Hot Head - Damon Suede

Here is what I will rave to you about this book: it is HOT! The sex in this book is HOT! The sexual tension in this book is HOT! Dante and Griff’s chemistry is HOT! Damon Suede delivers a steamy read in Hot Head.

Here’s what I won’t rave to you about this book: it’s ability to completely engage me. Suede does the scenes between Griff and Dante so well, they were all I was interested in reading in this book. The secondary characters, the setting, the muddy plot I found to be unengaging distractions that, eventually, I preferred to skim. Didn’t have a care in the world for Dante’s stereotyped siblings, their alpha masculine co-workers or their homophobic Brooklyn neighborhood. I understood that the secondary characters and atmosphere were all necessary to establish that the Anastagio’s were a classic, if not stereotyped, caring, Italian, Brooklyn family and that the environment that Griff and Dante lived in could be “unwelcoming,“ to say the least, if you were a homosexual. But I felt Suede spent too much time delivering these messages. I got so much of the messages that I began to skim through them. That being said - Dante and Griff - OMG, so HOT together!

Suede’s writing was very passable, not exceptional, but above mediocre. However, I could have done without the number of flashbacks in this book and would have preferred a straight forward timeline - except obviously with any flashbacks to 10 years previous. No present day flashbacks to the night before necessary. Just tell me what happened that night and then move on to the morning after. I was especially disappointed that Dante and Griff’s first joint adventure with Alek is glazed over and conveyed in bits of flashback - that would have been exactly the content I wanted to read, not a whole chapter dedicated to Loretta’s problems.

Oddly enough, the Russian proprietor of HotHead.com, Alek, is the smartly written character of the secondary lot. Unexpectedly polite and likeable, he humanizes his seedy profession. Treating our heroes fairly and even providing some sage advice, Suede makes what should have been a very black and white character, pleasantly gray. And besides, Alek is somewhat of a catalyst in bringing Dante and Griff “together” and wow, are they HOT together.

Griff is lovable, Dante is charismatic and the unspoken chemistry between them is well developed. Yet, as soon as it is spoken and the “I love you’s” are said bringing this read to it‘s climax, it turned just too sappy and clichéd for me. I figured the tension in the book would be maintained with societal obstacles the couple would have to overcome - from Griff’s father, their co-workers, people at the Stone Bone and their neighborhood, maybe even some of Dante’s family. Instead we were treated to more dull interaction with secondary characters who assist in an easy glide to an HEA.

For me this was a book of whirlwinds and lulls. A pairing I couldn’t get enough of with secondary characters I would have been fine passing on the street. It read like a book that should have just been fun smut, but was trying for more - and in the end it over tried. But still tried. And yet, I fully recommend, because Dante plus Griff equals HOT!

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