Saturday, December 3, 2016

Book Review ~ Filthy Little Secret by Devon McCormack

Book Review ~ Filthy Little Secret by Devon McCormack

Book: Filthy Little Secret
Author: Devon McCormack
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Length: 226 pages


“I won’t fall for him.” 

After breaking up with his cheating ex, Mark Kenmore turns to rebound sex with the campus drug dealer, Tim Halwell. He’s heard the rumors about all the hearts Tim’s broken, but after how he’s been hurt, there’s no way he’ll let himself fall into that trap. Besides, if the press found out he was screwing around with a drug dealer, it would tarnish his governor mother’s reputation. He expects the sex to be hot and exciting. What he doesn’t expect is the most intense, mind-blowing experience he’s ever had. He knows it’s wrong to want more, but he can’t help himself. And the more time they spend hooking up, the more he worries he’s falling into the same trap as Tim’s previous boy toys…and the harder it becomes to keep what they’re doing a secret from his friends and family. 

“He’s just like the others.” 

Tim knows Mark—the son of a politician, attending one of the most prestigious universities in Atlanta—is just another spoiled rich kid. When Tim hears about Mark’s breakup, he’s more than willing to help the brat out with some rebound sex. Just another notch in his own headboard. Tim won’t make it a regular thing because that never goes well. The guys always end up falling for him, despite how much they may fight it. But one steamy, lust-filled encounter after another, and he finds he can’t stop messing around with Mark. It’s too much fun. Too intense. Too erotic. And the longer they try to remain each other’s filthy little secrets, the more Tim realizes if he doesn’t back out soon, he just might fall in love. 

Filthy Little Secret is a stand-alone erotic gay romance with a HEA, steamy-as-hell sex, no cheating, and no cliffhanger. 

With this book, Devon McCormack just became an Autobuy author for me. But, it's now a case of, 'when's your next one out, please?'
This is only my second book by this author writing on his own, but with this release, he's become a one-click Autobuy. Keeping quiet about the release, keeping it kind of secret, rather than bragging to the world on social media, was the best possible present, the best kind of surprise on this miserable winter's day in gloomy London.

Tale-wise, it's pretty much perfect, although it has a few editing issues and in one scene a character suffers a name-change, which made me have a 'uwot??' moment (hate this, especially when there's a paid editor who gets given credit). I'd normally knock a 0.5* off a review for that, but, it was so good, I can forgive and forget. This time!

So, this is not a nice, sweet, twee book and I've come to realise that I don't need, expect or want any of that from this author. Don't get me wrong - I love sweet romantic tales that end in a HEA that's hearts and roses, but DM's style of writing hits some different spots. It's a tale clearly written from a guy's perspective, with some harsh language, harsh realities, a lead, Tim, who is just what the blurb says he is, without dolling it up - he's a drug dealer. OK, normally that'd be unpalatable to me, and I'd be thinking that there must be some get-out clause to make him acceptable, but refreshingly, there wasn't. Not a hint of anything cliché or fabricated, simply a guy who'd made some choices and who did what he did because that was his job and he reaped the benefits. There's a little more to him, still not sanitised, but enough to make him human and not some kind of predator.

Mark was refreshing, too, as he wasn't your typical rich boy as portrayed too many times in too many rich boy/bad boy tales. He had guts, he wasn't trying to score points against mummy and daddy and his privileged background - he'd been hurt and he wanted to feel something other than hurt/anger/betrayal and the loss of a friend and a lover, which he found via some hot, dirty, supposedly one-off sex with Tim. But, beyond the hot, dirty, filthy, naughty sex, they actually began to like each other, which neither suppressed and yet at the same time, which neither was all roses about.

I won't go more into the tale itself, as 1) I don't have DM's talent and 2) I don't want to Spoiler it, but it ticked every box I wanted in a romance. Bad boy, good boy. Sweet cuddles. Dirty sex. Taped Sex. Risk. The possibility of a scandal. The right amount of 'felt real' angst, the right kind of 'it's suddenly not all roses', a realistic/believable dirty deed aspect to it that made it so contemp. Oh, and it ended with proof of what each guy meant to the other. And with me smiling as I read the end.

Said end came a year after the leads got together, in a couple of scenes that had the tiniest, perfectly acceptable hint of Bollywood-ness style of endings (no, I refuse to elaborate, as believe me, being forced to watch B-wood for years is kind of traumatic, but let's just say that their motto is 'all good things come to those who deserve, and baddies get their just desserts'). It ended with the leads happy and living their lives in ways meaningful to them both, in love, with one aged about 21/22 and the other about 25/26. Did I hope and think that they were in the early stages of their HEA? YES, but I didn't need proof beyond this, as that would have spoiled the 'keeping it real' feel of this tale. OK, maybe I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here, as I am willingly putting on my B-wood, i.e. rose-tinted, specs, but for once, I don't feel bad about it.

I loved this tale, and the only thing left now to say is, 'So, what's up next, Mr McCormack, 'cos this reader is about to turn stalker?' Obvs the nice kind, not the weird and creepy kind, LOL!).

About Devon:

Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.

A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men's presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they're getting into.

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