Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.... Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish. Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do…until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there - together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
©2011 Damon Suede (P)2011 Damon Suede
Griff and Dante my,my what a pair. This is not a lightweight M/M romance but romance is indeed what it is. This listen can get a little heavy but as other reviewers have said the banter between the two friends can lighten it up quickly. Griff is long suffering but don't sympathize he handles it well. He is not a push over except when it comes to Dante. Dante is that really good friend to lots of people and the one everyone wants to be around. Him and his Italian family just swallow up Griff into their lives. So when Dante needs a favor from Griff he can't refuse him and doesn't really want to. And here they come with the hotness, sexiness and steaminess.
Hearing Charlie David before is the reason I listened and he did a wonderful job. Very good writing from Damon Suede I will look into other titles by him.
Charlie David is one of the most amazing narrators out there. He makes you feel like you right there in the middle of everything. You can visualize each character, what they look like, what actions are taking place.
I can't say that there is just one thing. I loved every little thing detail and thing about this story.
My favorite would have to be Griff for sure. I just see a personal connection and understanding with him.
It would definitely have to be Griff. His personality, loving heart, shyness, romantic and passionate self, let alone the physical traits of being a ginger and big beefy guy is just what I like.
I've listened to this book at least 5 times and each time I do I end up wishing that it was made into a movie because I'd love to see it put into an actual visual watching version.
Kudos to the narrator Charlie David, whose skillful reading and inflections have come to the dialog rescue and breathed a glimmer of life into this corps of a plot. Had I been reading this in paperback I would have tossed it before finishing the book. It was only David’s skill that pulled author Suede’s chestnuts out of this fire in this work.
This particular book was written for those who have firemen fantasies. The genre of the book is meant to be M/M romantic; sub-genre finding ones true self and true love.
Maine Characters: Two Firemen, Griffin Muir, & Dante Anastagio.
Griffin Muir AKA Griff AKA G: Friendly nicknames (Goliath, Monster, & Vanilla Gorilla). Griff is from a home where his mother has passed and whose father is cool to the point of being unaffectionate. For love he attached himself by way of his boyhood football buddy Paulie to the Anastagio family growing up. The family is warmhearted generous the-more-the-merrier Italian family and accepting of Griff as an honorary Anastagio son. Griff is reserve and conservative to the point of ridiculous. He has an open heart that is firmly held in check by his level head. Spiritually he is a lapsed Catholic with residual guilt hang-ups (this aspect is not well developed). He has a failed marriage after 9-11. Oh, one more thing, he has a massive Hercules like body, with pail Irish skin, ginger hair that shimmers like fire, and a complete lack of awareness of his killer good looks. His chief charm is the way he blushes.
Dante Anastagio: Is the younger brother of Griff’s classmate Paulie. Paulie got married and produced a family and is largely out of the picture. Griff’s marriage to Leslie did not work out. Following the failed marriage Griff fell in with keeping company with the happy-go-lucky, charming, and devilish Dante. They both work at the same firehouse. Work out with weights together. They hang out at the same work bars drinking and chasing women. The fire crew and Griff uses Dante’s place as a party spot and sports center. Dante somehow has scored a bank repossessed house that Griff and the fire mates are helping him to refurbish in exchange for party spot privileges. The house has such importance to Dante it becomes a major driver of the book’s action.
Dante and Griff together: They have partied together, shared women together, shared each other’s interests, have each other’s back at work and in danger and both share the same secret that they are harboring feelings that go beyond both pseudo-family and firemen brotherly love bonds. Both are fearful that they would repulse the other and ruin the friendship if they ever admitted they felt the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name for the other. Frustrated with hiding their feelings they are both racked on the twin horns of desire and guilt. To put a cherry on this ice cream treat they are both virgins when it comes to men. The book is about how this conflict is resolved.
In my opinion the device used is a bit ridicules. Dante tells Griff that he is over extended financially on his house and is in danger of losing everything. Griff tells Dante to figure out what the numbers are and he will do “anything” necessary to help. Enter Alek, the friendly Russian pornographer, with a heart of gold. You guessed it; Dante has struck a deal with the pornographer to raise cash by appearing on his fireman fetish website and eventually seduces Griff into stepping out of his comfort zone, and join him to raise the necessary funds. After the M/M deeds are done, under the guise of helping out a buddy, Griff becomes alarmed that in saving Dante’s house he has helped expose Dante to danger of bigoted gay bashers in general community. This is where the plot gets stupid. Alek offers Griff a safe way out. He will suppress the M/M footage of Dante and Griff in exchange for Griff doing some sort of artsy modeling job in which only his face will be unseen. This farfetched plot twist is totally unbelievable. For that matter, so is the idea that any bank, post 2008 junk mortgage bubble crash, would turn over a repossessed house to Dante if he could not demonstrate financial solvency and credit worthiness. The book was published in 2011.
The happy ending of saying of the, “I love you” to one another is predictable as well as selected Anastagio family members being OK with the new “son-in-law”. However, there is a lot left unresolved as plot issues and unexplored as character development. These flaws leave the very flesh and blood main chief characters looking more two dimensional caricatures of life leaving one fed but ultimately un-nourished and unsatisfied. . If you only need to eat and run this book will surface as a stomach stuffer to prevent starvation. Mr. Suede’s writing is quick and easy and has a nice flow. He obviously has a talent and speaks to the fast food audience. I really wish I could have liked this book more. Obviously I am a bit too picky as my opinion is a minority one.
This is the best gay romance/fantasy of them all. I have listened to it at least three times now. The characters are like old friends, at least like friends I wish I had.
Such a great story, characters and narration. The hotness is off the scale!
Dante and Griff are truly memorable characters and I'm so happy for them. ;)
I was born and breaded in Brooklyn, NY the same city that Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan comes from #GerardWorld21 twitter @gerardg21
Gerard's Book Review: Hot Head is worth the money and the listening time
Because it tells A BEAUTIFUL STORY of friendship that blossoms in the face of the aftermath of something EXTREMELY TRAGIC that changed the history of my BELOVED hometown of New York City and America for ever.
This was my first audio book experience ever. And my initial review was not great. HOWEVER, I have listened to this audio since, and feel like I should not be so "hard" on it.
'Hot Head' is a "gay for you", sweet and sexy m/m HEA. Was it a great story? Well, no. But it was a love story set around firefighters after 9-11. So, some of the descriptions and flash backs were touching and tough to swallow. (in a good way)
The narrator Charlie David did a NY accent in female and male voices like a champ. The very extended scene towards the end of the book where the two firefighters finally "ENAGAGE" is amazingly hot and narrated to point of me feeling like I am in the room with the two gents. Yea. It was steamy.
Cheers to Charlie David for making this book a 4 star rating.
Confession: I love Charlie David.
Confession pt2: I love Damon Suede.
Sure, the guy is put on a pedestal in the MM romance genre, but this book deserves the accolades.
Charlie David's narration for this one is intense. His voice is dreamy, very sexy, intense, and his voices for each character are spot on. The sex scenes - of which there are many, and they are LONG - are read with the sort of passion and excitement that you want from this type of story.
I'm not going to give any spoilers, but the storytelling itself was great, even if the pacing wasn't. I feel like Suede could have done with a more heavy-handed editor... at over 10 and a half hours this is the longest audiobook in my collection, and it does drag in places.
Despite this, it's a story I keep coming back to - for the narration, for the romance, and for the story.
Do yourself a favour and believe the hype!
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