★★★★ Bad Idea by Damon Suede ★★★★

Bad IdeaBad Idea by Damon Suede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Some mistakes are worth making.

Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling super-square, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.

Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can’t save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can’t escape.

What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?

So what did I think?

I was very excited to read Bad Idea, enticed by the blurb and with high expectations based on previous reading of the author’s work – specifically Hot Head which I read a while ago but just finished rereading by listening to the audio version and it was brilliant! If you get a chance, do check it out as Charlie David’s narration really enhances the experience!

But back to Bad Idea….the fabulous characters totally carried this story and pulled me in to a world that sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I am not a comic fan, I didn’t understand a lot of the tv show, movie or cultural references but I definitely appreciated the world’s inhabited by Trip and Silas and their shared geekiness.

I loved both characters from the first moment they were introduced. They were complex and had real depth. They were real men with hopes, desires and flaws. And it was the flaws, the doubts, the uncertainly that really drew me in.

In the beginning of the story, Trip was sweet and awkward and bit bumbling in his dating encounters with Silas, so unsure of himself, whereas Silas appears relaxed. But as the story unfolds there is so much more to Silas than initially presented.

The story follows the relationship between the men as they learn to overcome the fears that have prevented them having committed relationships in the past but also deal with a myriad of issues in their careers. We learn of Silas’ world of makeup artistry and get some inside view into the gaming industry through Silas’ best friend Kurt. But it is Trip’s graphic story Scratch that I found most interesting. Of course, I now have to read Horn Gate! Horn Gate is Scratch’s story.  (Horn Gate.)

While I don’t truly understand the comic scene, the fans and the conventions, it didn’t distract from the story. There are references that totally went over my head but I don’t think knowing the quotes and references was required, it was enough to understand the intentions. However, what I did find slightly distracting, was my inability to follow the dialogue at times. I wasn’t necessarily clear on who was saying what at times. This lead to me rereading paragraphs to clarify and ultimately totally slowing my reading speed to ensure I was not losing the story. This didn’t impact my overall enjoyment of the story but was something that definitely stood out.

This is a story of taking chances and overcoming fears. It is sweet and geeky and emotional. It contains some hot sex but ultimately it is about love.

4 Stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher (via Netgalley) in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Damon Suede and his books visit his website.

Buy Bad Idea from Dreamspinner Press.


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