Hot Ticket
by KA Mitchell, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-863-1


Whoa, there are some really fierce-looking nipples on the cover.

KA Mitchell's Hot Ticket is part of the special gay romance project called Serving Love. This means every story features at least one fellow who is doing some kind of civic duty, paid or voluntary, to the public. In this case, the two fellows are sentenced to community service by the court. Okay, that's not something they are doing voluntarily, but they are still serving the public, and I guess, lots of love, so that has to count for something.

Cade McKuen, a waiter, is ordered by the judge to work at sorting trash at the local recycling plant for the crime of throwing a golf club through the windscreen of his ex-boyfriend's BMW. Elliot Graham is also doing community service for accidentally buying a stolen Coach bag for his niece. They meet as they both fight over some concert tickets found among the trash they are sorting and it's... love, I suppose.

Well, I do know that I would love to push Cade's face deep into a bag of rotten garbage and count to three thousand because my god, that is one irritating example of a nelly princess that grates on every nerve in my body. Whiny, unnecessarily argumentative, and has a chip on his shoulder big enough to be a one-man float display in a Mardi Gras parade, this ridiculous creature is on a roll from the first page and doesn't stop until much later. And that's only because his mouth and other parts of his body are focused on other things, if you know what I mean.

The two main characters have zero realistic chemistry and they just grope and suck face without any decent build-up. Now, that is fine if this is a story about some anonymous shag, but this story is supposed to be a romance, so I'm afraid this rushed sex passed off as love definitely doesn't cut it with me. I'm also not sure about some dodgy sexual scenes that... I don't know, as a straight woman I don't think I'm qualified to say anything about the author's safe sex soapbox, but I suspect that the way she injects the soapbox moment - after Elliot becomes careless - may not go down well with everybody. Oops, no dirty pun intended there.

And yikes, what's with the run-on sentences, Ms Mitchell? We are not in fanfiction.net anymore.

The bus driver was apparently sympathetic to freezing waiters running up predawn streets with court orders to work sanitation due to cheating bastard ex-lovers bent on petty revenge, because the driver let the tie go to the runner and waited while Cade caught his breath before climbing on.

And don't get me started about the sex scene that turns out to be an awkward step-by-step PSA on how to use a condom and how to rim a well-lubed you-know-what. Please, Ms Mitchell, nobody reads short trashy stories for instructions on safe sex. We randy little girls just want to read about twinks getting it on.

Elliot pressed forward. Cade's muscles shifted and gripped him, tighter than a fist, smoother than a mouth. Even through the latex Elliot could feel Cade's ass along every millimeter of his cock.

Milimeter? I can't help thinking that if Ms Mitchell has to use milimeter instead of, say, centimeter in that scene, poor Elliot can't be that well-endowed. That probably explains why the poor dear is a virgin until he meets that whiny freak amidst bags after bags of rubbish.

Rating: 46


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