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You’ve heard of the theme: “Gay-For-You”. The negative side being that it’s unrealistic and tropey and not a realistic view of gay relationships. The other perspective is that it can often be a sweet, angst-filled story of friends to lovers. So which is true?
I can’t answer those questions because I am a straight woman. I could propose some psychoanalysis that talks about sexual attraction, but just because I understand psychology does not mean I know how it feels to struggle with one’s sexuality.
This is a quickie review, because, while I did enjoy this book, it was a trope filled short book coming in at 189 pages. This is the first time I have read anything by Max Vos and I am intrigued enough to try some other stories by him. I will say that some of the covers of the other books by this author have made me shy away. Quite honestly, they were more disturbing than sexy. This one actually was relevant to the plot and characters.
Years after a youthful life-changing experience, Rich Miller and Johnny Milloway meet again in college. The now college senior, Rich had saved Johnny’s life at a swimming pool, but they lost contact until a chance meeting in college as Johnny is now a freshman and star football player. Rich, is preparing the last step to competing for the Olympics in swimming and his focus should be there. But somehow, Johnny becomes his friend and something more. Is it for real or it is just a temporary hold?
As a “Gay-for-you” romance, we usually expect the two characters to be either enemies to friends or friends to lovers. In My Hero, our guys turn into friends with benefits. We see how they value this friendship and how Rich helps Johnny come to understand his sexuality.
Johnny reached for Rich. They held each other and they cried. For each other. For themselves. They cried together as only friends and lovers could cry. They cried for a love that was both found and then lost.
While I do not have the perspective of a gay man, obviously the author does. Mr. Vos has an excellent blog post talking about the realistic view of gay men in his books and can help us understand this “gay for you” type theme. I really liked how he talked about his sex scenes and how he comes up with the chemistry and lovin’.
- The Sex Scenes: This book is smoking hot and the sex scenes were pretty captivating.
- The Diving Scenes: I really enjoyed the sport descriptions, I would have loved to follow Rich as he tried out for the Olympics.
What Could be Better:
- Too Short: At only 189 pages, I wish we could have gotten more character and relationship development. The scenes dealing with the Olympics were intense and I really wanted to know more about how the Olympics went. That could have been a great place for development, both of the relationship and the characters.
- Non-Safe Sex: There was a scene, late in the book where, if I had been one of the main characters I would have gone, “Time-out, I think it’s time to get tested.” Now, it’s a book, I know and I am sure that these things happen, but I did not believe that the character would not have thought of the consequences.
The author’s own words spells out how important a person’s honesty with their own sexuality is.
Our individuality, our self-confidence can sometimes unhinge the best of us, and I can only imagine what it must be like to question something as big as your own sexuality.
What I liked about this book was how it must feel to struggle with sexuality. For some, understanding might come young, but accepting it yourself might take years. This novel is about love and acceptance and we see how both make Rich and Johnny better people.