punching the v-card coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel


Devon is on fall break from college and headed home for the long weekend. He really isn’t sure what to expect, as his sister has set him up with her best friend, Carl. Carl is a musician getting ready to move to L.A. and he wants to lose his virginity before he goes. For some reason, he wants Devon to be the guy to relieve him of that virginity and so the two are spending the weekend together to try everything Carl could possibly want to know or learn.

At first, Devon is somewhat wary as Carl seems so cool and standoffish. But as Devon realizes it is all just a defense mechanism and Carl warms up, Devon lets himself admit how much he wants the sexy young man. Carl confesses that he has been crushing on Devon for years and Devon finds Carl incredibly sexy in return.

While Devon expected he would lead the encounter as the experienced one of the two, it turns out that Carl has a bit of a dominant streak that totally does it for them both. The weekend is amazing and sexy and it blows both of their minds, so much so that Devon finds himself having trouble imagining things all ending after the weekend. But Devon is in college and Carl is headed across the country; now the two must decide if they are going to leave it as an amazing sex-filled weekend, or if they are going to try to turn it into something more.

Punching the V-Card is a sexy, fun novel that is high on the heat and low on the angst. The guys spend most of their time in bed, but there is enough substance here to carry the story and get me invested in Carl and Devon as a couple. The set up is pretty straightforward, as Devon’s sister, Hope, is Carl’s best friend and she brokers this deflowering on their behalf. Devon is wary, as he doesn’t really know Carl beyond his presence as Hope’s friend for so many years. So while he finds Carl incredibly hot, Devon is also feeling a little awkward about it all, especially when Carl puts up some walls at first. But it doesn’t take long for things to settle and the guys then pretty much do and try everything they can think of over the course of four days together. Like I said, expect high heat with lots of sex scenes.

One thing I found clever here is the way Blake plays with the power dynamic between them. Devon is older, more experienced, and the object of Carl’s longtime crush, which should give him the upper hand in their dynamic. And at the start it does, with Devon calling the shots in terms of making sure the guys get comfortable together, setting some ground rules, etc. But it quickly becomes clear that Carl is definitely the more dominant partner and he he is demanding about what he wants in bed and loves to control Devon, and Devon goes crazy for it. So there is sort of a “student becomes the teacher” vibe here that is fun. It is enhanced by the fact that we are exclusively in Devon’s POV for virtually the entire book (there is one chapter toward the end from Carl’s POV). It allows us to really see Devon’s initial uncertainty, how blown away he is by just how good things are between them, and how surprised he finds himself loving letting Carl take over.

This is a fairly short novel and there is somewhat of a fantasy sense here as Devon and Carl barely know one another and yet fall hard and fast (despite Carl’s crush, they have had very little interaction prior to this weekend). These guys are almost sex drunk off each other and there is a fun intensity to how they just are both blown out by how much they are into one another and how hot this experience is for both of them. They do make plans for a future together, and there is a degree you just need to go with it that a weekend is enough for them to make major changes in their lives to be together.

My other issue is that I didn’t love how involved Devon’s sister, Hope, becomes in all this. Not only does she set this all up, literally enlisting her brother to deflower her best friend, but she is weirdly all up in things between them. She is there when Devon gets home from school to see the two of them off on this adventure — not to mention she has made dinner and snacks for them for when they get tired of sexing it up. She talks to Carl on the phone multiple times during the weekend about how it is all going (though at least once Carl is the one who called her). It just kind of weirded me out to have her such a part of this dynamic. Enjoy sex with my brother! I made you a cheese plate!

Overall, however, I found this one fun and a nice easy read. It is sexy and sweet and there is a nice twist on the dynamic with the less experienced Carl as the partner taking the lead. So if you are looking for light, sexy, and not overly angsty new adult story, this one is enjoyable and worth checking out.

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