‘”I’m not… Trent… I’m not gay,” I stuttered, barely able to push the words between my lips.’
– A Soldier’s First Time 1 (Locations 101-102)
From Amazon: 22-year-old Luke steps into the sandy world of a war-torn country for a second time, but this tour of duty is unlike any he has ever experienced. With no women to satiate his most primitive needs, he allows a fellow marine to give him a little love. That one, sinful act opens Pandora’s Box and plunges Luke into a world he never knew existed.
I genuinely enjoyed the easy reading that this story presented. It’s often difficult to strike a balance with how much details should be included in short stories. Ms Richol was able to find that balance. She suitably painted the landscape while not focusing large amounts of text on mundane detail. In terms of technical/grammatical errors, there were one or two but nothing major (e.g. “grinded” instead of “ground”)
The story is a first person narrative, being told from straight man, Luke’s, perspective. This was a great decision. I find that many women struggle to write gay characters. The characters end up being rather feminine with a male name, which can be distracting and a little off putting.
“I pushed aside the thoughts of Trent jacking himself off at the same time as me — or worse, because of me — and managed to finish just as the bartender in my dreams ducked her head down and gobbled on my manhood.” (Locations 34-36)
“Typically, it was the smoothness of a girl’s touch, the softness of her mouth and the squeal of her words while I drilled her that riled me up and turned me on. But what Trent had to offer was a stark contrast: prickly face, baritone voice, grainy hands. Sounds and sensations and sights I never felt before in a sexual context.” (Locations 112-114)
“I loved the grittiness of our faces touching, the brawn of another man’s grip on the back of my head, pushing me deep into his mouth, the husky-like growls coming from both of us.” (Locations 202-203)
The blurb for this story is a little click-baity. Luke and Trent only have two sexual encounters and “feelings” aren’t really on the cards for them yet. So don’t read this short story anticipating a full blow love story. You will need to shell out $6.82 for their full romance, but at lease this installment is free.
The stigma around being gay in the military is mentioned here, with “don’t ask, don’t tell” alluded to but I did enjoy that it wasn’t the focal point of Luke’s worries. The Marine on Marine scenario was just an easy vehicle to make this story happen. It allows for all male confinement, isolated from the fairer sex, thus creating a environment ripe for homoerotic sexcapades. Luke isn’t too worried about being caught. He’s just trying work his way through his attraction. An attraction he has never experienced or even thought about before. I especially liked that this story didn’t do what a lot of straight-to-gay stories do, which is make the straight dude bottom for his first all male sexual experience. Luke is written in such a way that he doesn’t come across as a “typical” literary alpha male but he is definitely a man’s man. Beer, sports and gaming. He like his women well rounded, and appreciates their bountiful assets.
So, who is this story for? Well, this would appeal too women who enjoy a little M/M erotica, I imagine that anyone in my gay following who has ever had a crush of a straight friend would enjoy this story, and being able to live out that fantasy. I also think that this story would be a good start for people who are undecided on how they feel about straight-to-gay stories, as this one doesn’t expect a black and white perspective. Sexuality and sexual orientation often have large grey areas for many of us when we’re first discovering our selves and our wants and needs, and this story shows you some of those grey areas quite eloquently. I don’t remember ever struggling with questions around liking men or women. I’ve always been comfortable the fact that I like men and women equally. That is not the experience for every person who is bi-sexual, and this story illustrates that quite nicely.
I can’t get over that cheesy, cheap cover though…
My rating: 3/5
Buy A Soldier’s First Time 1 on Amazon.
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A Soldier’s First Time (Complete Set)