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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stroke to His Cox by J.L. Merrow

Stroke to His Cox by J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (20 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

As coxswain of a Cambridge college rowing team, pint-sized Dave Tanaka has eight strapping athletes hanging on his every word, their strength at his command. Leading his crew to win their oars might be easier if Dave didn’t have to hide his crush on Archie, the stroke rower – but as they prepare for their final race, Dave doesn’t suspect that Archie is in the same boat as him in more ways than one!

Dave secretly wants Archie to stroke more than the rowing oars on their team boat. Dave is the cox of his rowing team and Archie is the stroke. Together they lead an 8 man rowing team that is battling to win their bumps for the year. Between trying to hide his infatuation and the obvious physical effects of it, Dave hope to propel his team to a win. Yet the celebrations afterward may be the best part of the day.

Stroke to His Cox is a tongue in cheek (yes both cheeks) witty story. It’s a romance sure, but filled with sporting terms all revolving around English rowing. For those that aren’t familiar with rowing there is an attempt to incorporate that information in the story in numerous places. Some terms I understood while others not so much, but none of that matters. The men are charming, the sex is hot, and the double entendres never stop. Just like you wish the story wouldn’t ever stop.

The writing is incredibly good with tons of sly references and wry humor. The English setting is vivid and captures the adrenaline and competitiveness of the sport while never letting you forget where the story takes place. It’s very English from the language to the dialogue and this adds a new and modern feel. Likewise the romance doesn’t go the expected way and keeps you guessing and wondering ‘til the end.

For those that like unique and fun stories, you won’t get much better than Stroke to His Cox. You know the story is sure to pique your interest with a title like that and I can report that it happily delivers on every inherent promise.

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