Male Review
by Lillian Grant, contemporary (2012)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-922-8


Male Review is a genuine sequel (same characters, continuing story line) to last year's Male Order. Honestly, I've forgotten about Male Order and how atrocious I found that thing, or else I would have never touched this story with a ten-foot pole. Perhaps this lapse of memory is a good thing, then, because this story is actually leagues better than the previous story.

So, where we last left off, Sam Stephens and Meg Riley are in love. So, what's there left to tell, right? Usually, people who hook up and have sex just to let romance readers get a cheap thrill for six dollars or so tend to discover that they have nothing in common during the awkward post-coital moments and break up shortly after. But lucky me, this couple is special.

Meet Meg's Aunt Maud. She was evicted from pretty much every senior citizen home in Sydney because of her obnoxious fun eccentric antics. Her latest escapade, involving a male gigolo, leaves Aunt Maud once again without a place to go. Guess where she ends up crashing! That's right, the presence of a Golden Girl gone wild - what a wacky concept that has never been done before - makes it hard for Sam and Meg to swap body fluids with carnal abandon, so that's conflict number one.

Meg's mind turned to her new beau. They'd been on the cusp of sex any which way, anywhere, any time, and then, when Aunt Maud showed up, the sex fest was over. She couldn't sleep in his bed because Maud would know what they were doing and Meg would be horribly embarrassed. How was he coping? Sam had needs. Big needs. Often needs. She hadn't heard yips of "yee-haw" coming from his room since Aunt Maud moved in a month ago, so either he was suffering from a case of blue balls, or he’d learned to jack off quietly. The thought of him lying in his reclining chair naked with his fist wrapped around his hard, hot, heaving cock sent a heat wave through her body and a definite dampening in areas that had no business being damp when you shared a bed with your eighty-something great aunt.

Oh yes, I'm now reminded that Sam loves to masturbate and make loud noises while leaving the door open. I also remember how, in the previous story, he just, uh, leaves his residues all over the place without apparently cleaning up, so yes, now I also remember that I want to puke.

See, that's my problem with Male Review: it follows a very crappy bad sex comedy, so it is hard for me to forget the lingering distaste I felt for the previous story now that I am forcibly reminded of that thing. This probably isn't author Lillian Grant's fault - although she is, of course, to be blamed for writing Male Order in the first place, heh - and it's more about me, but it's hard not to recall that Sam, who's actually quite sane here if I can overlook the exaggerated portrayal of his libido, used to masturbate with the door wide open while wearing only a cowboy hat and a pair of white socks. It's like dating a guy who had been caught on TV streaking across a soccer stadium: no matter how cute he may be, it's hard to forget the sight of his pasty white bum and hairy legs as he ran like a little girl to escape the cops.

Likewise, Meg actually comes off quite sane and, dare I say it, even likable here, and her family drama actually feels real for once. The author is still doing comedy here, but her timing is much better and I actually smile at a scene or two. But I can't forget that she was an obnoxious and neurotic caricature in the previous story. Every time I turn a page, I expect her to start acting like the brainless ninny she once was.

On its own, Male Review is a pretty decent story. There are still many cringe-inducing scenes of awkward slapstick comedy, but still, the main characters and the conflicts are pretty well handled. Sure, much of it seems silly, but this is a comedy so the silliness isn't out of place. It's just that, as I've said, the awfulness of the previous story makes it hard for me to fully immerse myself in this story, especially since we are talking about a genuine sequel here. Anyway, if you have not read the previous story but intend to read this one, yes, go ahead and read this one, but do not even think about getting the previous story or you will regret doing so as much as me. Ms Grant should have just ditched Sam and Meg and start anew with this new and improved style of hers.

Rating: 61


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