X Factor by Sean Michael

X Factor by Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (166 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his isolated dream home, and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds of athletes.

Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding. He knows he’ll never make it to the big time, but as long as he can get on his board and go, he doesn’t care. If only his manager, Blake Dobbs, would cut Ecco a break. The man’s possessive and mean, and believes he owns Ecco.

When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it’s lust at first sight. An injury on Ecco’s qualifying run offers an opportunity to spend quality time together at Henry’s home, away from the crowds and out from under Blake’s thumb.

At this rate, lust might turn into love, but not if they can’t keep their romance hidden from Blake.

Henry loves his remote home in the mountains, but he also loves the snow and watching various snow-sports. He’s excited when the X-treme Games come to town and is settling in for a day of people-watching. Henry loves watching the stunts and is eager for the sports to begin. There, he meets Ecco and is unable to tear himself way from the athletic man. The two instantly hit it off. But Henry soon discovers that Ecco is in some real trouble, and Henry is determined to help him out of it no matter the cost.

This is a sexy and fun short read. I loved the enthusiasm and chemistry between Henry and Ecco. Henry struck me as a sweet guy and Ecco a rambunctious, eager athlete. The situation Ecco had found himself in broke my heart and made me deeply sympathise with him. Despite the deep emotions and a few descriptive scenes, I found Mr. Michael handled the issue of the physical abuse very carefully and never in a positive light. Some readers mightn’t be comfortable with it but I really felt it was treated with respect and shouldn’t upset too many people.

I really loved the chemistry and blossoming romance between Ecco and Henry. Equal parts awkward, fun and gentle watching these two come together and build both a strong friendship and loving relationship was just beautiful. I loved how they didn’t jump instantly into bed, there was plenty of build up and by the time they finally really consummated their relationship I was thrilled for them both.

I finished this story feeling warm, happy and really positive – and that’s the best compliment I could ever give any writer. I felt attached and deeply invested in both Ecco and Henry and seeing them find their happiness together was a pleasure. I’ll happily be reading this book again many times in the future.

A fun story that has a strong and emotional plot, I can easily recommend this for other readers.

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