Title: The Amateur: A Villainous Love Story
Author: T.J. Land
Release Date: November 7, 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Gay Romance, Superheroes
Page Count: 117 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Worst thing about being a supervillain? Getting your butt handed to you by caped do-gooders. Best thing about being a supervillain? Getting your hands on caped do-gooders’ butts. Heh.
Red Velvet and his two partners in crime – super-strong beefcake Ares and proud degenerate the Electric Eel – are the League of Larceny, the most notorious gang in town. They’ve been together in every sense of the word for years, and these days everyone knows better than to mess with them. Which is why they’re surprised to have their weekly heist interrupted by a rookie hero.
His costume is hideous. His banter is corny. His body is amazing. He’s Mister Valiant and he’s here to save the day. Or if not, then at least he might prove to be an amusing distraction for a few bored bad guys…
38K, poly (M/M/M/M), standalone, happy ending. Features a bigender AFAB viewpoint character.
I decided to grab this book after seeing Wendy’s review over at Rainbow Gold Reviews. I love superhero stories. Love, love, love! I haven’t picked up one since reading Cari Z.’s Panopolis series, but once I came across this gem, I knew it was a must-read.
Cute, young (he’s nineteen), beddable Mister Valiant is a new hero in Mercy City. He stumbles upon the League of Larceny after they’ve committed a heist. He tries to subdue them but fails. Horribly. Once he realizes he’s outnumbered and his powers (which he refuses to disclose) don’t stand a chance against the League, he offers them blowjobs. Because when you find yourself in a tight situation, you blow yourself out of the predicament (there are so many jokes to be made here. So many). I snorted. I SNORTED. I do not usually snort while reading. But Mister Valiant, that kid, what a charmer.
“Besides, there are much simpler ways to get into Ares’s spandex, kid,” Eel pointed out. “He’s not exactly high-maintenance. Flowers, beer, maybe a movie. That’s all it takes. Now, if you want to fuck Red, that’s a different story. He only hooks up with other villains.”
You guys, you really need to read this. It’s hilarious. You’re drawn in by the characters and their dynamic and the best part? It’s an unusual take on a poly relationship. There’s M/M/M/M loving but not in the way you’re probably thinking. One of the members of the League of Larceny is bi-gender. I’ve never come across this characterization in a novella before. I’ve read stories with trans protagonists, but that’s not how our villain is depicted. He specifically calls himself bi-gender. It can get confusing for a sec keeping up with the names, but you’ll get the hang of who’s who quick enough. Also, despite the fact that they’re bad guys, the League of Larceny is adorable. They truly care for one another.
Gosh, I loved them to pieces.
I can tell this is going to be a favorite series for me. TJ has provided a perfect set up so that many more love stories can be told involving the heroes of Mercy City (the Remarkables) and the villains (who usually fly solo except the League). Oh, oh, there’s cultural diversity too! There’s a Japanese Remarkable (Lion Man) and Ares (leader of the League of Larceny) is Latino. The only reason the reader knows this is because a pretty dickish racial slur was hurled at him, but he rose above it. The Amateur was my first T.J. Land read, and I’m happy to say Land has won me over as a fan. My fellow M/M bloggers are coming through with great recs! I’ve found two new to me authors, and now I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
I give The Amateur: A Villainous Love Story 4.25 stars electrifying stars.