Forbidden, Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: NineStar Press
Genre: Erotic Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Rentboy/Stripper, Closeted MC, Bad Guy
Length: Novella (DK word count)
Reviewer: Kazza K
When things are forbidden, you merely want them more…
Vice-president David should have had it all–nice cars, the most expensive restaurants and the finest clothes. But he hides a secret from all his colleagues–he’s gay. He’s too scared to come out at work so he spends his evenings cruising for company and frequenting strip clubs. In one such place, he meets pole dancer Jeremy, a young man with problems of his own. Jeremy’s controlled by his boss Donny and soon David’s interest starts to spell danger for them both…
Whoo, this book starts out all hot and bothered and is quite the red hot chilli pepper. David has had a few drinks and heads off to a strip club in WeHo… to look. He ends up looking mighty hard at the lithe blonde working the pole in his silver sparkly G-string and come-fuck-me blue eyes. David sits back while the blonde schmoozes a few women nearer the stage, getting bills shoved down his G-string, but then he moves over to David and places David’s hands on him – his thighs, his hard-on, and shows him a bit more.
Reaching back, the dancer stroked his own backside with lingering, sensual touches and pulled his cheeks just far enough apart the string on the ridiculous thong shifted, barely covering a hint of pink pucker.
The stripper looks at David with lust and intensity. But then he’s back to the pole, does his thing, throws kisses at the crowd, and exits the stage leaving David revved up. Did he imagine the look, the chemistry? Was it just part of the guy’s act… or more?
David is the VP of the company he works at. He’s also closeted. Whenever he attends company functions he has an escort on his arm, someone he can pay and then leave once the night is over. Which is how he ends up at Coxx, the strip club, falling in lust with the gorgeous stripper.
Jeremy is the stripper/pole dancer that steamed David up. He not only got David revved up, but he’s also turned on by the good looking brunette guy in a suit at the edge of the stage. He seemed reserved, gentle, he didn’t touch without Jeremy’s none-to-subtle encouragement. He’s left thinking about the man with a hard-on that won’t quit.
The man had been gentle and restrained. He hadn’t attempted to touch Jeremy until Jeremy offered and guided his hand. Then, his touch had been exciting, promising. It filled Jeremy with fantasies.
Basically, David can’t stay away from Coxx. From Jeremy. He goes back on several occasions and ends up in various sexual encounters with Jeremy – a lap dance, blowjob, a public fuck at Sunday’s platinum men-only public touch and fuck orgy night. Then there’s always fucking in an alley to add to the mix. Not to mention Jeremy has several jobs which intertwine with David’s job and, well, there’s always a cupboard.
Meanwhile, Donny, the owner of Coxx, and an all-around seedy guy, is getting pissy that David keeps coming back for Jeremy and Jeremy alone. He has a vested interest in Jeremy and he especially doesn’t like the clients only wanting one guy.
There is nothing new in Forbidden. It’s closeted businessman wants gorgeous stripper/rentboy/exotic dancer. Said stripper/rentboy/exotic dancer wants the businessman in return. But I’m a sucker for that particular storyline. Although for a while Jeremy’s very pragmatic about the situation, seen guys like David a number of times before – they fall in lust with a fantasy, then go back to their real lives. Their wives. But this is an erotic romance and you know David really does want Jeremy. It also helps that you are given alternating POV.
As David and Jeremy see each other more and more, and are obviously developing feelings, Donny is getting increasingly antsy and doesn’t appreciate someone marking their territory on what he sees as his property. So there’s a bad guy element to the book. I’ll give Forbidden it’s due, the owner wasn’t a pimp with a heart of gold as is often the case in these books. He’s creepy and an arsehole.
“We shouldn’t have done this,” he said. “Not outside the club. Not without money changing hands.”
“I’ll pay you,” David said quickly and reached for his wallet. “Whatever you want.”
“I don’t want your money.” Jeremy stalked away and started to pace the alleyway. “What was I thinking? If Donny finds out about this, I’m a dead man.”
I have to mention that Forbidden was sitting at 4.5 stars for me until the last – roughly – quarter of the book. The action became rushed, and I didn’t believe David’s ‘blackout’ at Haver’s party, which was never explained satisfactorily for my liking. I absolutely believe extra word count would have allowed better development and fleshing out of the ‘bad guy/action’ thread.
All being said and done, I really enjoyed Forbidden. It was hot and I was in the right mood for heat with some likeable MCs, so it worked. If you’re on the lookout/feeling in the mood for an erotic gay romance with some chemistry and extra steam, and there really is sizzle here, as well as a bit of bad guy action on the side, this is a good novella to grab. I’ve never read this author before but, wow, Scarlet Blackwell can sure ramp up the heat and I’d definitely read more by her after Forbidden. 4 Stars!
ARC supplied in return for an honest review.