We are delighted to welcome a new friend here today at SSBR… Darien Cox, author of Guys on Top. Our Tina tracked him down, totally fan girling and dragged him in for a visit, haha… don’t worry, he recovered once he’d had a cup of tea and a biscuit…
Hey all, I’m Darien Cox. I started writing erotic romance a few years ago when a friend, during a conversation about shape shifters, gave me a challenge – to make a man with gills sexy somehow. I gave it the old college try and my novella Fluid Motion was published by Phaze Books shortly after. So how did I go from sexy aquatic romps to writing M/M fiction? It started as many things do –with a book. I’d been through some rough times in my life and needed to get away…far away from everything, to the end of the earth so to speak. So I went down to Provincetown with my partner in the dead of winter for a long weekend. During this soul searching mission to clear my head, I came across the novel ‘Where the Boys Are’ by William J. Mann in a used book shop, and spent much of that blustery getaway reading. My reaction to the book was…holy crap, you can DO that? I fell so in love with the book that I immediately got the other two in the series. After that, all I could think was, well hell, I want to do that! I want to write fun stories about men loving men. And I wanted to read more, so when I returned, in much better spirits, I was all gimme gimme gimme! So I started reading M/M romance from other authors. And then I started writing my own.
Which brings me to my newest release, Guys On Top. You always hear in the advice articles to ‘Write what you know.’ This old chestnut always bothered me in the past. I couldn’t help thinking, if I write what I know, then how the hell am I gonna include gangsters and mutants and pirates and stuff? I’d always dismissed that there was anything to ‘write what you know’, until I wrote Guys On Top. Because for this one, I chose a setting in a neighborhood I used to live in, and drew from some of my own life experiences, and those of people I know. While the book is definitely a work of fiction, just using that setting, and allowing a bit of reality to leak into the story, added a comfort level to the writing process I’d not previously experienced. It was sort of like stepping into a pair of old slippers, comfy and familiar.
And so, I grudgingly had to admit that there might be something to this ‘write what you know’ thing. The entire story doesn’t have to pull from real life of course, but just adding that little spoonful of truth goes a long way to building a story that feels organic as you’re writing it, putting those puzzle piece together without too much force. So while there are no gangsters or mutants or pirates in this story, it was surprisingly fun to write. Because sometimes real life can be as crazy as fiction, and in the end, we like reading about people, and all the unexpected things life can throw at them. So I do hope others enjoy this book and have as much fun with it as I did. As always, thanks for reading!
Guys On Top by Darien Cox
Title ~ Guys On Top
Author ~ Darien Cox
Genre ~ M/M Erotic Romance
Published ~ 27th February 2014
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Doug Crandall’s perfect suburban life imploded after his boyfriend’s betrayal and a subsequent lawsuit left him personally and financially devastated. A year later, with a new place in the city and a fresh outlook, he’s back on his feet and ready to start over. Eager to lose his cynicism and heal his battered heart, he immerses himself in the local social scene, which includes a pair of charismatic men engaged in an open relationship. As Doug finds himself becoming emotionally and sexually entangled in their lives, he’s forced to reevaluate his views on fidelity, betrayal, love, and the often calamitous price of happiness.
I fell in love with Darien Cox’s exciting storytelling with Criminal Pleasures, a truly brilliant book! Darien’s writing style is amazing and Guys on Top is definitely another winner, I loved it… and the clever title, by the way. If you are wondering (I did), there’s no ménage in this story.
When Doug Crandall moves into a house with two guys living on the top floor he isn’t prepared for the impact those two will have on his life. All he wants is to leave the betrayal of his boyfriend and a subsequent lawsuit behind and start all over again. What he gets can’t be more different. His new neighbours Stewart and Corey are unconventional, the charismatic men are engaged in an open relationship. Loud parties and even louder bedroom noises are daily fare. His complaint leads to a lovely note on his door, a note that gets the ball rolling…
“Dear new guy downstairs,
Truly sorry about the noise, we’ll try to keep it down in the future. However, we’d like to ask that in the future, you would be so kind as to come to us directly if you have a problem. You know, like a grownup. and we’d really appreciate it if you would not call the fucking landlord. There’s no need to go all Pussy McTattletale.
The guys on top”
Eager to preserve the peace and heal his battered heart Doug is determined to get along with those guys on top. He plunges into activities in the local social scene and, whether he wants it or not, gets entangled in the lives of Stewart and Corey…
I just adored charming, witty and self-mocking Doug, despite his background and his problems he had to live with he’s determined to move on with life. All he wants is to start over in a new environment. Little does he know the trouble the guys on top will bring him. His journey is quite realistic and really captivating, I loved every aspect of it, even the frustrating moments.
Stewart is a hunky plumber, mouth wateringly hot and even though Doug is immediately enamoured with him I couldn’t really connect with Stewart. I wanted to get to know him better, wanted a glimpse into his background, his former life. Why did he even consider an open relationship with his boyfriend when he rather wants a monogamous life? He is aware of all of the unaddressed problems between him and Corey, so why did he choose to live that way?
Corey is an entirely different story. He is intriguing in his own way, he seems to be nothing more than an eccentric, self-centred, ‘golden god’. When he shows up you never know what to expect. Is he the asshat Corey? Or the spiritual Corey, the healer? Or is he just in the right mood to screw anything with a heartbeat? At the beginning Doug is unable to grasp what is with this guy that everyone is drooling over. The words he picks to describe Corey made me nearly scream with laughter.
“I told Jairo you had a boyfriend because he was going on and on about your magic hands and your golden cock and how sparkly butterflies come out your ass when you take a dump.”
I didn’t fall easy for Corey but over the course of the book he managed to creep into my heart. In retrospect he’s the most interesting character of the story. He is the one who keeps Doug, Stewart and all the others on their toes. And what I real loved about him, is he gives as good as he gets.
“I’m a nice guy, Doug. Everybody likes me. I’m not used to people yelling in my ear. But it’s funny. Yesterday I get a call from the landlord, Anna. She’s bitching at me because I’m disturbing Doug. I say who the fuck is Doug? She says the guy downstairs.”
“Then today, I get a call from Jairo. He’s bitching at me because of something Doug said. So I say who the fuck is Doug? He says the guy that lives downstairs.”
“So then I’m having breakfast with my boyfriend, Stewart.” Doug went still. “Nothing ever affects Stewart’s good mood. He’s my laidback, corn-fed country boy. But suddenly he’s acting all anxious and twitchy and weird. So I ask what’s up. And he tells me he spent the night with Doug. Can you guess what I said?”
Doug sighed. “I’m guessing...who the fuck is Doug?”
Doug and Stewart are just sexy together. Their kisses alone made me tingle all over. I really adored them together, and loved the dynamic’s of the relationship between them.The romance was good and the sex scenes were hot without being over the top. I felt the heated emotions and the sexual tension that ignited a passion that hooked me to both the story and the characters. Guys on Top is one of those books you read in a day or you end up pulling an all-nighter because you have to get it finished. I really enjoyed it, didn’t put it down once - who needs sleep anyways? I’m intrigued with Darien’s writing style and he will definitely be on my watch list.
Thank you Darien, for creating such wonderful stories. Guys on the Top left me pleasantly intrigued. I would love (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) to read a follow-up story. I’d like to watch Corey and Zach together and meet Doug and Stewart again, even as secondary characters. Just saying… :)
About Darien Cox
Darien Cox lives in New England, bouncing back and forth between the mountain and the ocean states, anywhere there’s a wave or a ski slope. A nature lover and thrill seeker, he enjoys exploring the intensity, insanity, humor and chaos that accompanies cupid’s arrow, whether it’s love at first sight or just the overwhelming power of lust. Mystery, thriller, and paranormal elements are occasionally tossed in to further spice up the mix, because let’s face it—sometimes the world is not enough.
Other Books by Darien
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