Xander – Open Door Policy, Book 2*
*This book can be read/listened to as a standalone
Author: Anna Ambrose
Narrator: Hugh Bradley
Length: 3 hrs and 16 minutes/30 000 words
Themes & Genres: Contemporary LGBT Romance, sex club, gay, MM, MF, MFFF, novella
WARNING: Mature Content
Xander Penn has been around the block more times than he cares to count, always searching for an elusive something he’s never admitted to wanting, not even to himself.
Then again, realizing what he craves doesn’t mean he accepts it. It’s one thing to dabble at the open-door policy club he belongs to, but quite another to declare it to others in the real world. After a harsh rejection pushes away the one person Xander wishes he could pull closer, he spirals down a dark path using meaningless sex more as a punishment than a pleasure.
When an unexpected ally makes him see he’s missing out on the best parts of life, Xander finally decides to open himself up to the possibility….
But by then, it may be too late.
Xander is an erotic romance novella intended for audiences 18 years and older. This novella is just over 30,000 words, and it contains a variety of M/M and M/F encounters.
What I think of the book:
Xander is a short audiobook that you can turn on after work while you cook, then have your dinner, and by the time you wash the dishes, you might’ve listened to all of it.
Would I recommend it as a dinner background though?
Probably not, if there are other adults in your home and definitely not, if there are children.
When I read the blurb, I didn’t realize how much sex there will be in this book, but there’s a lot of it, so if you are shy about bedroom acrobatics, yet still want to read/listen to them, put your earphones on.
Xander is a book about firsts. Neither of the main characters has self-identified as gay or bi and we get to follow Xander as he tries to make sense of his increasing feelings for his male best friend. There’s a lot of confusion, anger and angst, which is a realistic portrayal when one realizes what Xander does, especially if the person has been raised in a more conservative family. In that aspect, I don’t really have an issue with how Xander handles things at first. However, I have an issue with how selfish he is.
Seriously. The only notes I had taken on this audiobook were “MM, MF, MFFF” (to remember myself to put them in Themes & Genres) and “selfish”.
And I get it: not all characters have to be the perfect Prince Charming; I like my characters flawed, and developing into something better. With Xander, I didn’t really see this development until a sudden change of heart at the very end. And yes, this is a short story, so naturally, it will be rushed when compared to a novel. But I still can’t understand how the other main character forgave Xander so quickly.
This is the only aspect of the book that I didn’t enjoy.
The sex scenes were okay, especially between the two guys. I think Anna is one of those female authors who are better at writing guys than women. Then again, this might be so in Xander as here the focus is on the guys and not the girls. I’ll see if that theory is correct when I listen to Lucy which is the first book in the Open Door Policy series and centers on a heterosexual relationship.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend Xander to people who want a short adult read with a variety of pairings.
My rating: (4/5 open doors)
Where can you buy the book?
Anna Ambrose is a newish author who works too many hours a day at her real job while also ruling the roost of a brood of rowdy children. When she’s not dealing with clients, tying shoes, or fixing snacks, she hides behind her computer screen to type out sexy stories about boys kissing boys, girls kissing girls, and every combination in between. Having to shield her screen from little peeping eyes keeps her up late most nights as she spins tales about characters who aren’t afraid to shed their inhibitions and fulfill their every fantasy on the way to finding their happily ever afters.
It’s Anna’s hope that her readers can escape from their normal lives into deliciously naughty ones that cause pink cheeks and clenched thighs in public… and closed doors and one-handed reading in private. You can connect with Anna on Twitter (@AnnaAmbrose01), follow her on Amazon, or sign up to receive updates about book releases, sales, and events at annaambroseauthor.com.
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