Title: X-Factor (2nd Edition)
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 April 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his isolated dream home, and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds of athletes.
Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding. He knows he’ll never make it to the big time, but as long as he can get on his board and go, he doesn’t care. If only his manager, Blake Dobbs, would cut Ecco a break. The man’s possessive and mean, and believes he owns Ecco.
When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it’s lust at first sight. An injury on Ecco’s qualifying run offers an opportunity to spend quality time together at Henry’s home, away from the crowds and out from under Blake’s thumb.
At this rate, lust might turn into love, but not if they can’t keep their romance hidden from Blake.
Review: X-Factor is a completely charming and adventure filled story that matches nerdy computer game maker with an extreme sports junkie. This is the 2nd edition of the book, although I have not read the first edition to know exactly what has changed between the older version and this new updated version.
The story follows Henry, he’s a video game creator that has done pretty damn well in the business. So much so he has made his in a small mountain town and built a luxurious sounding cabin where he can spend his days in quiet while working on gaming codes. One of his favourite activities is coming down his mountain to town to attend the X-treme games. He enjoys the adrenaline rush he gets from watching the competitors, as well as getting the chance to check out the athletes.
One of the X-treme Games athletes is Ecco Rasmussen. He loves and lives for snowboarding. Meeting Henry also adds something to his life that he knows he will miss when their brief acquaintance must end. But the story is much darker, as we quickly find out that Ecco’s manager, Blake Dobbs, is a lot more dangerous when signs of abuse begin to emerge immediately.
Quite quickly, Henry becomes something of a knight in shining armour to Ecco, who suffers a serious injury while competing. It is enjoyable to see that Henry can introduce Ecco to new and wonderful feelings that come with relationships as he tries to escape his dark past. There is a lot of sexual tension and a lot of sex between the guys – it’s great
. But I feel, also, that a lot is missed in terms of Ecco coming to terms with abuse. The other problem I have is how Blake is ultimately dealt with – too predictable, I won’t say anymore in case I give any spoilers away. I think if the abuse side of things was removed it would have made more sense because that was only ever glossed over enough to satisfy readers, well most readers anyway.
Despite my problems with the plot, this was an enjoyable book. It was fun and there was plenty of adrenaline as well as sweet moments. Ultimately, it was a joy getting to know Henry and Ecco.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *