Marc and Jo review ‘Hot Head’ (Head 1) by Damon Suede. (eBook published by Dreamspinner Press on June 14th, 2011, 320 Pages, Audiobook published on October 12th, 2012, narrated by Charlie David, Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes)
Jo is a brand-new reviewer and like many of us not only addicted to M/M romance, but also audiobooks. She will be an exclusive audiobook reviewer for the blog and you can always expect the complete and honest truth from her when it comes to her opinion on narration and story 😉
Why we read/listened to this book: This is not a book someone requested us to read, nor a review copy we received for free for the purpose of an honest review. This is a book readers were so excited about that they recommended it to both of us separately and we both read/ listened to us on our own felt the need to share it on the blog with you.
CLICK ON THE COVER TO BUY THE AUDIO OR EBOOK
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire… 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 ten 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 a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And 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?
***** BY JO *****
Hot Head is something of a classic in the MM genre. I’ve known of the book, even if I hadn’t read it, for some time. When the chance to listen to the audiobook came up, I jumped on it.
The story concerns two firemen, Griff and Dante, who work out of a fire house in Brooklyn, NY. The story itself feels like a very New York story – the characters are very much part of the setting, and vice versa. This immersed me in the story almost immediately.
I liked the theme of smoke and fire and how Damon Suede played with this. Dante, who with his dark skin and hair and pretty gray eyes (smoke), is the real fiery character with his impetuous nature, whereas redheaded Griff (fire) is the calm, laid back man. I liked both characters and warmed to the secondary and supporting cast, too.
In places I felt like the story dragged, and at ten and a half hours, the audiobook is definitely not one to try and tackle in one sitting. Charlie David’s narration is absolutely dreamy and definitely what kept me addicted to this story. I absolutely adored the New York accents, and even the female characters, which male voice actors so often trip up over, were well narrated. With no distracting sound effects or background noise, Charlie David certainly kept my attention with his voice alone. His reading of the very long, very hot sex scenes, are definitely a selling point for this audiobook. This is one talented narrator!
I can see why Hot Head is held in such high regard and the audiobook certainly lives up to the standards set by the bestselling novel. For fans of the book, I’d say the audiobook investment is certainly worth the cover price, if only to listen to the fantastic storytelling.
ADD to Goodreads: HERE!
***** BY MARC *****
When I first started getting hooked to the M/M genre, I stumbled into the M/M Romance group on Goodreads. Among the many amazing recommendations I got there were a few books that seemed to be universally loved. The Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux, The Promises series by Amy Lane, the Faith, Love & Devotions series by Tere Michaels, the Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper and a few others. Among them ‘Hot Head’ by Damon Suede kept popping up. It seemed to have everything the majority of M/M readers loved. Two likable and hot main characters, a well written plot with beloved tropes like Gay-For-You, Friends-to-Lovers and Gay-For-Pay mixed together, men in uniform, heroes, alpha men. It seemed an explosively hot mix and coming so highly recommended, I couldn’t and didn’t want to resist for long.
From the very beginning the book drew me in. Two life-long friends who were always there for each other. Literally have their backs when they walk through burning buildings in their heroic job. They are very close and yet, when Griff’s feelings for Dante change in a significant way, he is afraid that they could destroy everything they have. A lifelong friendship sacrificed for a new, unnatural attraction. They are like brothers really, part of each other’s families. This new development might destroy it all…
… especially considering that his best friend is going gay-for-pay, because he needs the cash. Stripping naked and more in front of the camera and the temptation to watch is impossible, and adds oil to the fire of his new desires.
I love Friends to lovers stories. There is such a strong history between friends. Already a strong kind of love, they would take a bullet for each other, they went through a lot of shit together and are there for each other. Yet unlike with established relationships, the exiting newness of changing a friendship to something more, the stakes of maybe loosing it all, the new dynamic as the relationship changes. It is all done extremely well in this book.
I am also a lover of Gay-For-Pay storylines. I cannot tell you guys exactly why – perhaps because seemingly straight and hot guys are so comfortable with their own sexuality that they are willing to experiment for cash or even find out that they are not quite so straight as they though, perhaps because as straight boys they seem unreachable, unattainable, and seeing them in gay, sexual situations brings me closer to what I thought I couldn’t get. Perhaps, as with pornstars, the idea of having a separate identity away from the conformity and morals society presses upon us or people who don’t care about it and do what they want without hurting anyone intrigues me. Whatever it is, it pushes my buttons and is hot as hell. Again,, this part is very well written, extremely sexy and incredibly hot on the audiobook as well.
Unlike several other books with the Gay-For-You trope, it is credible here – written in a way that makes sense to me and that I can believe.
The narration of the audiobook is one of the very best. Even if you don’t usually listen to audiobooks, this one is so well done that it adds to the experience of reading this book and will bring you many pleasurable hours 😉
It just all comes together so perfectly that I have never read a single book that I could recommend as easily as this one. I don’t think one of my friends every read it without liking it at least. It is that special lightning caught in a bottle, a story that appeals to many different people. If I were a betting man, this is the one book I would put all my chips one 🙂 VERY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!!!
ADD to Goodreads: HERE!
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Having lived all over (Houston, New York, London, Prague), he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. He has been happily partnered for a decade with the most loving, handsome, shrewd, hilarious, noble man to walk this planet.
Though new to M/M, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year.