Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Bottoms Up (About a Bottoms) by Etienne

Bottoms Up (About a Bottoms)
by Etienne
Published November 19th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Formats Available: .epub, .mobi, html, pdf

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

About a Bottoms: Book One

An Avondale Story 

RN First Assistant Chris Bottoms enjoys being a bottom. Though abused by his stepfather as a boy and conditioned to enjoy sex only one particular way, he’s come to make the most of his life. And he enjoys bottoming—to the hilt—whenever and wherever he can. 

As if colorectal cancer wasn’t enough of a trial, the subsequent botched surgery robs him of normal bodily functions—no more prostate massage for Chris. In the middle of his medical drama, his best friend, Mickey O’Donovan, accepts a promotion that brings him to live in Jacksonville. Roommates in college, they’ve remained friends and occasional fuck buddies ever since. Chris’s crisis brings their relationship to a new level, though, and long-suppressed feelings are revealed. 

Chris and Mickey settle down together and life is good, even though they can no longer indulge in their favorite sexual position. But Chris can’t seem to catch a break. When his past rears its head, Chris and Mickey must face a new challenge, together.

Chris Bottoms is a bottom, plain and simple, but he is no twink. He lives up to his name by enjoying his bottoming to whatever heights he can obtain it from. However, always at the back of his mind, he is getting tired of all these activities and just wants one man to live and enjoy life with. 

Mickey has always been Chris' best friend, ever since they met as college roommates. He is just as promiscuous as Chris but he also hides a secret. He is in love with Chris but does not know how or what to do about it. Will Chris return his love should he find out? 

When Chris calls Mickey in tears about his colorectal cancer, Mickey drops everything. He jumps at this one chance and takes it by its horns. This life threatening disease opens their eyes to their mutual love and they may just find their happily ever after. 

The romance between Chris and Mickey was a given, yes, but it was Mickey's approach to the pain his partner was going through that really saved the day. He looked past the mutilations the operation left on Chris' body, past the pain that was obviously felt, and past the difficulties it may have on their sex life. He just wanted to live his life with Chris as a partner, as a lover. 

As Chris and Mickey start their life together, they also have to fight through a malpractice suit and finally a death. Although the first one ended in their favor, it is the second that leaves them confused and scared. How do they approach this? They have a bunch of friends who will help them out but what about the rest of it? What other life challenges are they going to have to go through before they finally relax and enjoy life?

Bottoms Up is the first of the trilogy, About A Bottoms. The story of Chris who goes through a life threatening and painful ordeal only to find that life can get better and at the same time,  can throw a curve ball that can ruin it all. His strength is not only physical, it is emotional and psychological, thanks to a fantastic support group that includes his loving partner and his new found friends from the Avondale series. 

Etienne's approach to difficult topics is outstanding. He claims to gloss over the horrifying and painful details and yet the readers will clearly get the feel of these. Unlike other authors, he touches on very difficult subject matters that can scare many and yet intrigue the rest. I myself have always loved his style and must say that not only did he write with conviction and authority, but also with kindness. It is in this one book that I cried to an Etienne book. The first time!

The succeeding books will deal with a life changing corrective surgery that can improve Chris' life and Mickey's and finally deal with the aftermath of an operation that can change everything. 

As this is only the beginning of the journey for Chris and Mickey, obviously we readers are going to have to deal with a happy, albeit hanging, ending. This is an HEA series so they do stay with each other. What we need to be ready for are the challenges both these men will face together. 

It was quite fun to read all about the guys of Avondale again, and I am honestly glad Deb got her chance to show us a bit of humor. The gang embraces Chris and Mickey into their arms and just shows us that, come what may, a great support group is the best kind of family. 

Bottoms Up is a great installment to the Avondale series and best of all, the men and kids do evolve and become better individuals. It is also beautiful that the real life Chris was willing to share his ordeals living with colorectal cancer. Thank you, Ken, for sharing your life. 

I will definitely be on the look out for the next books!

Note: Readers are spared the pain of reading through the exact pains Chris went through and I am relieved. I really don't want to read about things like post-op recovery blues where nausea is foremost and outstanding and having to stand for the first time feeling as if the innards are going to leap out of the body or that first effort to get done the bodily functions that could not only be embarrassing but painful as hell! Thank you for sparing us the details. (oops, I did not, sorry.)

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