Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Muscle Cub

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Muscle Cub (2023) Slade James (Bear Camp)

Muscle CubDespite living nearby, Paul has never gone to Bear Camp. But he’s been single for awhile now, and isn’t getting any younger, so his friends convince him to take a weekend to help them celebrate their birthdays.

What Paul doesn’t expect is Austin: young, handsome, and did he mention young?

I’d opted for a T-shirt, trail-running sneakers, and a pair of cargo shorts, which were an eternally useful and functional item of clothing that transcended all trends in perpetuity. Like many men of my generation, I was prepared to die on a hill of cargo shorts.

I’d put off reading this because I don’t much care for age gap romance. But I knew I’d enjoyed his other books, so decided to start it.

I still do find age gaps uncomfortable. And casual sex is never going to an element I like, but once we moved past the first weekend, the story was much more than that.

Paul is wrapped up in his own problems–many of which came from his ex, and so for the longest time doesn’t see what Austin–who he sees as full of youth and beauty and potential–would see in him.

Stripping to the waist didn’t seem like that big a deal—the most justifiable of options really, given the environment and circumstances—as long as I ignored the fact that nothing accentuated a gut quite like the straps of a heavy backpack.

But eventually Paul comes to see that Austin is also vulnerable and has his own issues to work out. That was the part of the story I especially liked, watching the two of them learn about each other, and watching Paul start to see his own value.

For all the Austin is into fitness and being in shape, he is more than charm and looks.

“You have stories about your things. It’s like your life is an ongoing treasure hunt, and your house is your own personal museum.”

There were elements that didn’t work for me–but those were a me thing not the fault of the book, and overall I quite enjoyed watching the two learn about each other and fall in love.

Rating: 7/10

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