Moonstruck (ParisDude’s Review)

Title: Moonstruck
Author: Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt
Publisher: 44 Raccoons
Release Date: April 12, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 331
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.80 stars out of 5


Anthony Rawson is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Triple Moon series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads Axis Mundi, a fanfic novel by his online friend “SirMarrok.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.

Samir Daoud is thrilled when “Ulfhedinn” wants to meet up after reading Axis Mundi. When Ulfhedinn turns out to be Anthony Rawson himself, Samir is starstruck. When Anthony tells him he wants to add Axis Mundi to the Triple Moon series, Samir is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big-time—into real life, Samir is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is … it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Samir is left wondering if Anthony really loves him, or just loves his book.

This book is an interesting take on how starting a new relationship brings out all our insecurities and how we struggle with them and overcome them in order to make things work out. It tells the story of Anthony Lawson, best-selling author and hunky, solitary “silver fox” (I quote) in his late forties. He’s working on the eighth novel of his highly successful paranormal “Triple Moon” series. That is, he’s supposed to work on it, but hard put to get beyond chapter 8 – writer’s block on an epic scale. That’s when SirMarrok, who’s been his online buddy from the “Triple Moon” fan site Moonatics for well-nigh two years, sends him his fanfic novel “Axis Mundi”. After reading it, Anthony is awestruck – this is exactly the sequel he’s been looking for. He immediately asks SirMarrok if they can meet. And the latter accepts.

Little does SirMarrok aka Samir Daoud, a dashing twenty-something programmer from Seattle, know that that date with Ulfhedinn (Anthony’s pseudo) will change his life. Not for an instant would he imagine that he’ll be face to face with his favourite writer, that said writer is even more handsome and charming than expected, and that he’s going to propose a deal: “Axis Mundi” shall become book #8 of the “Triple Moon” saga, and Samir land a million-dollar book deal. When they do meet, both are immediately struck by the Arrows of Amor. It comes therefore as little surprise that on Samir’s first drive out to Anthony’s isolated house in the forests, they almost tear off each other’s clothes and spend a weekend shagging before Anthony’s agent turns up to discuss the technical details of the book. And incidentally deciding Samir’s future.

Everything looks rosy. There’s steamy chemistry between the silver fox and the young puppy. There’s still the deep friendship they both have been building over the last two years and which is deepening with each minute they spend together. There’s Anthony’s ass saved with a book he’d been unable to write. There’s Samir’s future as a new and upcoming writer all set up. But. When everything looks swell, that’s when insecurities bubble up. Is the twenty-year gap between the two of them not too important? Is Anthony willing to give up his solitary life-style and share his life and space with someone else? Will Samir be able to deal with the sudden fame that comes with being the co-author of such a huge success as “Triple Moon”, which has even become the It-TV-show of the moment?

“Moonstruck” is written in solid, confident prose, providing the alternating POVs of Anthony and Samir as the well-paced plot unfolds. It’s mainly an exploration of how someone we fall in love with can bring out our innermost insecurities, also allowing a fascinating glimpse into the contemporary publishing business. I don’t know whether the two authors have provided us with genuine insight into the latter or if they have believingly invented everything, but it does read authentic (for any aspiring writer out there: chillingly and almost despairingly so). The two main characters Anthony and Samir are two life-sized and endearing persons. Maybe the self-questioning got sometimes a bit too much and I wanted to growl, “Samir, get a grip! You’ll end up with a seven-digit check, so stop fretting, mate!” or “Anthony, you’re hot as hell and not yet 50, for Christ’s sake! The youngster is completely smitten, so stop worrying about that age-thing!” But of course, as I was constantly allowed to glimpse the thoughts and feelings of both, I always had a head start on them. And when you’re not sure about yourself, you often don’t see the obvious even if it clubs you over the head (and it does – take any dialogue of your choosing, and you’ll see, feel, smell, and taste that they are head over heels in love with each other).

Apart from that, it was a highly enjoyable read, sometimes sweet and romantic (two dedicated kissers, how cute!), sometimes so hot my glasses steamed over, with witty dialogues and nice character developments. The whole faultlessly edited. One of those books you can fall in love with.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Moonstruck provided by the authors in exchange of an honest review.


Dieter, born and raised in Austria, studied Political Sciences in Vienna in the early 90s. He's living in Paris, France, with his boyfriend and working as a graphic designer. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, cook, take photos, and travel as often as possible. He’s already published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. His first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on Jan. 6, 2019, and is available in English, French, and soon German. Dieter is also writing reviews for Gay Book Reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude.
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