic and less idolized view of porn behind the scenes. Bran is a gay porn veteran at 28, having gotten into the business by an ex boyfriend and a shady producer as a minor, and has grown jaded with the business. Though he has money to show for his work, sex for pay has taken over his life, both personally and emotionally. Even more than that, he’s coming upon a turning point. At 28, he’s almost ready to retire (if he wants) and find some other avenue to pursue in his life, but leaving what is comfortable is hard, especially when he doesn’t really have anything to fall back on. The first step in separating himself from on screen sex, however, is stepping back from the camera. The project he’s putting together with Les, his mentor, father-figure and partner in business, will bring together seven porn actors for a month long stay on the Oregon coast, with Bran as first-time director.
It is in casting that Bran and Evan first meet one another. Evan is newly 18 and being shoved out into the world. Evan’s mother died several years ago and he’s lucky that his step-father even let him stay until he came of age. But with high school graduation and his passage into adulthood, he has no more reasons to stay and bear the emotional abuse he’s had to grow up with. Such a difficult childhood has made Evan both mature for his age and emotionally fragile. But knowing that he wouldn’t have a place after graduation lit a fire under him, so that by the time he’s kicked out of his childhood home, he’s got a scholarship and a basic plan for the next few years. The major problem is not knowing where he’ll go or survive the summer before college starts, and jobs are thin on the ground. It is with reluctance that Evan attends at audition looking for “adult models”. It doesn’t matter that Evan doesn’t have any sexual experience — not even has he been kissed — he’ll be starving and living on the streets if he doesn’t get some kind of job, something he’s close to already.
There’s no choice. Evan will have to see if he can actually do gay porn. But Bran, recognizing a true innocent in a beautiful body and with keen intelligence, wants to look out for him. Bran knows, more than anyone else at the house on the beach, how this job can suck the innocence away from someone.
Ultimately, this was only a So So read for me. Part of that comes down to the plot, which offered few surprises and relied very heavily on the “I know what’s best for you better than you do” plot device for romantic tension. Readers who have a hard time with characters who don’t like to talk to each other and continually miscommunicate will be frustrated. Their behavior isn’t arbitrary, however. It makes sense for the characters to act the way they do, annoying though it is. The rest of my reaction to the book is personal taste. The story itself is isolated and insular, with the whole group shut up in a house for the purpose of making the porn film. I was originally excited about the other guys in the film and the house, who are introduced with distinct personalities and particular quirks. Too soon though, they became relegated to background noise and the scenes reverted to only showing our two main characters.
If I’m right in thinking that this is a debut novel for this author, then there is definitely some praise to be awarded. Though I felt as if character growth and representation as overbalanced toward the main guys, those two were rather fully fleshed and well written (though Bran admittedly less so). Whether you personally like either one of them is up to you, of course, and I wavered at times in how I felt about Evan in particular. I expected the sex in the book to take center stage, as a porn flick novel, which was ultimately true to an extent. In regards to Evan, who has his very first sexual experience in front of a camera, everything is definitely center stage, and very steamy. There was less sex, though, than I expected. And there were certain scenes, some of which were the only times we ever really saw any of the other guys in the house, in which we were shown a scene being filmed that didn’t include either Evan or Bran (except as directing) that seemed to add little to the story, and I wondered why exactly those were needed. Personally, I would have preferred to see Evan branch out sexually a bit more, though he didn’t. That is actually a pretty important part of the story and a definite decision by the author, but it didn’t really make sense to me. I couldn’t really understand why Evan would feel the way he did, even as an inexperienced person. I suppose I just wanted to understand him and his decisions better.
In all, I’m intrigued by this author. While this wasn’t a favorite book of mine, it was still an enjoyable read. I’m hoping that this author will continue to write and publish. And if she wants to write a sequel, I would be more than happy to read about Colt, the southern heartthrob and protector of Evan “the innocent” 🙂 He’s the secondary character we get to know best, which may be why he came across as the most interesting of the lot. I’d love to see him have his happily ever after.
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, 41-75k, Authors A-C, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: at the Beach, Cate Ashwood, Dreamspinner Press, First Times, m/m/m scenes, Multiple/Other Partners, Porn Stars, Sex Industry, the "I Know What's Best For You" syndrome
Title: How About a Boyfriend?
Author: TT Kove
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 11,600 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Kiss Me at Midnight collection, m/m/m scene, GFY, Friends to Lovers, Unrequited Love, First Times, HEA
Rating: So So
Unceremoniously dumped when he finds his girlfriend making out with another man, Roar decides he’s done with women, much to the amusement of his best friend, who has never preferred them. But when his venting turns into a conversation Roar never expected to have, he finds himself faced with a question he never thought to be asked.
Your feelings about this story will hinge upon how you feel about the I Know What’s Best For You plot device, also known as I’ll Be Miserable so You Can Be Happy Without Your Choice in the Matter, or I Don’t Want to Take a Chance and Ruin Our Friendship. That pretty much sums up this story where Henning, a gay man in love with his straight best friend Roar, can’t believe what he’s hearing from his friend as they talk over breakfast. Roar has just had his heart crushed in by another woman, and is thinking about giving them up all together. But, not as Henning thinks, for celibacy, but maybe to try out being with a man instead. It smacks of a ruse immediately, but Henning doesn’t seem to catch on, no doubt under the impression that despite his feelings of secret love for his best friend, Roar could never want him in the same way. He’s further surprised then, when Roar admits that if he is going to do this, have sex with a man and see what he thinks, he wants it to be someone he’s comfortable with — of course, Henning.
Overall, I doubt this story will be a big winner with many readers, for a few reasons. First, the GFY angle is a bit of a stretch, like a gay adolescent fantasy. It isn’t the story itself, but the way it’s approached from the beginning with the sudden revelation. Of course, it’s incredibly sexy. Much of this story is centered around their sex scene and another m/m/m scene later where Roar really works through his feelings about Henning. I think that a lot of readers also have a bit of a problem (or, if not a problem it makes them roll their eyes a bit) when a character decides to not talk and ignore an issue for the good of another character, not allowing them to make their own choices. And while I can handle that in some instances (it isn’t a problem for me outright), the fact that this is such a short story does mean that we don’t get to know the characters or their situation well enough to pull off a good reason why Henning shouldn’t confess his feelings for his best friend. It leaves the story in the midst of friendship where they’re not talking about real issues or being honest, and that miscommunication takes up the whole story.
So, my positive feelings about this story really were only how sexy it was. Other than that, I didn’t know the characters well enough to get past the whole “setup” feel of the story. Also, I just can’t believe their names. Roar? Henning? Maybe… I don’t know. This might not be the place to state how annoying I find the names recently in m/m, but I just can’t stand that we’re having such crazy names now. These were a little too out there for me. It made me wonder if this was set in a fantasy world or something!
So, I have to give this story a So So. The reason that it didn’t get a Not Feeling It rating, which it almost did, was that while I was reading the story, I did enjoy it. It just made me roll my eyes a bit and made me frustrated trying to dig deeper into it for a review when I felt like what is there is really just what is on the surface.
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, Authors J-L, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often, up to 15k Tags: First Times, Friends to Lovers, GFY/OFY, HEA, Kiss Me at Midnight collection, Less Than Three Press, m/m/m scenes, Short Story, TT Kove, Unrequited Love