Title: Melting The Slopes
Author: Ethan Day, William Maltese, Jason Edding
Publisher: MLR Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, anthology
Length: Novel (249 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Ethan Day’s Sno Ho combusts ski-slopes with the heat of Boone, Wade, ski lessons, and Irish coffee.
William Maltese’s Bottom’s Up mixes erotic lovers and exotically lit-and-layered Pousse Cafes amidst the snowfalls of London, Paris, Brasov, and Aspen.
Jason Eddings’s One Fire, One Ice mixes enough Grant, Babhru, schnapps, and steamy cocoa to melt slopes and loving hearts.
Sno Ho by Ethan Day 4.75 stars out of 5
If you have never read a book by Ethan Day you’re in for a treat. Sno Ho is set in Summit City, Colorado where Boone Daniels, our hero, has been dumped unceremoniously albeit in the lap of luxury, by his ex; apparently the entire town knew that he was being dumped before he did. The first week of his vacation he spent the time writing one of his many unfinished novels while waiting for Philip, his boyfriend of one year, to show up as promised so they could spend the rest of their vacation together. When Philip gave him the news on the phone that his term as his current lover was over Boone was at first incensed, mainly because Philip implied that he was a lousy lay, but he soon recovered when he met Wade Walker, a former Olympian who set his heart aflutter. That night, After a few drinks at the local watering hole, Boone was quite happy to hit the road with Wade for a bit of the old in and out.
Boone could not remember much of their first night together or even arriving at Wade’s place because he never could retain anything when he drank. He did know however that he had had the most incredible sex in recent memory and that Wade was in bed with him when he awoke the next morning. He sneaked out of the apartment so as not to wake the slumbering giant and later that day, when he had recovered somewhat from his night of debauchery, he prepared for his one-on-one ski instruction paid for by Philip as part of his exit package. He showed up on the ski slopes only to find that his personal instructor was none other than Wade. From there things went downhill rapidly for Boone who fell down every few seconds, but they definitely improved when he decided to cut his losses and party. These two characters took me on a wonderful ride in this fun filled romp which I thoroughly enjoyed, as Boone and Wade experienced every sexual position known to man.
Ethan Day is definitely unique, with a writing style all his own. His characters are not similar to anyone else’s in my estimation and he imbues them with warmth and drama. His protagonists are almost always over the top and his prose is fresh and vibrant, which is what made this story such a standout. His secondary characters were well drawn and the dialogue was laugh out loud. There is so much fun in this book including one incident when Boone went shopping for extra large Trojans, so that he could make as much use as possible of what he considered to be Wade’s gold medal worthy cock.
There is a sequel to Sno Ho which Ethan Day claims will be released this year. When I enquired about the timing of its release, he asked me to tell his readers “to keep their shorts on because he won’t leave them hanging for keepsies (whatever that means) and he’ll do his best to make sure it’s worth the wait.”
Definitely recommended and I can’t wait for part 2.
Bottoms Up by William Maltese 4 stars out of 5
I liked this spy story about a British operative who pretended to be a hooker so that the government could blackmail his “mark,” but instead he fell in love with the man he was supposed to betray.
Alain Rollenbatski is the quintessential playboy with money to burn, but he was also in line to succeed his father (when he died of cancer), as head of his oil rich country. The British Government wanted to prevent Alain from assuming the position of President of Porovia since it had strategic oil reserves, therefore they sent one of their key operatives to pretend to be a hooker so that he could get into Alain’s bed and arrange for him to be photographed having sex with a man. This would of course eliminate him from being the next despot, as the Moslem majority in the country would find his homosexuality unacceptable in their leader, or anyone for that matter. The new ruler would be someone the British government approved of who would be more agreeable to selling his oil to Britain, and they had already selected their man, a politician who had had sex with his niece and caused her to commit suicide!
This story takes the reader into many countries in Europe, from Berlin to Romania to London, as our first person narrator, (whose name, by the way, I don’t think I ever knew) gives us many extended glimpses of his sexual escapades with Alain as he enjoyed this aspect of his job. It wasn’t until he met up with a long time “friend with benefits” and could not perform that he realized he might be in love with Alain. His problem? How to fulfil his mission while at the same time not betray the man he now knew he loved.
This was a lighthearted, sex fuelled story which was incredibly over the top but I liked it anyway because the writing was stylish, the characters were larger than life, and the scenes were lavish. There were many funny moments in the book including a hook-up with our narrator’s supposed homophobic handler in a back alley with his pants at his ankles. The author did some strategic product placement in the story including his own line of Draqual designer cotton briefs. 😀 If I had a concern it would be about the indiscriminate unsafe sex throughout this story with different partners, but apart from that it worked for me and I loved the ending.
Grant hit on the perfect plan to get his man – invite him to spend the weekend at a ski lodge and ply him with liquor in their suite, so that Babhru would be in the mood for love. Of course, before everything went down according to plan he made sure that his body was perfect, and according to the prose he even “trimmed his pubes until they were just right,” “………and looked in the full length mirror. He turned sideways to gather in the shape of his ass, then turned around fully, bent over slightly, running his hands up and down his butt. It looked good.” He then dressed in his most stylish outfit and left in his new Hummer which “was cobalt blue and speckled with silver, and … made him the envy of dudes for miles.”
I lost interest after that although I did finish the story to see if it would get better. It didn’t.
For me this was the least enjoyable of the three stories and failed on all levels. I thought that the characters were flat and one dimensional and after a while I really didn’t care what happened to them because I didn’t find them at all interesting. The plot was non existent at best and Grant was so vain and self absorbed that I couldn’t have any positive feelings for this story. I may have had a better opinion about Babhru but he wasn’t given much face time in the story so it was hard to develop a rapport with his character. Oh, there was drinking and skiing, but at that point I had lost interest and was ready to say goodbye.