Review: Ballsy & Rebel by K.M. Neuhold & Nora Phoenix (Ballsy Boys #0.5-#1)


Note: The prequel is a free personal copy and the full-length novel is an ARC provided by the authors via Vibrant Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

M/M authors K.M. Neuhold and Nora Phoenix have joined writing forces for the new Ballsy Boys series. They introduce the main cast of characters by way of the free prequel, Ballsy, which can be downloaded when you sign up for it via Instafreebie. Readers meet Rebel, Tank, Brewer, Heart, Campy, and Pixie, who make up Ballsy Boys Production, a company specializing in gay pornography. We get the bare minimum here, just enough to know who the main players are, and I'm guessing that each of them will be getting their own books in the Ballsy Boys series.

The first full-length novel is Rebel, which clearly has Ballsy Boy Rebel as the proverbial star of the show. He shares top billing with college student Troy, who knows Rebel quite well, thanks to his familiarity with the Ballsy Boys' videos. When he learns that the Hendrix he's been paid to break up with is none other than his favorite Ballsy Boy, Troy decides to take advantage of the moment and he and Rebel hook up, and it's the first of many. Rebel wants a relationship, but Troy is wary. Does he want Rebel the porn star or Hendrix the guy who makes him believe in love?

I've read Neuhold's Heathens Ink series and Phoenix's No Shame series, so I'm familiar with both authors' penchant for a whole lot of angst and a whole lot of sex in their stories. I've also read quite a number of porn romances--i.e. one or both of the main characters being involved in the porn industry and finding love in spite of the perceived stigma--and while it's easy to say that comparisons shouldn't be made, that's easier said than done. And well, the thing is, compared to Amy Lane's Johnnies series and Garrett Leigh's Blue Boy series, this falls short.

Troy's "job" as a break-up artist or specialist made me think of N.R. Walker's Spencer Cohen books, given that the eponymous main character there would be hired to be his client's new love interest in order to weed out said client's ex-lover's calling for a break-up or a fake-out. Again, the comparison on my end is inevitable, and with the Spencer Cohen series being one of my all-time favorites, add to that having read other porn romance series that fared better in terms of story and character development, Rebel wasn't up to snuff. I'm giving this one three stars. ♥

Date Read: 17 February 2018

Learn more about K.M. Neuhold and Nora Phoenix.

Download Ballsy on Instafreebie.

Purchase Rebel on Amazon.

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