Dana reviews Star Quality by Ajax Bell (Self-published June 1st, 2015, 85 pages)
Title: Star Quality
Author: Ajax Bell
Publisher: Ajax Bell
Publication Date: June 1, 2015 on Amazon, wide release September 1, 2015
Word count: 24,000
Note: This an erotic novella about an up and coming TV actor who begins to question his sexuality when he’s enticed by his co-star’s husband. Star Quality features an m/m/m threesome, an open marriage, a gfy/ofy character, and a brief bisexual interlude with a female character.
Buy link(s): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YNZWGVY
ON-SCREEN PASSION AND OFF-SCREEN INTRIGUES
Kevin Kaisho plays gay on the popular nighttime TV drama Shadow Lane. Kevin’s on-screen love interest is his long-time friend, the out and proud (and married) Nick Jantzen. After spending a press junket flirting with Nick to titillate fans, Kevin’s feelings become complicated: Nick’s husband Andrew shows up, making suggestive overtures. With unexpected desires invading his dreams, Kevin must discover what kind of starring role he really wants.
Andrew Walker is successful in his own right as a fashion designer, and he’s quite happy with his life, even if he and Nick are often kept apart by their work. But when he sees a picture of Nick and his new co-star Kevin cozied up for the camera, he’s intrigued. Can he coax Kevin–and Nick–into seeing that starring together in real life can be richer and more complex than a TV drama?
Kevin decided he’d had enough. It was getting dark out and he couldn’t win at pool anymore. His pool partner, Rory, wandered to the bathroom, so Kevin was deciding whether or not he should join the few folks left in the other part of the bar for karaoke, when he saw Andrew advancing toward him in the nearly empty room. His own brain and fantasies had been so fucked up lately that for half a second Kevin wasn’t sure that it was actually Andrew.
Kevin nodded, raising his glass. “Need anything from the bar, Andrew?” It was the only way out that Kevin could see, but it was too late, Andrew already had him backed nearly against the pool table.
“No, love, I’m good. Just came to pick up Nick. Couldn’t even leave him to take a cab when he’s had this much vodka.” Andrew shrugged, smiling intimately, as if to say, We both know how he gets.
“Well, nice to see you.” Kevin’s ass hit the table behind him. He couldn’t back up any more. “I just wanted to say thank you, since I saw you over here.”
“For what?” Kevin looked around warily, finding them nearly alone but for a few regulars at the bar pointedly ignoring them.
“Whatever you did to Nick when you kissed him last week. We had the most amazing sex after. I’m sure it was all because of you and your pretty mouth.”
Kevin closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. He couldn’t take this. He didn’t even understand it. “Why are you doing this?”
Andrew watched him for a second, inscrutable, then smiling, a decision clearly made. Andrew’s smile was a warm invitation.
“Well, pretty kittentits, I want him to be happy, and truthfully I’m sure he would be very happy fucking you. I know I would be. Would it make you happy? You can make it happen if you want.” Andrew cupped his hand around the back of Kevin’s neck, just a friendly, reassuring squeeze. “It’s a huge deal, I know, but think about it,” he said, his hand grazing Kevin’s cheek before Andrew turned and walked to the other room.
Kevin stood still watching him go. He caught himself and breathed again. In every interaction they had ever had, Andrew was this even, calm presence; balance to Nick’s storm. But now it felt like Andrew was the storm, beating and thrashing against Kevin, wearing him down, turning the hard stone of his denial into sand.
“Kev!” Nick’s voice called Kevin back to the present. He turned to see Nick in the doorway, Andrew next to him, arm possessively around Nick’s waist. “Don’t forget we’re cooking out Sunday for the holiday. You should come!”
Then they were gone, out into the street, the quiet night, but for Kevin, the storm still raged.
It’s always hard to review erotic shorts because it’s hard to fit a lot of content in a small amount of pages. Star Quality did do a good job of setting up the menage, telling the story from Kevin and Andrew’s perspectives, mostly. I liked their viewpoints, both of them being close to Nick, but having limited contact with each other, however I would have liked to hear more of Nicks thoughts. Kevin’s story is sort of a gay for you, completely straight until he goes on a press tour with Nick teasing a future storyline. Nick and Kevin are an established couple who frequently add thirds to their bed and Andrew wants the next to be Kevin.
When they finally get together, their chemistry is hot! But it seems like there are a lot more emotions tied to their joining then a one time experience for Kevin. The story has a HFN ending in my view. No “L” words are exchanged but their feelings seem to run pretty deep. It was enjoyable watching the events unfold that lead them all together. The scene with a female and an unfortunate nickname Andrew uses were the only things that weren’t my cup of tea. For a shorter story, I thought it was developed well, and I would have loved to read more about these three men.
Ajax Bell is a Seattle native currently residing in Nashville. She loves pretty boys, beautiful women, and good jokes. The only things Ajax believes to be better than loud music and bourbon are travel and sleeping late. When not writing fiction, she can be found at a desk designing software or on the porch reading. Ajax does not have a pet hippopotamus. Yet.
Author mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bmlxl1
The author is giving away two sets of prizes: an ebook copy of Star Quality and an ebook copy of the full lenth novel of This Charming Man. Two winners will be chosen. Comment on this post for your chance to win. Contest ends on July 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm EDT.
Restrictions apply. Must be 18 to enter.