Str8te Boys, by Evangeline Anderson

>> Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TITLE: Str8te Boys
AUTHOR: Evangeline Anderson


SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance

How far would you dare to go…to win it all?

Maverick Holms and Duke Warren share almost everything-a college soccer team, an apartment and the same extremely competitive nature. Thanks to that never-back-down spirit, they're about to share more than they bargained for.

The game is "gay chicken". The rule: get as close as possible without kissing, and the one that pulls away first is the loser. The problem: neither of them likes to lose. It isn't long before the game becomes an excuse to touch and kiss in every possible forbidden way. And after they pose for a gay website to earn extra money, things really heat up.

Suddenly Duke is talking lifetime commitment, and Mav is backpedaling as hard as he can, not sure if he's ready to accept all his best friend is offering him. Or the truth about what he is.
I've read Evangeline Anderson before and enjoyed it, in a very guilty pleasure kind of way. Str8te Boys fits the guilty pleasure category, only I enjoyed it less than other books, such as the very fun The Assignment.

Mav Holmes and Duke Warren are in university together, and share a flat. They are supposedly straight, but start to look at each other with different eyes when plot contrivances, such as a sudden urge to play "gay chicken" (is this really a thing?) and posing for a gay website to get some money, put them in increasingly explicit positions.

It was all really steamy at the beginning and I was loving it (even if I felt like I shouldn't be enjoying it because it was so objectively bad), but then got terribly tedious when they started talking about pesky feelings. I'm a romance reader, I'm not supposed to find talk about feelings boring or annoying!

Basically, I think the problem is that this has a very pornish sensibility and this means it works fine as erotica, but not really as romance. It could be a really interesting story, but everything's too fast and superficial. For instance, Mav's complete identity changes with pretty much no introspection. There's a conversation with his friend, and we're suddenly supposed to believe he's making a massive change in his life and has no trouble at all adjusting his idea of who he is? A bit more development of this would have been appreciated.

And Duke? Who the hell is he? I didn't feel I knew him at all, possibly because the narration is exclusively from Mav's point of view, and Mav really doesn't know his friend very well. How's that for a basis for a relationship?



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