Title and Link: Foreshock
Author: Kari Gregg
Cover Artist: Jordan Taylor
Publisher URL: Riptide Publishing
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Short story/15 pages/3,700 words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Eric tries to cope with Kyle’s need to prove he’s a manly man after coming out of the closet late in life.
Sometimes the earth really does move.
Kyle Armentrout is every gay man’s fantasy in a tool belt, but he can’t even change a light bulb without injuring himself. Twice divorced and not long from the closet, he’s found his way into a fulfilling relationship at last, but he can’t quite escape the sense that he’s left his manhood behind in the process.
When Kyle’s latest DIY project slides into predictable disaster, his lover, Eric Mulholland, wants him to retire his Allen wrench and accept that he isn’t less of a man for loving Eric.
Then the fault lines of their relationship meet the fault lines of the 2011 Northeast earthquake, and the two lovers learn not just to stay on their feet when the ground shakes, but to actually treasure the tremble.
After trying to read two recent releases by this author which were DNF (I, Omega and In The Red) I placed her books on my “do not read” list. However, the blurb for this book sounded interesting and most of all, the proceeds of Foreshock were to be donated to The Trevor Project so I decided to try Kari Gregg’s writing once more, and I was glad I did.
Foreshock is narrated in Eric’s third person POV and he’s not only very funny but also droll when he describes his lover Kyle. Kyle had been married twice and fathered 5 children with his two ex wives in an attempt to prove that he wasn’t gay and couldn’t possibly be gay. At 38, trail guide Kyle at last came out of his very deep closet when he met Eric, but his life continued to be a struggle because he tried to prove every day what a tough he-man he was by becoming the ultimate home improvement expert.
Every project Kyle started ended in disaster …. from trying to repair the ice machine which produced no ice and taken to its ultimate conclusion could have resulted in either no water or a flood, to rotating the tires of Eric’s car which could have caused an accident because one of the wheels almost fell off, to replacing a light bulb – something that would be simple for anyone else but ended with Kyle injuring himself in the process. A DIY expert he was not but he never ceased trying to fix things because he felt he needed to prove his masculinity. Being a bottom in the bedroom or kitchen or wherever they had sex only made things worse by ramping up his DIY projects. Could Eric make him see that he was perfect just the way he was, before he ended up in the hospital or destroyed the house?
This delightful short was very sexy as Eric showed that despite Kyle’s best efforts not to give in to his natural urge to have sex with a man, he was extremely responsive to Eric. The way he gave his all in their most intimate moments was not indicative of a man who was still unsure and on the brink – he was all in. He had no inhibitions in bed, if only he would admit to his sexual orientation without feeling the need to compensate in other areas of his life. At one point Eric even offered to switch so that Kyle would be the pitcher and not the receiver, hoping that would make him feel more manly, but it didn’t go over well so it was back to what they both wanted and enjoyed despite the way it made Kyle feel afterwards.
I couldn’t help falling for Kyle in this very short story and sympathized with his desire to prove his masculinity in the only way he knew how. The author did a very good job on the characterizations including Eric’s love for his man which tempered his instinct to pull his hair out whenever Kyle was on his next project and the next. My only disappointment was the somewhat abrupt ending although it was funny, but given the length of the story I suppose this was to be expected. Selfishly I wanted more of Eric and Kyle who were the hottest couple, but I guess I have to be satisfied with this very short glimpse into their lives.
I definitely recommended Foreshock and as mentioned earlier in this review, all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to The Trevor Project.