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Friday, October 29, 2010

Maxxed Out by Treva Harte



Maxxed Out by Treva Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Max knows his family and friends aren’t sure what to make of his moods and impulses. But he’s in college now and ready to show them he’s grown up and ready to make mature choices. At least he’s ready for a serious relationship and almost ready to tell his family he’s gay. He could use a little help, though.

With his loving big brother gone forever, who is left to ask for help? Daniel Rocco, his brother’s best friend and his longtime crush, of course. Daniel is solid and reliable--the opposite of Max. But for some reason, Daniel seems terrified of what Max might do next.

Before coming out to his parents, Max is on a mission to get his sexy crush. Unfortunately said crush and object of affection, Daniel, is not going along with the plan. Daniel thinks Max is too young and comes with too many family complications. It wasn’t that long ago that Daniel was inseparable from his best friend and Max’s older brother, Matt. Max decides to take charge though, and convince Daniel that while he may be young, he knows a thing or two about pleasing a hot guy.

Maxxed Out is an amusing coming-of-age story that focuses on hot sex and easy companionship. This is part of the Coming Out series from Loose Id and has Max telling his parents he’s gay. The story is decent, though it’s somewhat empty. There are a lot of issues hinted at but never fully explained. Some of these include Max’s older brother, Matt, who died several years ago and obviously caused unresolved issues with Daniel. There are a few other loose ends such as how the couple is going to work once together with an obvious age difference and Max’s schooling.

What works though is the fun dynamic between Max and Daniel. Both characters are interesting to read and their connection is fiery. Daniel is trying to convince himself he’s not attracted to Max while an aggressive Max refuses to take no for an answer. This results in some inventive and entertaining sex scenes, which are the best part of the book. The characters feel somewhat flimsy as they stay in predefined, obvious roles. Yet this isn’t likely to turn any readers off that want a light, easy, and pretty hot read.

The writing is first person and alternating point of view. The perspective hops between Max and Daniel’s head without break so not everyone will appreciate this slightly chaotic shift in POV. However it’s usually easy to tell whose head you ended up in and the sex is the goal. The two men fall in love very easily but it’s pretty romantic. Perhaps not a satisfying meal but as an appetizer, this novella would please.

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