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5 stars for Husband Material by Xavier Mayne @XavierMayne @Dreamspinners #MM #Romance #Satire

Husband Material

Title: Husband Material
Author Name: Xavier Mayne
Publication Date & Length: January 24, 2014 – 350 pages

Synopsis

Husband Material is a long-running reality show, where eighteen lucky guys compete for the hand of one lucky lady. Meet contestant number one, Riley. Since being left at the altar, he’s hit the gym to get into the best shape of his life. Now he’s in it to win it. Contestant number two, Asher, doesn’t really want the bachelorette; he needs the prize money for his sister’s cancer treatment. Asher’s upbeat personality brings Riley out of the funk he’s been in since his breakup. They make a formidable team, with one complication: Asher’s falling for Riley.

Producer Kaitlyn has her hands full when two bachelors are found in the shower soaping up inappropriately, then another live-tweets the entire debacle. If another scandal erupts, the network will cancel the show.

The two bachelors are on a collision course under the watchful eye of a producer torn between wanting them to find true love and trying to keep her show going. In the end, Riley must choose the bachelorette or the bachelor.

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Review

 FiveStarsXavier Mayne has upped his game for this one.  We still have delightful, sexually fluid men served up with humour and empathy, but this time Mayne adds a helping of social satire in the style of Ben Elton or Nick Hornby. 

As always, Mayne’s observations are sharp and his descriptions are vivid. Good satire is always a little uncomfortable but Mayne manages to keep his story light and sweet.  This isn’t quite as tender as his earlier books, but it is just as funny.  Mayne has retained his sense of the absurd and his ability to make us laugh.  He has also kept the muscles while adding body paint and a sauna.

 

Creating another pair of characters as addictive as Brandt and Donnelly was an impossible task.  Riley and Asher are very different men.  Especially with Mayne’s gentle mockery of whole reality TV genre, it took me a while to warm to his contestants. But they grew on me.  By the mid point of the novel, I was cheering them on.  By the end, I was thrilled that Mayne had set them up for a sequel.

 

My one quibble with the book happened quite near the end.  I’m almost certain the main character’s chivalrous act of self-sacrifice could be considered sexual assault.  Never mind.  A minor niggle in a great book.

~Sarah

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AuthorBio

Xavier Mayne is the pen name of a professor of English who works at a university in the Midwest United States. Versed in academic theories of sexual identity, he is passionate about writing stories in which men experience a love that pushes them beyond the boundaries they thought defined their sexuality. He believes that romance can be hot, funny, and sweet in equal measure.The name Xavier Mayne is a tribute to the pioneering gay author Edward Prime-Stevenson, who also used it as a pen name. He wrote the first openly gay novel by an American, 1906’s Imre: A Memorandum, which depicts two masculine men falling in love despite social pressures that attempt to keep them apart.

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5 Stars for Spring Break at Villa Hermes by Xavier Mayne #MM #College @dreamspinners @xaviermayne

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Title: Spring Break at the Villa Hermes
Author Name: Xavier Mayne
Publication Date & Length: April 6, 2015 – 246pgs

Synopsis

Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly celebrate the one-year anniversary of their engagement by flying south for a week of calm relaxation at the Villa Hermes, a gay boutique hotel on the beach. But when the rest of the guests turn out to be college guys on spring break (unwittingly booked into a gay hotel by a passive-aggressive travel agent), their week turns out to be anything but calm.

Ted, one of the spring breakers, has harbored a crush on his roommate and best friend, Bark, since they met freshman year. Now, on their fourth and final spring break, Ted knows they must soon say good-bye. A lacrosse star and ladies’ man, Bark has no idea Ted has fallen for him—until a storm forces the entire group underground for twenty-four hours of stress and truth-telling. Bark doesn’t want to say good-bye to Ted at graduation either. He just didn’t know how to put his feelings into words or if he could face the consequences of speaking them. Brandt and Donnelly help the college guys through their crisis by showing them what love between best friends can grow into.

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Review

FiveStarsXavier Mayne has created yet another absurdly titillating premise for a Brandt and Donnelly story. His Villa Hermes is a perfect fantasy porn set.  Brilliant.  But Mayne doesn’t write porn.  Mayne writes men.  He writes about flawed humans and love without boundaries or judgements.  Oh – and he does this with a wicked sense of humour.
This has to be my favourite book in the series. It is lighter, funnier and possibly even more tender than the first three.  Brandt and Donnelly aren’t fighting bad guys or bad politics, they’re sunbathing.
The troopers meet a new cast of characters in paradise.  Bryce and Nestor have been replaced by Winnie and Vic.  Winnie is a beautifully complex character – the former drag queen has his own story, a backbone of steel and a bit of wisdom ready for his guests.
Instead of a single couple for Brandt and Donnelly to help, there are six vaguely straight college boys ready for the troopers’ magic touch.
I loved it.  Mayne writes characters like no one else in the genre.  He can write humour and pathos in the same sentence, and this time the action centers around a clothing optional pool in Greece.  Wonderful.
Sarah

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Filed under 5 Star, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah