Title: Black Balled
Author: Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Two dominant males, two worthy adversaries, in a business that takes no prisoners, will soon learn that fate refuses to be ignored . . .
My name is Troy Babilonia, but I'm best known as Babu, a renowned literary critic with my own online column. I'm followed by thousands! I'm a living god in the literary world. I have no filter, and for that, my flock of humble followers are forever grateful. If it weren't for me, they wouldn't know what to read. I have zero tolerance for the weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Indie world. My advice to all Indie authors is to never break the cardinal rule in this cut-throat business. Ever.
My name is L. Blackburn and I'm an Indie author. My extraordinary genius was loved and worshiped throughout the literary world, until one egocentric critic tried to obliterate my career. It seems I broke some fucking "cardinal rule," and now I'm paying the price for it. But I don't plan on going down without a fight.
After all, when a predator goes after your cub, it's time to go for the throat--and maybe more...much more.
Andrea Smith is a USA Today Best-Selling Author.
An Ohio native, currently residing in southern Ohio. The Past Tense Future Perfect trilogy is Ms. Smith's first self-published work. Having previously been employed as an executive for a global corporation, Ms. Smith decided to leave the corporate world and pursue her life-long dream of writing fiction.
Ms. Smith's second series, The 'G-Man Series' consists of four novels and a novella. Her 'Limbo Series' is her first venture into a blend of romantic/suspense, mystery with steamy scenes and a paranormal edge.
A listing of her published fiction:
Ms. Smith also publishes New Adult fiction under the pen name of Graysen Blue.
Eva LeNoir grew up travelling with her parents to various countries in the world. Reading was her constant companion during her travels and her ability to adapt to different cultures fed her mind with endless possibilities. The characters swimming in her head are always from various horizons with a multitude of dreams and aspirations. However, all of these voices always have one thing in common: The women are strong and independent. A true believer in the female cause, Eva's wish is to portray the women in her books as the leaders. She sees them walking hand in hand with their partners and not be the sheepish followers of the male gender. But most of all, Eva LeNoir wants to offer her readers a moment of pleasure as they dive into the world of her mind's creation. Email: email@example.com
Underdogs of the Arena Series:
*NOTE - There has been some controversy around this story and the relationship between the authors and bloggers/reviewers. I made a commitment to review this book for an honest review before that information was brought to my attention. After learning of the issue I consulted with The Reading Room Blog followers who requested that I honor my commitment to do a review and base my review solely on the contents of the story. I hope that is reflected below.*
I received a copy of this story for an honest review.
Troy Babilonia, known as Babu to his loyal literary review followers, is a man who speaks his mind and expects others to listen without question. When an impudent author dares to challenge the powerful Babu's opinion of his novel it's full on literary war. And Babu takes no prisoners.
L. Blackburn, or Larson to a trusted few, is an indie author just trying to get his work out to the public. When a popular reviewer demolishes his novel while admitting to not even finishing it, that's the straw that broke the camel's back. If Babu likes humiliation, Larson will give him a serving of his own medicine.
As the two men wage a brutal war of words, their personal demons drive them on to actions with consequences beyond their imagining. Can acts of aggression spark a consuming passion, a passion so strong it has the potential for love?
What I Loved: The chemistry between Troy and Larson is the heart of Black Balled and it beats strongly. Authors Smith and Lenoir made the characters transition from hate to lust to love feel like a scary yet exhilarating roller coaster ride, one that left me feeling as shaken and excited as I imagine the characters feeling. The physical scenes between Troy and Larson are off the charts in intensity and felt raw and real.
What I Didn't Love: I had some struggle connecting to Black Balled in part because the world of reviews and indie authors presented is so drastically different than what I've experienced over the last two years that I've blogged and the years prior I spent as an avid reader. The story has a very dark view of the quality and validity of indie authors and the power or sway of reviewers over those that follow them is elevated to an almost cult like status. The tone of the world in which Tory and Larson make their living felt discordant with the way the two connected in a physical and emotional level.
"We are fragile souls, Troy and we need validation because the shit that's printed in those pages is the inked version of our blood, sweat, and tears. You don't have to like it but to trash it? It's low and it's completely unnecessary."
"Look at us. We're fucking beautiful together. Created separately for the sole purpose of coming together."
If you're an established fan of male/male romance and like your stories with a bit more bite than fairy tale shine, Black Balled may be just the story for you.