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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne

Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Etienne never thought getting his pocket picked could lead to a first date. He knows the second he catches punk boy Brady's eye that the guy is pure trouble, but Et can't resist his wicked sense of humor, pretty face, cold hands -- and the "piss off" swagger when Brady's on stage with his band doesn't hurt, either.

From Rimbaud to Buzzcocks to Malbec to handcuffs, they introduce each other to their favorite pleasures, and the chemistry is unstoppable. But Brady disappears in the night, won't give Etienne a phone number, doesn't talk about his past; Etienne's never known someone so hungry for affection but with so many trust issues. Et would give all he has, but he has the feeling Brady needs saving from something before he can take what Et offers.

Then, the "something" shows up: Brady's dangerous family, all of them more than human -- including Brady, who has the ability to supercool matter with the slightest touch. Throw in the family talent for criminal activity, and it's an explosion waiting to happen.

Et wants to help him escape his past, but if Brady keeps disappearing, he may not get the chance.

Etienne may be shy and quiet but he’s got just the right amount of heat to thaw bad boy Brady. Punk Rocker Brady has a secret - he can control elements to chill the air into ice. He also has a shady family that keeps trying to get him to do illegal jobs. Bookseller Et doesn’t know any of this but he does know his chemistry with Brady is off the charts. Despite the hard-core exterior Et sees something vulnerable and worthwhile in Brady if only their pasts don’t screw it up.

Riot Boy is a fast paced, fun filled ride filled with sex and a bit of the paranormal. Brady is a perfect goth punk boy with his attitude, shady past, and great punk references. Et is a perfect foil as a more staid and down to earth bookseller with a broken heart. Together they play off each other well and create some dynamic tension. Their chemistry is what really drives the story and there is a lot of sex in this novella. Almost too much as most of the action and character development happens during sex. This isn’t bad as the writing and sex scenes are entertaining and smoking hot, but it does leave any significant plot development to happen off page. The reader is simply told about it later.

This is perhaps where the story has a few weaknesses. Although it’s great fun to read and the characters are delightful, the actual plot and world building is pretty sparse. The paranormal element, in which Brady can control and manipulate the air to turn it colder, is almost non-existent. The story doesn’t try to explain or really delve into this aspect at all and if anything, it comes across as distracting and unnecessary. Likewise all important plot developments happen off page. Most of the story builds up to Brady’s showdown with his family but all the story does is recap what happened while Et (and presumably the reader) were asleep. It’s unfortunate since the writing has a real knack to it that such important plot detail is omitted.

Despite this issue I’d still recommend Riot Boy. It’s very enjoyable to read and filled with sex so anyone wanting something very erotic will be satisfied. It has a fun flair that lets you sink into the story and enjoy regardless of any other problems. While it’s not perfect, this is still an entertaining and worthwhile read.

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