Review of The Strength of a Man by Sara Winters

The Strength of a ManThe Strength of a Man by Sara Winters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2,5-3 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Warning: The following review may contain minor spoilers

This is an extended version of an earlier free story, and I am glad that the author mentions this in the foreword, as I had a strong sense of dejavu when I read the first paragraph.

Kurt is a freshman in college and on the swim team. He came out to his parents before he left for school, and it did not go down well. The stresses in his personal life are affecting his performance on the team and the team captain James is asked to give him private technique lessons.

James is older, wiser and a lot more worldly than Kurt. He is also very attracted to the younger man. The two start a relationship, but Kurts past keeps throwing road blocks in their way, both mentally and physically.

I enjoyed the story and really liked the premise. Kurts hurt and anger towards his parents were very understandable, although he was a bit of a brat towards his mothers tentative reaching out at the beginning. His self doubts due to his sexual and emotional past did also ring true enough.

However, the storyline was a bit choppy and I kept feeling like I had missed some parts.

Then there was the sex. I was very disappointed to see the strong emphasis on penetrative sex being the only thing that mattered. It annoyed me no end, that James was supposedly “blue balled” and sexually frustrated when they decided to wait with this final step. Why?

I agree, that given Kurts sexual history the “final step” of actual penetrative sex was important, but I did not get the whole “so frustrated I might explode”-vibe from James. Hand jobs, blowjobs, frottage… all of this is also sex and hot! And based on some of their earlier explorations, Kurt didn’t seem to have any issues in participating in these acts.

Another thing I have to mention in regards to the sex is the lack of condoms! This is my pet peeve! Unsafe sex is not hot! I agree that the lack of protection is a major step in a relationship, it conveys a level of trust and love which is very important. But it felt way too soon in this instance!

I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get more information about James. Other than him being the captain of the swim team, patient boyfriend and apparently estranged from his parents we know nothing about him. Not even his age. A bit more information would have been beneficial in relating to the character.

All in all an ok enjoyable story about the trials of coming out and finding yourself.

View all my reviews


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