Review: Apple Polisher (Rear Entrance Video, Book #1)

Apple Polisher (Rear Entrance Video #1)
Christian Blake dreams of being a kindergarten teacher, but making the grade means maintaining a squeaky clean image: no drinking, no drugs, no swearing, no sex. And definitely no falling for his new roommate-tattooed bad-boy Max, who may or may not be a drug dealer.

Most of all, it means no working at a porn store. But Christian's aunt has cancer, and her beloved Rear Entrance Video will go bankrupt if Christian doesn't take over managerial duties. Soon enough, Christian finds himself juggling sticky twenty-five cent peep show booths, a blackmailing employee, and a demanding professor who likes to make an example of him.

And then there's Max, who doesn't know anything about the store, but hates Christian's preppy sweater vests and the closet Christian forces him into when they're together. Max just wants Christian to be himself-even though Max is keeping secrets of his own. Christian struggles to find the impossible balance between his real life and the ideal one he thinks a teacher needs to live . . . all while trying to keep his aunt's dream alive without losing his own.

(Please note: This review was posted on GR. For those new to the series, or wanting to know my thoughts on book #1- Enjoy!)

"Apple Polisher" the first book in the Rear Entrance Video series (awesome series name BTW) featuring romantic-comedic approach to MM romance while featuring some real life shit. The romance is simple and comforting featuring twenty-somethings.

Christian Blake is gay (but he re-entered the closet), Jamaican-Canadian (yay!), enrolled into a difficult teaching program (where he has to dress in preppy business casual clothes turning him into a perpetual square - boo!) and broke. (Hello, he's a graduate student!) Poor Blake is so broke he answers a roommate request to live a "heritage house" (questionable) with four other male roommates.

Mmm...sounds like it could be a fantastic setup for an orgy, but (regrettably) it is not. The hose is swarming with different personalities, backgrounds and cultures. It was such a delight to read. One of my favorite things about this story is the difference between the five roommates and the multicultural approach. (Major kudos to Heidi - well that and the Jake Bass references because I have a supercrush!)

But Christian does end up falling for one of his roommates, Max, a secretive, snarky, tattooed, tongue-pierced, sexy ,little, lithe bit of yum who has a penchant for wearing superhero themed underwear. Christian has to remained buttoned up and boring but he can't help but lust after Max who he suspects to be a bad boy involved in illegal activities. Christian can't do anything about that, no matter how tempted he is.


Especially since his favorite aunt who is battling cancer and owner of a small porn store (Rear Entrance Videos) which is tanking, needs Christian's attention and help. Christian has no time for relationships, fuck buddies or whatnot. Besides he doesn't even like Max...that much. Maybe? No.

Max and Christian's bicker-flirting made me smile. A favorite of mine:

"It's totally hot, you being such a square. Don't know why, but I see you with that shirt buttoned up all the way and I know I need to fuck you."
"What you got some Urkel fetish?"
"Don't flatter yourself."

All of the problems laid on Christian's feet are relatable and made me enjoy him the more for them - his family struggles, his sort of laid back approach to handling them, etc. I think Max described Christian perfectly:

"When, in fact, you're an absolutely normal person who takes a bit of time and encouragement to make a hard decision, but gets to the right choice in the end."

In the end, he comes through. He's not perfect and I don't expect him to be. Max was a great foil to Christian's stuffiness. And when he enticed Christian to take a walk on the wild side, I loved it. Also the story is not one long literary porn scene. There's much more than just sex even with Christian working in a porn store(though there was at least one accidental exhibition scene- I loved it).

The narration of the story (from Christian's POV) was humorous, sad and hopeful at times. It went up and down but never hitting extreme peaks with the emotional angle. There's no unwarranted drama thrown in for drama's sake. It read so normal it felt like wrapping in your most comfiest blanket on a cold day. It was a comfort read for me, sometimes those are the best.

All secrets are revealed (Max's I did not expect but it was not a deal breaker for me). The ending was great and realistic. I look forward to reading more from this series in the future. And book #2, Wallflower, looks like it's going to be a doozy (in a good way).

There are many things that made this story great:(people with multicultural backgrounds [I'm partial to the Jamaican references]), real life situations and awesome narration - maybe because I talk and think like that.

Heidi Belleau, it seems you have a fan in me. I'm anxiously awaiting more.

ARC was provided for an honest review.

Find on Goodreads!

No comments:

Post a Comment