Screen Shots: Smolder by Willa Okati

Screen Shots: Smolder by Willa Okati
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Menage, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cactus

Brandon’s trying his best to play it cool. He figures if no one knows he’s a total amateur, he’ll go a lot further in adult entertainment than a nervous newbie. Touchy about being short and pretty, he’s fierce in his independence and determined to become a hot commodity.

He didn’t count on two of’s top studs swooping down and claiming him for their own. Gabriel and Dylan, notorious for their intense sex scenes and a passionate relationship off-screen, decide they want Brandon as their third in a permanent ménage.

Now, all they have to do is convince him. And if a guy’s been working in adult entertainment for any time at all, he knows more than a few mighty pleasant ways to coax a man over to the dark side — and right into the middle.

When two stars of decide to initiate the new guy, little did any of them know the connection would become real. Gabriel and Dylan are well known for their rough and tumble mating, both on screen and off, so the fact that newcomer Brandon is not only not afraid but eager for the initiation is a surprise to both men. Unfortunately problems develop when all three men realize the depth of their connection and miscommunication threatens to end their blossoming threesome. Gabriel and Dylan must convince Brandon that he is strong enough to match the dynamic duo as well as strong enough to submit to them.

This second offering has more angst and emotional turmoil than the initial foray but delivers a more in depth story. Brandon struggles with understanding the dynamics between all the different men while fighting his overwhelming feelings for Gabriel and Dylan. Unfortunately there is very little context beyond the present situation and rampant sex to give any of the men much depth other than the obvious emotional drama. While Gabriel and Dylan’s ardor for Brandon is undeniable, their reasons for wanting a third in the relationship are still undefined. There is a reference to Brandon’s love of rough sex but the emotional attachment points at deeper reasons that aren’t offered. Thus the relationship has depth, but the reasons are unclear and I was left wanting more.

Additionally the concept of the friends with benefit brotherhood of the porn movies is still not entirely satisfying as an explanation. Brandon especially struggles with this concept and never really finds resolution. This frustration is carried from the previous novel and throughout this story as neither offer a concrete and understandable definition and reasoning for the deeper relationships while having sex on camera. Although the story tries to offer explanations about love versus friends that have sex, these were often muddled and unclear leaving both Brandon and this reader confused as to the real point. However, this is likely to be an ongoing problem with the series that has to be put aside for the enjoyment of the stories and characters.

Even though the characters are not fully explored and the emphasis of the story is clearly on the hot, rough sex, this is an enjoyable and sexy offering. The dialogue lacked the punch and wit of the first book but alternatively offers a darker, edgier tone that brushes with BDSM. The brief glimpse into each relationship is tantalizing and evocative, even if not wholly satisfying. The lasting nature of the relationships seems to be questionable but the sex is never in doubt. Be sure to pick this up and follow this incredibly delicious group of men. I look forward to the next installment.

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