More Than Muscle by Terry O’Reilly ~ Review by Leisa

Can he see beyond the hot physical appearance to find that love is more than muscle?

morethanmuscle Title: More Than Muscle

Author: Terry O’Reilly

PublisherJMS Books

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Ernie Boudine — early thirties, still lives at home with mom — has never had sex, hasn’t even been kissed. In his mind the only guys who get in on the action are the muscled-up bodybuilders he worships on his computer. But Ernie knows to attract such a god He’ll need to transform his current blob of soft muscles covered with an ample layer of fat into body beautiful.

Personal trainer Butch Noonan discovers his boyfriend has been cheating on him. Troy is the last straw. Butch decides he’s done dating bodybuilders with their self-centered and egotistical attitudes. Butch longs for a relationship with someone who believes in romance, togetherness, and fidelity.

Joining a gym, Ernie feels like a kid in a candy store. So many beautiful men working out, so much hard muscle to ogle. Ernie is disappointed when Butch is assigned as his personal trainer. Despite the man’s name, the other trainers have bigger and buffer bodies.

Soon, however, Ernie begins to appreciate Butch’s sexy, compact body and what’s more, the man genuinely seems to care for and about Ernie.

Much to both men’s surprise, a tentative relationship begins to blossom, but then into the gym strolls Butch’s former college roommate. Bill is a serious bodybuilder and Ernie is immediately captivated by the man’s huge muscles and confident swagger.

Can Butch stand idly by and watch Ernie make the same mistakes he has? Or will Ernie wise up in time and realize true relationships are about more than muscle?

My View

At the start of the book, Ernie is a pathetic man. An overweight, closeted man in his early 30s, he still lives at home with his overly protective mother, and his only relationships are with the muscle bound guys in gay porn. He decides he must get in shape and joins a gym. His trainer is Butch, a smaller man who, although he’s in great shape, isn’t a huge muscled body builder. Butch is coming off a break up with a vain cheater, and he’s ready to look past the physical to find someone who’s sweet and loyal to love. Butch is drawn to innocent Ernie, and they begin dating and soon become involved in a endearing relationship.

I really didn’t like Ernie much at the beginning of the story. He is a whiny Mama’s boy who criticizes others for not seeing beyond his physical appearance, but in turn he does the same thing by only wanting men who are body builders with huge muscles and by initially being disappointed that Butch isn’t more muscled and large. However, I soon saw Ernie as an insecure man who so doubts his own ability to be attractive, that he initially doubts the sincerity of Butch’s interest. Butch is a surprisingly evolved character who always sees Ernie’s personal value, and who is unfailingly supportive and patient with the sexually inexperienced man.

One aspect of the story bothered me … Ernie’s mother is portrayed throughout the story as a stereotypical clingy, overly protective mother who refuses to allow her adult son to be his own, independent man. Her character is unlikable at best. Then, after Ernie and Butch are an established couple and Ernie finally tells her that he’s gay and moving out of her home, she quickly accepts these proclamations and sweetly wants to meet Butch?! This just doesn’t seem realistic to me … I doubt that his mother’s personality and clinginess would change so drastically.

In sum, More Than Muscle is a sweet, interesting read, and will be especially fun for anyone who likes a stories of unconventional couples, and who likes a quite nice virgin story.

Buy Links:

JMS Books

I would like to thank JMS Books for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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