I read a lot of free books and most of them are awful. I don't review them all, because who has time for that amount of negativity? I review the good ones--when I find them--and tend to leave the bad ones. Unless they're extra-special awful or, like this one, full of mind-blowing wtfuckery. It could be one of those "so bad you have to read it for yourself" books, you decide.
LOVER FOR PAY: The Escort & The Teacher by A.J. Blake
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I surprised myself by actually finishing this story. It was kind of like a trainwreck, I guess, hard to look away because omg the fuckery.
The plot doesn't make a lot of sense (like the escort has been escorting for two years to save money for a new house, but at $1000-$10,000 per "date" he still only has $25,000 save up? Until the teacher pays him $30,000? but he has regulars? Like okay, he's supporting his younger siblings, but he's got a day job, too, one he says pays pretty good...?)
And the characterization is incredibly unrealistic. They're madly in love after one date and three nights of sex, two of which were paid for... sure, okay. Even for instalove that was super fast and totally not to my taste.
So if it was just on those two things alone, I'd have DNF'd this one.
But the precious, precious fuckery.
"You didn't cum yet," he almost stuttered over his words, working himself up weakly and without hesitation, he sucked London's cock after getting rid of the condom, sucking both tired and hungrily until the rain of London's seed was released, and relief was theirs to relish in.
"He'd also taken it upon himself to dress nicely, or as nicely as he presumed was nice enough."
"He laid there as Marbell gathered his thoughts pushing in and out of his night lover."
("night lover" is used several times within ten pages, then is never seen again)
"After ridding all his clothes besides the tank top he was wearing, Marbell brought his attention to London's cock, sucking as though he could not pry himself away from it."
"Glad to have the twenty-one-year old with him of course, Marbell wanted this time they had together to be enjoyable, but with the saddened expression going on about London's face, he was no longer sure of it."
The characters are often referred to as "the teacher" "the tattooed boy" "the teenager" (not one of the mc's, relax, it's not that kind of bad), which I guess is just a style thing, but read really odd. The book is also in badly written omniscient third, which is fun.
But the precious, precious fuckery...
"The pound of his heart struck his chest harder."
"London came back onto the bed, stealing Marbell's mouth once more as he pushed the vibrator into the teacher after coating it lightly with lube, and he pushed it as far as it was meant to go."
"What rest across one half of Marbell's chest was something London hadn't expected. It was a long healed burn scar that started at the top of his left breast, and stretched all the way down to his belly button. The scar was about five or eight or nine inches wide, covering a large canvas of his torso."
"London then straddled the teacher, slickening his own entry before letting Marbell's hard cock plummet into him."
"His wavy fringe was swooped off to the side, and he was dressed as though just having gotten off work, but with the anger shown clear from the rutted glare of his brow, the standard softness of his face was replaced by a strict scowl."
and last but certainly not least:
"He hooked his arms around Marbell's waste [...]"
It's free, thank the hairy gods.
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The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. I've been a sci-fi reader since forever, and I'm always on the lookout for good sci-fi books in m/m romance. This really wasn't it, for world-building reasons.
First, what I really liked about the story--both characters as described sounded ace to me, which was intriguing. Then Khim's asexuality was later described as a psychological problem, which kind of soured me. I guess they weren't meant to be ace, so my fault in reading them that way.
The other thing I really loved was the synesthesia Khim experienced under the anesthetic when he was fitted for his metal arm. It was amazing and delighted me and I was a little disappointed that it was just an effect of the drug and not a permanent scrambling of his brain from the accident. That would have been so cool!
What I didn't like. The world building or incredible lack thereof. Four thousand years in future, a colonized galaxy, and there's no finer meal than steak and baked potatoes? Humanity has colonized numerous planets and not found anything to eat other than Earth food? Scratch that, American food. Because the society is only slightly different from early 21st century USA. Roombas do the vacuuming. Jeans and hoodies are casual clothes. Tuxedos are formal wear.
Who the military is fighting is never really clear, it seems to be a never ending conflict with unspecified enemies that has no negative impact on daily life.
Women--there are no women in this world. The military has no women, the vat-grown humans are all male, the sex slaves are all male, the brothel patrons are all male, any figure in authority is male. Only three women are ever mentioned, all sub-ordinates to an Italian crime boss. Yeah. Four thousand years from now... did I mention the world building is pretty much non-existent?
And when Khim is described as having "won the genetic lottery" by being blond with blue eyes... eek.
As for the relationship, I only felt like there was any kind of connection between them after their escape. Maybe that was my fault for reading them as ace, I don't know.
To sum up, this was not a bad book (though I found it problematic in places apart from the lack of world-building), but it was a long, long way from the book I hoped it would be.
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