Published June 15th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 14th 2011)
Penny’s Rating: A
Ok. Wow. This novel is sizzling hot, and not at all what I expected when I bought this ebook. Based on the book description, I was expecting some sort of trite story with good naughty bits, and instead ended up with an amazing novel, complete with a compelling story, characters that you fall in love with, and devastatingly hot, hot, hot, sex and sexual encounters. Did I mention it’s hot? Not only that, but the two main characters are firefighters, of the FDNY variety. If you’ve ever seen the FDNY calendar, you know what level of hotness we’re talking about here. If you are looking for a great guy/ guy romance, Damon Suede delivers.
“Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181: Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately Dante is strictly a ladies’ man and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For 10 years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until Dante is nearly bankrupt and proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay-porn website where uniformed hunks get down-n-dirty… Now Dante wants them to appear there— together.Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?”
You can understand why I thought what I did right? I mean, a couple of super hot, supposedly straight firefighters end up making gay porn for money? How is this anything more than a cheezy erotic novel? So, gorgeous kilt-wearing Griff is in love with his best friend Dante. They’ve known each other since they were kids, and Griff is basically a member of Dante’s Italian-from-Brooklyn family. They both work for the same firehouse, they’re both gorgeous, and they don’t have any problems getting girls. But Griff wants something else entirely from Dante, and he’s terrified of losing his best friend if Dante finds out his true feelings.
The entire story is told from Griff’s perspective, which leaves the reader guessing along with Griff about what Dante actually wants throughout most of the book. The chemistry between Dante and Griff is astounding, and adorable. Plus I love Dante’s family! I lived in NYC for a while and I know my NYC Italians. Hell, I married one of them. The slang and expressions used by the characters are spot on, and so is the relationship of tight knit Anastagio family.
The book also addresses some tough issues, like struggling with being in the closet, family acceptance/ rejection, and in particular: gay-bashing, which is addressed through one of Hot Head’s secondary characters, (spoiler alert) the self destructive paramedic Tommy, who will be featured in his own story- Hard Head, coming out from Dreamspinner Press later this year. I can’t wait!