Normal Enough by Marie Sexton

Normal Enough by Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscle cars goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

Kasey likes to keep his head down at work. A mechanic, specializing in muscle cars, he’s found once too often to be the butt of his “friends’” jokes. So he likes to stay invisible. Enter Brandon, a new client who himself reluctant to leave his baby in the hands of a stranger without checking the mechanics knowledge. Insisting on speaking personally to Kasey, the two hit it off immediately. Can they come to a mutually satisfying arrangement?

I have to confess, I’m not particularly a car person. I don’t dislike them – but I’m far from a motor-head. Even so, I found myself really enjoying this story. I loved how much Kasey adored his cars, and how they made him so horny. I particularly enjoyed how the author conveyed Kasey and Brandon’s appreciation of the muscle car so well, that I wanted to keep reading, to relish them enjoying the ride. I find when an author can make you appreciate something you’re not necessarily keen on, that’s the mark of excellent writing. I thought this story had that in spades.

This story was an interesting mixture of humour, lighthearted fun and sizzling sex. Personally, I didn’t feel any of it was particularly kinky or outrageous. While I can appreciate that Kasey feels his intense attraction to cars was a little abnormal, it really felt to me like he’d built it up in his head to be way more than it was. Getting off on (and in) older style, classic muscles cars really wasn’t that nutty to my mind. But Kasey thought it was weird, unnatural and unhealthy, which felt a little over the top to me. I feel it helped that his sexual pleasure from the car wasn’t written in a dirty or offensive manner, so I found it fun and light – rather than a deep, dark, embarrassing secret. I was surprised to find myself far more interested in Brandon and his cars, along with Kasey and his fetish, rather than the actual plot of Kasey reconnecting with his brother. I’m not sure if that mini-plot was just a little too loosely written – not pushed forward enough – or whether it was an after-thought not fully fleshed into the story, but that aspect of the plot just didn’t feel solid or given the same importance as the cars and growing relationship between Kasey and Brandon to my mind.

I really appreciated the pace of the romantic relationship between the two men. I feel the author did a great job, introducing us to Kasey (and his predilections) first, then slowly showing Brandon and Kasey coming together. Despite the shorter length of the story I was pleased with the pacing. Slow enough to be believable but sexy and hot enough to earn its erotic title.

I feel this story will really appeal to most readers, particularly those wanting a gentle M/M story or car enthusiasts. I found it fun, sexy and totally enjoyable. Recommended.

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