Other than the shit dino porn I’ve reviewed for this blog, I’ve not really had a chance to read a gay romance novel and give it serious consideration. This was one of my Kindle recommended reads from Amazon. I read the blurb and thought that this was going to be all kinds of awful. Two very masculine bros with different sexual appetites and some family drama on the side. How could this not be a train wreck?
Jeremy and Owen have been best friends for 20 years. Now in their 30’s, they know who they are and what they like. Jeremy is a comic book artist and writer who lives in a massive lake house. His sexual preferences are slightly different to “the norm”, he is bisexual and has an open “friends with benefits” deal a long time friend, Tasha. She likes to watch him fuck other guys and he enjoys the taboo of being watched. Owen owns a construction company and has always been a ladies’ man. Of late, he has had more ladies than usual, and this perceived promiscuity has begun to concern his nearest and dearest. He’s a Dom in the local BDSM scene, enjoying control and the power afforded to him by someone’s trusting submission. The diversity in their carnal appetites have never been a problem and never needed discussion. Until now.
Owen walks in on Jeremy and another man, while Tasha was watching, at a party. He cannot get the image out of his head. He doesn’t find it disgusting or off putting. In fact, he is intrigued by his response to the sight of his best friend dominating another man. He’s curious about what it would be like. Though Owen has often been approached by other men at the club, he’s never accepted the offers. Now he wants to know why he feels this way, why he cannot get Jeremy out of his head and if he would be able to relinquish control to someone as naturally dominant as Jeremy.
To Jeremy, this isn’t something that he wished to explore. He’s been in love with Owen for most of his life and has never acted on it because his best friend is not gay and he values their friendship (and the rest of the Finn family) too much to risk losing it. Sating someone’s curiosity isn’t a good enough reason for him to throw away the only family he has ever known.
Good. It is really good. I was surprised by how fluid and well written this book was. This is a full length 250 page novel. Alexander manages to easily weave personal turmoil with witty pop culture references. I was drawn to each character as they were so different. I had initial concerns regarding the bi-sexuality and BDSM and the fact that they might have been handled poorly but Alexander clearly did a little research or is a bi BDSM practitioner. Neither was demonised but the discomfort expressed by Jeremy and his innate fear of submission was well written. This book was also an interesting study when two tops get together and how that dynamic would play out in the bedroom, but also in day to day dealings.
One of the main aspect that I feel was handled very well was Jeremy’s secret love for his best friend and his rational mind constantly being at war with his heart. On the one hand he wants his friendship to last but on the other hand he has lusted after Owen since he was a teen. The dialogue between the friends was great as well, especially when Jeremy is not willing to walk the path with his friend because he knows that he will be left heart broken when Owen has satisfied his curiosity and reverts to his heterosexual ways.
“That was his greatest fear. Not just because he’d seen it happen a dozen times before – a hetero guy dipping his toe in the man pool, loving it, the running off to thump his chest and pounce on the first woman or twelve he could find to reaffirm his masculinity.”
Jeremy is the closed minded one when it comes to the sex. He takes a lot longer to trust someone who knows him better than anyone else and has been his friend for two decades. He is weary of Owen wanting to show is his world and even slower to drink from the BDSM waters. Owen is patient and calm, he’s also committed, even if neither of them see it.
I genuinely enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the evolving relationship between these two strong male characters. I appreciated the author’s attempts to illustrate that everyone can be closed minded and that sometimes people will surprise you and shatter your beliefs if you give them a chance to share something special with you.
My only gripe, and it is a rather large one, is that about half way through the book Owen and Jeremy go from being very masculine, alpha males to something suspiciously close to twinks. It was such a sudden change that it caught me off guard. Suddenly the characters were whiny and almost feminine in their portrayal. There is nothing wrong with effeminate characters or expressing one’s feelings. The problem here was that this was so out of character with regard to how they had both been written earlier in the book. It was hard to believe. I found this to be more of a problem with Jeremy’s character. Owen had moments of behavioural change whereas Jeremy became an insecure teenage girl.
The sex was well written. It wasn’t crass or boring. It felt almost intimate at times, like I was intruding by reading it. That is a rare find these days and I truly appreciate the care with which the author approached this. Nothing was left to the imagination but it didn’t assault your senses either.
For those of you who are curious, I would recommend you give it a try.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Buy Curious on Amazon.com
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