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Brad Vance is a college student in Reno, NV, where he enjoys hiking, snowboarding and writing hot man-on-man action. Keep up with Brad at http://bradvanceerotica.wordpress.com/
on March 13, 2014 :
Wow! What a delightful surprise this book is. I’d never heard of Brad Vance until I saw someone mention that he’d had a book banned by Amazon that was all about a porn star who had a side business kidnapping people at their own request.
Luke's Brutal Abduction Four Pack lived up to its promise, but it rose high above the general gay porn equivalents because it is well written, the characters are eventually likable and believable and the kink being more inventive and therefore real.
I’d assumed all Brad’s books were the same but they’re not.
He self publishes and his stories cover a wide scope of the genre. I suspect he’s trying to work out what sells best. At least that’s the impression I got reading through his blog bradvanceerotica.wordpress.com
I found a podcast with him here: http://youtu.be/ubdLtUSkxKY
and when he does manage to get a word in edgewise, his intelligence shines through (as it does in his books). Plus he has a real sexy voice!
But having said all that, I was still surprised at how GOOD The Worst Bad Luck is. The sex scene at the start was hot, but even better was firstly the banter at the advertising agency where Peter worked. There were enough cracks at the fakeness of the industry and the people in it to really show the viewpoint character and the world he lived in.
Okay I thought, so far so good.
But then came a couple of fantastic flashbacks that wove beautiful pictures of children growing up in radically different circumstances.
The clichéd poor kid with the sick mother and the rich kid with helicopter parents trying to ensure he got into Harvard.
Now the author can’t have experienced both childhoods, so the fact that both these felt so real shows ME that he can do his research and does it well. We’ve all seen these clichés on shows, but what I like is that he sees these from a fresh angle. This was also demonstrated in “Luke’s Brutal Abduction”. The clichés are there but so are some wonderful different snippets that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Eg Matt’s mother giving him a hard time because he played the guitar instead of the cello and he preferred Galbraith to Segovia. (Not that she would have known who either of these people were)
I suspect from blog comments and things he said in the podcast that he either doesn’t write fiction for a living or he has had some exposure to traditional New York publishing. I don’t for a minute buy his Amazon profile: “Brad is a college student in Reno, Nevada who enjoys hiking, snowboarding, theater, and writing hot man-on-man action.” Unless he’s a mature age college student, but I’m sure he said on the Podcast that he lives in Phoenix. But that doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that this guy can write. And through writing he is able to make some pretty heavy statements on the state of the world around him.
On the surface it’s hot man on man action, but hiding beneath that hot sex is a decent story, well rounded characters, interesting secondary character, eg Lydia the Worthington Admissions Counsellor who tries to help Matt cope with his ambitious mother.
None of these things get in the way of the plot. Flashbacks can often be annoying, but in this case, the introduction of this backstory AFTER the gun has been placed on the wall, turns it from a Colt 45 into a double barrel shotgun.
I had a few little niggles, minor formatting problems. Two people called Lydia. And the author himelf expressed dissatisfaction in his blog, claiming he rushed it and it could be better. Any book can. However, it still stands head and shoulders alongside a lot of mediocre efforts I'm reading these days.
Definitely worth a read, and if you enjoyed this, then check out A Little Too Broken which is even better!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on March 01, 2014 :
This was my second book by Brad Vance and definitely a much lighter, romantic read than Luke's Brutal Abduction - The Whole Story, but just as enjoyable.
The premise was unique, and I don't want to give away much of the plot twists. Basically, shortly after meeting and hitting it off with Matt, a mechanic who turns out to be more than meets the eye, Peter finds that he has won over $400 million dollars in the lottery. Growing up poor while taking care of his dying mother made for a rough childhood. Peter has self-esteem issues and a past that includes an abusive ex. Instead of being happy at his turn of fortune, he fears the burden of all the money, including potentially losing Matt. Just before he gets ready to cash in, he is surprised by a visit from the ex he hoped he left behind when he moved to NY.
The story was an enjoyable, quick read, and both Peter and Matt were very likable characters. I thought both characters were developed well and Cody, the villainous ex was someone I really felt the hate for. There is instant attraction between the men and the sex is hot with plenty of dirty talk. I get the feeling that the author really has fun writing these scenes and as with his other work, I found myself smiling as I read them. I did have a bit of a problem with the constant POV switches and sometimes I had to re-read a paragraph to figure out whose voice it was. Other than that it was a story I sped through and wanted a little more of.
(reviewed long after purchase)