Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply here. Do judge this book by it’s cover, because it’s telling you everything you need to know. A delicious looking, athletic rugby player? Check. The look of pure sex in his eyes? Check. Endorsed by porn star extraordinaire, Charlie Harding? Check. This book is exactly as it professes to be: an erotic tale of sport and sex as told by smoking hot Irish rugby player, Conor Murphy.
Conor is in New York for the Gay Rugby World Cup. He’s full of a heat and aggression that works well for him both on and off the field. Rugby isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s dirty and dangerous, and after playing with and against like-minded and attractive horny rugby players, Conor is ready to end his pre-game celibacy in a big way. He heads for a club, where he finds a worthy distraction, but he has an eye on San Francisco rugby player, Tonio, and won’t stop until he lands him.
Wilde City Press has gone out on a limb here by presenting what I believe to be a relatively new genre in gay fiction — pure erotica. I’m not talking good sex wrapped around a sweet romance. This is fucking in its most raw and raunchy form. In one regard, it’s going to turn off readers who are looking to connect to characters and a heart-warming plot. But there are readers out there who want it quick and dirty, basically porn in book form, and this book serves that purpose well.
We have a bit of a double standard in our expectations for gay romance novels. We want hot sex, but we don’t want it too vulgar. We want palpable chemistry between our MCs, but we also want it based upon their pure love for one another and not just a desire to get laid. We know there are men out there who fuck for no other reason than because they want to, but we’re not sure we want to read about it. This book throws those ideas out the window. It’s about men who play hard in every way imaginable and make no apologies for that. This is what I love about Confessions of a Gay Rugby Player. Conor Murphy is narcissistic and vain, but funny and charismatic. I’m not sure I really even liked him, but I respected the hell out of the honest way he lives his life, and for the purposes of this book, that’s enough for me.
So while I am excited for the possibilities this type of book presents and even quite enjoyed Darcy’s tale of Murphy’s sexploits, I had a few problems with the writing. Darcy chose to tell his story in 1st person POV, and while I gather a lot of these stories are at least semi-autobiographical, I think it was the wrong choice. We all know making 1st person POV work is difficult, and in the case of Confessions, it only served to further alienate the reader from the larger than life, self-centered Murphy. There was a little too much inner dialogue for me, and I would’ve found the book more enjoyable if I was an outsider looking in, rather than getting turned off by the MC’s single-mindedness.
There were times when the author struck the exact right balance of tawdry and funny, and these were my favorite moments in the book. For instance, this passage:
“Thankfully, he isn’t wearing deodorant, and I get to taste just the natural him. I grind my hard groin against his, as I tongue-wash his pit. I give him the look halfway between “I love you” and “I will kill you.” It is my famous “I will fuck you to death” look.”
And if you cringed at the thought of pit-licking, don’t read this book. There are much more questionably hygienic practices in this book, and whether you find the pit scene arousing or disgusting is a good litmus test.
I had to review this book much differently than I would any other. Some of the dirty talk is taken directly from the most crude of pornographic movies, which I would never let an author get away with in a mainstream romance. It’s jarring and oftentimes offensive, but within the context of the genre, it works. You just have to decide if the genre is right for you.