I read a lot of gay romance, a lot and so when I finally got to meet Damon Suede last week and actually talk to the man I knew I wanted to read something he'd written and he suggested I start with Hot Head. This book was written in 2011 and Mr. Suede has released more books since then and if I'm not mistaken this was his first published work and it was good. Having read many, many gay romance books I appreciate the fact that this book has been somewhat of a front runner and lead the way for other gay romance books to be accepted and published. While I did enjoy this book at times the story seemed to be a little long winded, especially at the beginning and to be honest I wanted more once these two men realized that in each other they had found what had been missing in their lives. I wanted to see how their fellow firefighters accepted or didn't accept their intimate relationship, I wanted to know how the rest of Dante's family reacted to their news and Griff's father and more important I wanted them to discuss what they saw in their future if Griff's dream of having children with Dante was something they both wanted. To be honest, I also would have like a few more steamy intimate scenes between them once they professed their love as well. All in all, this story had good bones; the characters were charismatic, and their story compelling.
Griff and Dante have been friends for years honestly they are even closer than friends because Dante's large Italian family pretty much adopted Griff after his mother died and his father couldn't seem to find the time to parent him. They've been through a lot together including the aftermath of 9/11 in which Dante was hurt and Griff saved him. Griff married and divorced and now years later he's fighting the fact that he wants his best friend to be more than a friend something he is sure his very heterosexual friend would balk at. Throughout this book we see time after time that Griff will do anything for Dante because truth of the matter is he loves the guy (and there isn't anything brotherly about that love). When Dante needs money he ends up doing some online porn and ends up getting Griff involved where they share some very erotic scenes together all in the name of earning money (or so Griff thinks). I'll admit that the back and forth between these two with them both running away and refusing to talk about what was going on with them drove me a bit nuts and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that while this bugged me I can't help but wonder if because this book is written by a gay man rather than a woman writing gay romance that this is more accurate in how men react. Keep in mind that's not a bad thing; it is simply me trying to figure out if this is normal for two men trying to figure out a relationship and men are just not as good at talking about admitting to or talking about their feelings.
There were some interesting secondary characters including Alek the man who ran the porn site who was professional, polite and as it turns out a good guy. Tommy, a paramedic whose life is turned upside down in this story but begins to understand that true friends are worth so much and I'm so hoping at some point we'll get his story. Dante's large family who add some Italian flair, a whole lot of love and gives excellent advice even from one of the youngest in the bunch. All of these add a whole lot to this story not to mention help these two men see things from different sides and offer some sage advice when the time is right.
It took Dante and Griff a long time to get to their happy place in this story and even after they both finally admitted they wanted one another there were still a few tense times as they worked through Dante's hot jealousy but like I said I wanted to see more of them after this point and yes, now is the time to point out that I'm just a nosey, greedy beyotch. It's okay I can take it.
I enjoyed this story and after speaking with the author I could hear his voice in this book and because of his exuberance for gay romance and romance in general I will be checking out this other offerings. As for Hot Head; it was funny, touching, and downright sexy and it is NEVER a bad thing when two people find love especially two people who had denied themselves for so long.