Dana reviews How to Deal (All Cocks Stories, book 3) by T.M. Smith (Published by TTC Publishing, November 27, 2015, 173 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This week we are reviewing books that are part of a series we have reviewed before. I had a few possibilities to choose from, but ultimately chose How to Deal because I had been wondering if the author could redeem Kory, a character that I hadn’t cared for in the past. I’m glad I picked it, and I’ll tell you why below.
Blurb: Jon Brennan comes from a long line of men in uniform; all born and bred to both bleed and wear blue. His family and the majority of his co-workers support him every step of the way, so he doesn’t need to hide the fact that he prefers men over women. Between the job and his larger than life, loud and rowdy half Irish, half Italian family, there isn’t much time for dating, much less finding a guy that can deal with the stress and demands placed on the shoulders of an NYPD Detective.
Kory White is cocky and abrasive with most people, but it is all a mirage, a façade he hides behind to keep his heart safe. As a child, Kory lost his mother to an act of violence. Soon after, he and his baby sister Kassandra were separated by the system. Kassandra was immediately adopted, but Kory spent the next ten years cycling through foster homes before moving to the Big Apple. In an effort to keep everyone at a distance, Kory has meticulously built himself an alter ego: Hayden Cox, All Cocks’ cockiest model.
These two strong willed men definitely prove opposites do attract. Both are stubborn and hard headed to a fault, Kory more so than Jon. But Jon is used to being in control, the one calling the shots, and Kory fights him at every turn. Just when it seems they have found a way to navigate the unchartered territory that is love, tragedy knocks on Kory’s door yet again. Volatile and strong, even in the face of adversity, both men refuse to give up on each other – or their love.
We first meet Kory in book one of this series. He’s temperamental to say the least, and I think of him as the diva of the All Cocks porn site. It’s revealed that he had slept with a coworker’s boyfriend, and I just couldn’t respect him. Jon is also introduced in book one when a character is accidentally drugged in a nightclub. It is obvious he is attracted to Kory and I thought he might be crazy because of that.
Fast forward to a week later in book time, eight months later in real life, and I’m looking at the characters with fresh eyes. I was still wary of Kory, but with the story told from his and Jon’s perspective, I’m not getting a jaded view of the character and it’s obvious his moody attitude is a front for his insecurities and troubled past. Kory has known pain and I can even start to empathize with him in this book. Family has been missing all his life, and slowly he builds a new one from his co-workers, Jon’s family, and there is a surprise discovery to be made that helps undo some of the wrongs done to Kory.
The courtship of Jon and Kory is told in fast forward, a whole year of dating passes in this book. Jon is a really great guy. He’s an out cop, his family knows who he is and accepts him without reservation. I actually really love his family though I have to admit that their fiery Irish and Italian bloodlines make some of them say things that makes me want to smack some of them at times. I feel like Jon’s closest sibling is Tristan, the only male not to take a job in law enforcement. He’s patient, understanding, and also gay. In reality, I have high hopes he might be featured in a future book of this series.
The porn company that Kory works for has lost a few models/actors but they are present in the story. It seems that the guys that work there become more like family and not just co-workers. In the past there was a little bit of hostility between some of the actors and Kory, but that seems to fade as the book progresses. Kory’s relationship with Jon definitely sparked change in him and the characters could see it, I could see it as the reader as well. I liked that Jon was completely okay with Kory’s job, knowing who he was and what he did from the very beginning. It was nice not to see flares of jealousy and anger because of his work.
That’s not to say that there weren’t arguments because I mentioned the fiery Italian and Irish blood that runs through Jon’s family. He is just as stubborn and argumentative as Kory sometimes. There are definitely moments where I think they both flew off the handle for no good reason. I expected it from Kory, but not Jon. However, the two seem to get over themselves as quickly as they get inflamed and I think they made a great pairing. A lot happens in this book. There are dark parts of the story, and tragedy happens. Happy parts where family is found. New porn stars enter the story, and I am eager to find out how their lives turn out, as well as see how the mc’s from previous books fare. I’m really enjoying this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. I’d definitely recommend starting from the beginning for maximum reading pleasure.