Apple Polisher

Title: Apple Polisher
Author: Heidi Belleau
Cover Artist: L.C Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Buy Link: Amazon.com Genre: Contemporary
Length: 60k. 228 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Review by Zac D

Review Summary: An entertaining read that brings a much needed uniqueness to the MM genre. Funny, slightly trashy and a lot of fun-a recommended read, especially if porn humor floats your boat 🙂

Blurb: This straight-A student has a dirty little secret. Christian Blake dreams of being a kindergarten teacher, but making the grade means maintaining a squeaky clean image: no drinking, no drugs, no swearing, no sex. And definitely no falling for his new roommate—tattooed bad-boy Max, who may or may not be a drug dealer.

Most of all, it means no working at a porn store. But Christian’s aunt has cancer, and her beloved Rear Entrance Video will go bankrupt if Christian doesn’t take over managerial duties. Soon enough, Christian finds himself juggling sticky twenty-five cent peep show booths, a blackmailing employee, and a demanding professor who likes to make an example of him.

And then there’s Max, who doesn’t know anything about the store, but hates Christian’s preppy sweater vests and the closet Christian forces him into when they’re together. Max just wants Christian to be himself—even though Max is keeping secrets of his own. Christian struggles to find the impossible balance between his real life and the ideal one he thinks a teacher needs to live . . . all while trying to keep his aunt’s dream alive without losing his own.

Review: This book isn’t the type I would usually pick up. The cover doesn’t appeal to me, the blurb falls flat, and yet somehow, here I am…

And that’s pretty much the theme of this review. I shouldn’t like this book, and from the first page I was utterly convinced I wouldn’t.

But I did. I liked it a lot…like a stupid amount I can hardly believe.

Apple Polisher follows Christian Blake through his struggle to balance his desire to be a teacher, and his obligation to save his aunt’s failing business: a dilapidated porn store. Christian is not terribly likeable, which is a shame as the story is told entirely from his POV. He has a tendency to blather on and fret, and he doesn’t seem to know how to function around perfectly normal people. But I didn’t mind that, much, because whenever he became too annoying, one of the genius secondary characters stole the show.

The secondary characters make this book. Noah and Rob were my favorites, eclipsed only by Christian’s slightly stilted love interest, Max…Max and his superhero undercrackers.
Classic, and brilliantly written. In fact, I really enjoyed Max in general, and I’m glad he was kept somewhat in the background. His enigmatic air kept him interesting, and he was written just right to balance Christian, who could be ridiculously irritating. Balance is important in books, and this one had it down.

The porn shop angle was hilarious, even in places where I’m not sure it was meant to be. The setting was well described, and I wanted to bitch slap the shitty employees by the end of it. The idea of Christian’s roommates coming through and staffing the shop was inspired, and the image of them all milling around, surrounded by dildos and blow up vaginas will stay with me for a while.
The sick aunt trope didn’t work for me. Christian seemed insincere in his concern for the most part, and as a result, I found myself skimming through the parts of the story that should’ve been emotive.They weren’t badly written, I just found myself not giving a crap.

So, to sum up…

A lot of wittering, and some horrible grammar, and the MC was a complete twit, but for some reason I didn’t mind. In fact, for some reason, it was part of the charm. Apple Polisher is unlike anything I’ve read in yonks, and for that alone I applaud the author. In a genre where tropes are done (badly) to death, originality and a break from the norm must be rewarded. And any book that can make this stuffy old coot laugh out loud deserves a golden egg.

Well done. 4 stars.


4 comments

  • Zac

    Your review makes me want to read this book because it’s so hilarious. I chuckled so many times as I read your thoughts on the characters I knew I had to read Apple Polisher. Thanks for making a dull day brighter. I think I would like to visit this shop to check out the merchandise. 😉

    Reply
  • Thank you, Tom.

    This book is a break from the norm, for sure. Some people won’t like it, and it’s not the sort of thing I usually like, but it was an entertaining read. As my cockney partner would say, ‘well worth a punt’.

    Reply

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