You know what I love about this book?
The hype! No really, I love it.
I’m thrilled that an m/m book is attracting so much attention and enticing a whole lot of new curious hetero readers to explore the genre. I absolutely love that, and for that reason I really, really wanted this book to be a shiny sparkling example of what new readers can expect from this genre. Ella Frank is not an author I have read before but she comes with a reputation for writing good hetero erotica and so I thought if Joey W. Hill and Kele Moon can pull off the switch so beautifully why not give her a chance.
Ella Frank’s first mistake is to not being able to let go of the hetero by including a graphic m/f sex in the first paragraph – a big no-no! “her creamy thighs where spread wide apart with his cock sliding in and out of her soaking wet pussy” is not something that appeals to the typical m/m reader. Yes 80% of us are woman and yet, I do sympathise for the 20% who are GAY men. Is it not polite to mention somewhere in the blurb that this book contains scenes of graphic m/f sex? Not (according to some) necessary, but I do feel it is courteous and respectful. If the roles were reversed I suspect there would be uproar.
Try is a gay-for-you erotic story – that’s it – there is nothing else, no surprises, no angst, no humour, no plotline – want and possession – that is all. Logan is the bisexual initiator and Tate is the confused straight guy. The two men circle each other in a dance that’s predictable push and pull with dialog that is uninspired – full of clichéd sexual innuendos like this …
“You’ll be hungry then? Logan: Yes, but not for food. Tate?”
Not only is the dialog clichéd, it’s very questionable. What man actually says things like “All of that honey-colored skin, naked under me, your curls all over my pillow as I drive my cock inside you—oh yeah, Tate, that’s going to happen. Mark my words.” – This is not realistic.
The conversation is so borderline cheesy and without weight that I never connected to either of these MC’s, they are simply too simple, too fictional and shallow. How old are they? Why is Tate a barman, did he not get a college education? All I know is their petty high school jealousies and the need for constant (girly) reassurance. No matter how many times (at least 49!!) I am reminded of their physical attributes I found them uninspiring; together they fired up about as much chemistry as a bowl of milk.
This book is labelled erotica and yes there is a lot of sex. But each scene is like a copy of a copy of the scene before it – the mechanics might change but the descriptive is the same: rigid cocks, molten kisses, groans and growls, up against the wall, biting lips, heated stares, mine blah-blah-blah. I really couldn’t care about a 20 page blow job scene that might as well have been performed by a woman. I was bored while Ella Frank worked her way down her list, ticking every off each sexual act to eventually reach a point of ultimate surrender. For me this writer does not capture the true essence of what m/m erotica is and her effort pales in comparison to what this genre has to offer. But then, your mileage may vary …
I slump and can only hope that Ella’s fans will enjoy this one as much as they enjoy her previous works. I want to embrace all these brave new readers and welcome them into the genre with open arms but I fear that this book not a good representation at all. So please believe me when I say that in comparison this book really sucks is the poor relation.
I find myself bitterly disappointed with this book. All of it. It feels so far removed from m/m romance that I could scream and weep for the genre’s missed opportunity. I’m sorry I have to be the droll policeman standing in front of the spotlight of shiny gif excitement waving a hand and repeating “Nothing to see here folks, move along ….this way please” and points to the recommendation list below.
To the new m/m reader:
Boys in Our Books recommend these books as a great place to start your m/m journey:
Shattered Glass (Dani Alexander)
Hot Head (Damon Suede)
Deadly Nightshade (Victor J Banis)
Promises (Marie Sexton)
Faith and Fidelity. (Tere Michaels)
This genre has SO MUCH MORE to offer you, SO MUCH! If you loved this book then m/m is going to rock your world – if you didn’t love it? I don’t blame you. This is NOT a good introduction (IMO) but don’t give up yet.
Honestly, you don’t know chemistry until you have read books by the likes of Abigail Roux, Anne Tenino and Aleksandr Voinov, and if you want great m/m erotica? We recommend anything by Heidi Cullinan or Cameron Dane. There are so many more wonderful authors like Brandon Shire and Tom Webb that offer heartfelt, beautiful descriptive prose and genuine quality to call on.
For the devout m/m readers: There really is nothing to see here, you have read it all before. I cannot recommend this book to anybody.