Hard Knocks U
by habu, contemporary (2008)
eXcessica, $3.99, ISBN N/A


Hard Knocks U is plagued by something that really annoy me: stray quotation marks at all the wrong places as well as missing quotation marks. I know, there is nothing that makes me come off more like a killjoy than pointing out punctuation errors when I am supposed to be enjoying all the naughty romps taking place in the pages, but hey, sometimes there are mistakes so blatant that they stand out and distract me and this novella has such mistakes. There is nothing to kill the mood like me enjoying a naughty scene only to notice an annoying inverted comma hanging around at a completely wrong place like a literary representative of an STD bacteria.

As you may have guessed, this is a naughty romp. The romps here are predominantly gay in nature. If you are looking for a touching love story, you're looking at the wrong place. But if you want to read about a dim-witted jock in university getting passed around like the community bicycle, welcome aboard.

Meet Ron. He's as spectacularly dim-witted as he is very cute. When the story begins, he is easily seduced by his "logic professor" Paul Hollings with him realizing what is happening only after it's over and done with. After his first gay experience, it is barely a few hours later when the poor lad is raped in the shower by the dorm counselor. Even before his rear end has stopped burning, his roommate Lance is moving in to say hello. Attempting to lodge a complain to the dean only sees poor Ron bending over the table for Dean Seeman. The dean's secretary also joins in the fun. After being constantly used and abused by what seems like everyone in the university, Ron decides that it is time for him to take action. Of course, a fellow with limited brainpower like him can only do so much.

Hard Knocks U is full of kink and naughtiness - it's the literary equivalent of a typical Falcon adult movie, come to think of it, but it's full of generic bears and wrestler-type guys with very little personality. Now, since this is a naughty story, I normally won't care too much if the characters have the personalities of dead wood as long as they go through the motions nicely. In this case, however, Ron is dead wood. What I mean is the guy, as a protagonist, is as interesting as a Ken doll. He is the standard trope of uninteresting erotica: the dim-witted protagonist devoid of desire until someone forces him to take part in a sex act, and even so, he's pretty much a passive recipient for most of the rest of the story.

Hard Knocks U may just be what you are looking for if you like your naughty stories to have some mild coercive elements to them. This one is fine where I am concerned, but I find it on the dull side, to be honest, due to the really boring protagonist. And seriously, someone should fix all those punctuation errors. They are quite distracting.

Rating: 66

PS: The quotation mark issue has been fixed, according to the publisher, so by the time you are reading this, the book you purchase shouldn't have the same problem that irked me.


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