Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wrestling Demons by Xavier Mayne

Title: Wrestling Demons 
Author: Xavier Mayne
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: A Brandt & Donnelly Caper #2
Main Characters: Jonah and Casey; Brandt and Donnelly
Release Date: April 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File Two 

Jonah Fischer’s high school wrestling career has been stellar, but now he’s the unwilling star of a series of videos that have hit the web. The whole world may have seen the evidence that his best friend turns him on. Jonah’s conservative family wants him cured, and his conventional town and school want him normal. The only person who still wants him just the way he is is Casey Melville, the same best friend who turned him on for all the world to see. Meanwhile, Casey begins to wonder if there’s more to his feelings for Jonah than he thought. 

Officers Brandt and Donnelly—lovers as well as partners on the job—have been assigned to find the culprit who posted the video. While investigating the case, they also help Jonah and Casey find their way through their feelings, and steer them toward refuge when Jonah’s family turns against him. But the mystery remains: who wants to hurt Jonah badly enough to post those videos, and why? Thank goodness Jonah and Casey have found friends—they’re going to need all the help and support they can get.

My Review:
This is an interesting book just in that there are four POV's, as the story follows all four of these guys...Brandt & Donnelly and Jonah & Casey. Jonah & Casey are still in high school and they are both 18. I did appreciate the fact that the author seemed to keep in mind that they are both still really young. They had some hot scenes together, but they were kept on the tamer side while Brandt & Donnelly made up the REALLY HOT scenes.

In this story, Brandt & Donnelly are investigating a case of peeping-tom videos taken in the wrestling locker room of a local high school. This small town is fairly backwards in their thinking and extremely conservative. They are worried at even the hint of homosexuality in their wrestling program and plan to 'nip it in the bud before their poor wrestlers' reputations are sullied'. What no one realizes is that there is homosexuality in their program...with their star, Jonah, who's in love with his best friend and fellow wrestler, Casey...who also just happens to be straight. 

This was a book much like the first in the's a gay-for-you story. There were some beautifully written scenes about sexuality and how everyone is just as they are...there's no deciding to feel one way or other about someone. It just is. Literally, there is a scene with a bookstore clerk and what he says about being gay, or straight, or anything in between had tears rolling down my face...just beautifully spoken and such an incredible "moral to the story" about sexuality in this book. 

Overall I enjoyed the story. The whole video tape scenario was interesting trying to figure out who did what and why. I liked the burgeoning relationship between Casey and Jonah. Casey was an incredible character and friend...I loved him and his attitude toward loving Jonah. My heart hurt for Jonah and what he's going through. It was great to revisit the characters from the first novel...definitely Brandt & Donnelly, but it was fun to see Bryce and Nestor. Their commentary is always fun at any event and I can always count on them for a good giggle because they are so incredibly over the top. 

There was a bit of emphasis on religion at the end that I could have done without, but it was a tiny niggle in what was overall an entertaining read and I understood why it was there after Jonah's persecution. 

I enjoyed the first book and I enjoyed this one too. I found myself smiling throughout even with the serious subject matter. It was definitely a book that made me feel better for having read it.

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