Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson
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.
This is a book where the readers have to suspend disbelief in a lot of areas to get sucked into the story. No doubt some will enjoy the theme and two hot, muscular men having sweaty sex but the underlying theme that the gay lifestyle is derogatory still prevails. The premise itself is frankly unbelievable, but getting beyond that and the insulting, stereotypical commentary the story is about a man coming to terms with his sexuality. However, he’s not really gay, he’s simply gay for his best friend. There’s a very thin line and really this no doubt works best as a story read for its erotica than for the content itself. Fans of the author will devour this story and love it intensely.
The premise is that best friends Mav and Duke are fellow athletes on a star soccer team and have lived together for four years. In that time, they’ve become so comfortable around each other they frequently touch, cuddle, and even sleep in the same bed. No one questions their orientation however since they are both known to have sex with various women so their secret is safe – even from each other. Duke, secretly gay and in love with Mav, invents a game of “gay chicken” where he pushes Mav’s boundaries to get him to admit he wants to have sex with Duke. The game hinges on their competitiveness and comfort with each other while giving a reason to explain and ignore their actions.
These reasons are pretty thin and don’t get much more in depth throughout the story. Instead the two men dare each other to do more and more intimate acts, such as rubbing, blowjobs, kissing, and eventually sex. Since the story is told from Mav’s perspective, he consistently ignores the deeper meanings behind the actions, unwilling to accept or believe he may be gay. He never really accepts that sexual orientation either; instead willing to accept what Duke wants him to in order to keep his best friend and lover close to him. The implication that Mav is not gay nor would ever be comfortable in a traditional gay lifestyle is very clear throughout the book, his love and desire for Duke notwithstanding. Duke’s motivations are kept a mystery and only explained through a third party who admits that Duke “acted straight” for years due to his secret love for Mav.
The story is decent enough and the sex pretty hot but I had a lot of problems with the insulting and derogatory dialogue and characters. The few openly gay characters are all depicted as flamingly gay and several comments I found uncomfortable. Such as the conversation between Mav, Duke, and the openly gay Evan about posing for the Str8te Boys website.
“Str8te Boys? Why the hell would anybody want to see two straight guys, uh, getting it on?” Duke demanded.
Ethan shrugged. “For the same reason you breeders like to look at lipstick lesbians having gay sex. I know you wouldn’t want to watch two diesel dykes rug munching each other, would you?”
Mav shivered. “Uh, that’d be a no.”
“There you go, then,” Ethan said. “You want to see pretty girls getting together instead. The same way some people—and not all of them are gay men, mind you, a lot of them are kinky little straight girls—like to see straight boys together.” He sighed. “And besides, there’s just something so hot about the idea of two pretty straight boys having their first time…touching each other…feeling their way…not really sure what they’re doing but willing to try just about anything…”
Perhaps it’s a preference and other readers won’t be bothered by the comments. The story is only 60 pages long and filled with several sex scenes as well as most every other scene revolves around unfulfilled tension and desire. I didn’t hate it but Mav never felt as though he accepted his feelings for Duke and really was confident and comfortable expressing those desires. Instead the resolution felt forced and awkward, especially with the final scene among the team who barely blink at the changed status of their captains. For a fantasy piece, this ranks high if you enjoy the classic “gay for you” trope and the man in question never really comes around to accepting his sexuality. If you’re not bothered by some insulting comments, then pick this up for entertainment.
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