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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Straight Up by Daryl Banner Review

Title:   STRAIGHT UP (TheBrazen Boys, #6)
Author:  Daryl Banner
Cover & Interior Design:  Daryl Banner
Cover Model:  Nick Duffy
Photographer:  Simon Barnes
Genre:  M/M Contemporary
Release Date:  July 28, 2015

*** Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order. ***

#1 : "Dorm Game (The Brazen Boys)"
#2 : "On The Edge (The Brazen Boys)"
#3 : "Owned By The Freshman (The Brazen Boys)"
#4 : "Dog Tags (The Brazen Boys)"
#5 : "All Yours Tonight (The Brazen Boys)"
#6 : "Straight Up (The Brazen Boys)"

“Straight” small-town boy Benny has a secret: he is miserably in love with his punk roommate and childhood best friend Trent. When Benny goes on a date with the town’s “sure thing” girl, his night is wrecked by the ever-flamboyant Charlie, who doesn’t seem to buy that Benny is just another straight boy. Love, longing, and secrets torment Benny, and when a night of drunken partying goes too far, his crush on Trent might become more than just a fantasy ...

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.

It’s finally going to happen.
He tells me he wants to have his way with me, his eyes greedy and black, all his dark hair tousled from our bout of wrestling on the floor where he almost tore my sleeve. Not that it matters, as I suspect my clothes won’t be on for much longer at this rate.
I tell him I’ve always been his to do with as he pleases. He laughs in my face and, just when I think he’s going to kiss me, he reaches down, slips his hand into my jeans and grabs a mighty handful of my manhood. I gasp, my lips parting, and an evil look of triumph takes his face.
This is mine, he tells me in a word or two. This is mine until I’m done with you, Benny. You got that? Your cock belongs to me.
Between stolen breaths, I tell him to do whatever he wants with it. My roommate of two years and best buddy of seven, I tell Trent I’m so fucking horny for him I feel sick.
Or maybe it’s his vice grip on my balls that’s inspiring the nausea. You’re goddamned right, he whispers, then clasps my hair into his other hand and pulls my head back onto the couch. One hand gripping my junk, the other my hair, I’m in his complete control.
Just where I’ve always wanted to be for years.


*** Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order. ***

Andrew is the muscular dream boy from Intro to Psych. Michael is the lonely kid desperate for a new roommate. When a class project - and one very reckless decision - forces them together, an unstoppable game of teasing, torment, and pleasure begins.

Michael will soon learn that Andrew’s sexual interests are far from ordinary ...

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.


***Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order.***

It is Derek's birthday and there's nothing he wants more than the mysterious, musclebound boy from the website who goes by the name Edge. When an accidental keystroke brings the dream boy to Derek's house - in the flesh - Derek soon learns he's in for a lot more than he would ever bargain for in a surprise birthday gift ...

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.

Owned by the Freshman

***Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order.***

Thomas Kozlowski, the not-so-easily impressed acting professor, can’t get his hot new college freshman Justin Brady out of his head. Sexy bod, killer smile and a taste for taking charge, this cocky nineteen-year-old is Thom’s forbidden fantasy.

The professor wants a lesson in getting owned, and the strapping young freshman is all too eager to give it.

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.


*** Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order. ***

Growing up, Jesse was lonely, bullied, and misunderstood. Brandon was the scary, messed-up boy next door.

When Jesse hears that Brandon is home on leave from the military, he discovers his childhood neighbor’s Army training has turned him into a hard-bodied beast. Jesse can’t keep his eyes off of him.

They are no longer children. They have different needs. The summer just became full of possibilities.

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.


*** Each novella in The Brazen Boys series is a standalone M/M romance. They can be read in any order. ***

Wes is an expert at healing the world one paying customer at a time. Being a male escort, he is used to keeping emotional distance between him and his clients. But when Bradley, the ever-adorable good-boy-gone-bad, crosses his path, his life takes an unexpected turn for the crazy. His rules are broken. His boundaries, destroyed. Everything Wes thought he knew about men and the intimacy they crave is about to fall apart.

***Contains: M/M sexuality and adult language.


The Beautiful Dead (Book 1)
Dead of Winter (Book 2)
Almost Alive (Book 3)

The Slum Queen:  an Outlier prequel novella
Outlier:  Rebellion (Book 1)
Outlier:  Legacy (Book 2)
Outlier:  Reign of Madness (Book 3)
Outlier:  Beyond Oblivion (Book 4)
Outlier:  Five Kings (Book 5)

A series of standalone M/M romance novellas
Dorm Game (Book 1)
On the Edge (Book 2)
Owed by the Freshman (Book 3)
Dog Tags (Book 4)
All Yours Tonight (Book 5)
Straight Up (Book 6)

Other Books by Daryl Banner:
super psycho future killers
Psychology of Want 
Love and Other Bad Ideas (a collection of seven short plays)

Daryl Banner is a writer and composer who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theatre and Psychology.

He does not write in any single genre, as his stories tend to span several. He is most inspired by the smart and unlikely hero, but urges you (the reader) not to fall in love with them; they may deceive you with their innocence. He is thrilled by putting his characters in terrible situations where they must face choices and challenges that seem impossible to overcome.

Daryl Banner writes contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy (both in medieval and futuristic senses), unique takes on the apocalypse and paranormal romance genre, as well as magic realism. He cannot wait to hear what you think about his stories and welcomes (and responds to!) all feedback.

Interesting tidbits: Daryl is also an obsessive piano player, video game enthusiast, and occasional actor. He's been remixing video game music for over fifteen years, and is a passionate Final Fantasy fan. You can feed your ears with many of his remixes (as well as his original music) on his YouTube page "". Also, he personally answers all emails he receives, so if you have some strange desire to write him, he may enjoy it. He currently resides in Texas.


Straight Up (The Brazen Boys, #6)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.75 stars

This installment was the most relatable of the entire series for me. I've never been in Benny's position, but I've felt lost, questioned myself, made a mistake and embarrassed myself. I 'got' Benny. Like Bastian reading The Neverending Story, I was there when he was disheartened by his prospects at the party. I shadowed him nervously on the couch. I sat with tears in my eyes (yes, literally, I cried) when the shit hit the fan. I also enjoyed Charlie who is a total riot. I even have a spot for Trent. Basically, I had tons of feels, formed an emotional attachment, laughed and cried.

As hard as it is, I'm not going to give away anymore of the plot. I believe the message is that this is your actual life, not a test, so don't waste you're time. Go find yourself. I believe it also has a secondary moral that you have to face reality at some point.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


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