How did I get it: A review copy was sent to me by S.A. Reid.
Why did I read it: I liked the summary and really wanted to read it as soon as it was offered to me.
Brendan Daly prides himself on being a man’s man – in both senses of the word. A Boston cop with a hard body and a Southie’s hot temper, Brendan is taken aback when his boyfriend Kent accuses him of letting their love life go stale. So at Kent’s office Christmas party, Brendan decides to surprise him with some roleplaying – cop vs. suspect.
Fresh out of medical school, handsome Stephen Gallagan is every woman’s idea of a catch. Trouble is, he’s not sure he wants a woman. Surrounded by predators in cocktail dresses, Stephen flees the Christmas party through the service corridor, running smack into Brendan. In the dark, in a tux, Stephen is a dead ringer for Kent.
The Broom Closet
The room is pitch black. Brendan is taller, stronger, and too intent on kissing Stephen to permit any protest. Metal cuffs snap around Stephen’s wrists. Ready or not, it’s time to obey…
Review: I think Manhandled serves as an intriguing introduction to both of its authors. A lot was packed into a short number of pages and it felt like a complete story, but also like a very, very short novella. Don’t get me wrong. Manhandled was hot, and I liked both characters being such stark contrasts to one another. Manhandled certainly delivers on its main premise…
But the fact that it was on the short side sort of prevented the sort of development of feelings that I tend to prefer, and haven’t found in many of the Gay Romances I’ve picked up lately. It all boils down to preference, of course, but when it comes to love, I’m all about the hearts and rainbows and feelings in addition to everything else. So I would have preferred more romance being involved in their encounters as well as their relationship. Brendan was a very tough Alpha male, and Stephen was more of a nice guy trying to figure things out, but in the case of Brendan less would have been more because he came across as an overbearing and cliche example of manly manliness in both his point of view sections as well as his dialogue.
It’s also worth noting that the excerpts afterwards were great. Both books look very promising and are definitely going on my TBR list. The first was from Rosemary O’Malley’s forthcoming novel entitled The Red King. It’s about a ruthless sort of pirate and a young almost-priest and is really tantalizing. The second was from S.A. Reid’s forthcoming novel called Soulless. It seems to be about a vampire and a man who is slightly Dr. Frankenstein and somewhat Lord Byron. The first page was a little slow, but I love the ideas behind it and the cliffhanger left me really wanting more.
In conclusion, an enjoyable piece of short fiction with a steamy concept, but I’m definitely more excited about the full-length novels that both authors plan on releasing later in 2012.
How I would rate it: 3 out of 5 stars.