Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, BDSM
Series: Rear Entrance Video #3
Reviewed by Anne
271 ebook pages
Austin Puett is hoping to be a professional hockey player. Right now he’s on his college team, and that takes up most of his time and concentration. Unfortunately some personal issues are making problems for him. First of all, he’s been rude to one of his roommates and his landlord/roommate has given him the rest of the month to make things right with the newly cross-dressing roommate he insulted. On top of trying to figure that mess out, he’s dealing with a recurring identity crisis. He’s an uber-macho hockey player, but he gets turned on when his teammates insult him and call him gay.
Austin can NOT figure out what is wrong with him. And it’s not a simple thing. It’s not just, do I like girls or boys or both? Austin knows there’s more on the line. No way could a hockey team, college or pro, accept a player as sexually messed up as Austin is. Desperate to break himself of this boner-at-inappropriate-times issue, Austin decides that binge watching m/m porn would be a great way to return himself to normal. It’s got to work, right?
This book is more Austin’s story than anything else, but there is a nice romance, too. Austin is so convinced there’s something fundamentally wrong with him! His attempts to cure himself are comical and tragic. When his job at Rear Entrance Video leads to him meeting Puck, the star of his favorite binge-watching porn series, things start to take a turn for the better.
It’s a really good story of self discovery and thinking of sexuality not as something that’s black or white or even easily defined. Watching Austin come to accept himself was both painful and hopeful! I really loved how his acceptance of his friends led to him accepting himself. You could also see how not acknowledging who he was and what he liked could hurt his friends, too.
The story is told entirely from Austin’s point of view, which really works, since Austin has the most growing to do. Heidi Belleau does a great job of cluing us into where Puck is at through the things Austin sees, even if Austin doesn’t seem to understand them. The author also gets mega bonus points for writing the first Dom I’ve ever read who doesn’t have magical psychic powers of understanding and predicting and isn’t perfect. This made a lot of sense, because Austin really didn’t know what he wanted, either. The way they worked through things when Puck was wrong about what Austin wanted was even more important than the sex they were having.
Austin’s kink (and I won’t say exactly what it is, because he doesn’t really even know it when the story starts) is not my favorite kink to read about, so credit to the author for still making it a believably affectionate relationship! The only other issue I had with this book was that the ending was a little too much happiness and rainbows and HEA. It seemed to me they had a lot to work through. In my head they’re much more HFN, and I can accept that.
Heidi Belleau has put herself on my READ IT NOW list! Her stories aren’t just entertaining, but they make me think and stretch my empathy to situations I just didn’t understand. I know Kate also loves her The Professor’s Rule series of novellas. I’m moving them up on my list!