Author: SJ Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Jared Racker
Rating: 3.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/01/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Romance, Romance
Known as the famed adult star, Cody Starr, Christian Larson is a young man looking for love and stability, and he wants it from Finn Madigan, but they must overcome the challenges of Christian’s career if they’re to be together.
Cody Starr is one of the most popular actors in gay adult films. Young, beautiful, charismatic, when he’s on screen, he shines. But Cody Starr is a stage name, a persona, and the real man, Christian Larson, isn’t as enthusiastic about his adult career anymore. The problem is, Christian fears if he stops being Cody, he could end up homelessâ€¦again. He came to Hollywood with big dreams and lost them all, even the one of finding someone to love him.
Finn Madigan is an Army veteran who has a warrior’s soul and a hero’s heart. He makes his living protecting people. When he meets Christian, he sees a young man who needs someone who can be there for him. He’s hesitant to begin an intimate relationship with Christian, but at the same time, he’s helpless to resist him.
Passion, desire, and emotion are strong between Finn and Christian, but they will they be enough to overcome the challenges of Christian’s career?
SJ Frost is one of my favorite authors because of the characters and stories she comes up with. If there’s one thing I almost always like about her books, it’s the characters, and Kissing Cody Starr was no different.
Christian and Finn were both interesting and different characters, with their own personalities, goals, and lives. They each have back stories and friends that help drive them. They don’t read as carbon copies of each other, nor do they come across as flat and uninteresting.
The plot set-up is good too. I’ve met a few porn stars over the years and they’ve all been normal people, with flaws and interests outside of porn. So to read a book about a porn star where it’s not all glamorous was nice.
However, the book fell flat toward the end. The book kept teasing us with how would Finn handle dating a porn star. I kept waiting for Christian to go back to porn and see how the two of them worked things out, but he never did. Instead, the “conflict” came way too early in the book and way too early in the relationship.
By the time the book is over, I was left feeling like half the story was missing. It’s like the author realized she was already over the word count so just wrote a rushed ending and tried to tie everything together. Everything came together too neatly, without any real source of tension or an antagonist.
There was too much sex and not enough focus on the story. Most of the sex scenes could’ve been cut out without taking away anything from the book. In fact, they should’ve been cut out and replaced with scenes that actually progressed the plot.
Grammatically, the book was well written. I found very few errors or even instances of weak wording. But the story itself needed work. It needed more than just a proofreader and needed actual content edits. It was like the editor just waved their hand over it, then sent it for proofreading and called it a day.
The cover art wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t amazing either. It was very middle of the road and didn’t really reflect much about the book or it’s subject.
While the book had its flaws, it’s not one I regret reading. In fact, it’s one of the better books that’s come out of MLR in recent years. It may not be amazing, but it’s a good read when you don’t want something too serious or in depth.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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