Book 522: Hot Head – Damon Suede

I decided to read this after attending the panel at the BPL way back in September and I’m just now getting around to writing this post at the end of November. It’s just been one of those stretches where I didn’t have the time (or desire) to blog. The break was a needed refresher and now I’m making my way through a backlog of posts.

Hot Head tells the story of Griff, a buff red-headed (probably Irish) NYC fireman, and his best friend Dante, a smaller but still buff Italian American fireman. They grew up together, survived 9/11 and are now facing the aftermath of everything that happened. Long story short Griff has realized he is gay and has started to fall for Dante.

Over the course of the novel there are various plot devices which move the story forward. From drunken confessions to a porn site that thrives on blue-collar working “straight” men stripping off and getting off on camera, needless to say things get pretty hot and steamy throughout the novel. There’s even a life-saving swoon-worthy moment with longing gazes on the unconscious rescued in the hospital.

The novel reads super quick and one of the things I truly appreciated was the lack of sex for a large portion of the novel. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of masturbatory fantasies spread throughout, but actual sex scenes are few and far between and it’s that wait that makes this novel such a great one.

I will also say that I was very impressed with Suede’s writing. I honestly found him to be a bit crude in person at the BPL panel, but I guess with writing this strong and stories this good you can say and do what you want.

Recommendation: Yes please. Seriously, this was a hot and steamy fast-paced read that definitely engaged all of my emotions and senses. I wish I would’ve written this closer to reading the book as this is definitely a summer beach throwaway read that doesn’t necessarily stay with you, but makes a huge impact as you read it.

Opening Line: “Griff saw the whole fight before the first punch landed.”

Closing Line: “‘Well,’ Griff whispered. ‘Maybe I can shock you….'” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read)

Additional Quotes from Hot Head
“Some monster had punched a hole in New York, and hope was draining out of it into the river.” (Loc. 656)

“Griff had a sudden uncanny feeling that he was a game piece on an enormous, ridiculous board game with house fires and bar fights and cum-shots. He tried to think back over the steps that had led them to this room on this day doing these things for this website.” (Loc. 5,444)


8 thoughts on “Book 522: Hot Head – Damon Suede”

  1. Just came across this post. Glad you enjoyed this book and Lickety Split! I think these are my two favorites of Suede’s works by far. I agree the two books are quite the opposite but are with the same searingly hot scenes. I’d say Suede’s word choices are somewhat too raw and blunt for mainstream Asian readers’ taste, and I remember the first time I read Lickety Split when I had the urge to put my Kindle aside from time to time, so yeah, I totally get why you’re a bit embarrased to admit how you like these scenes. But hey, there are also some beautiful and tender sentences. I suppose that rawness–and maybe some unnecessary repetitive paragraphs and the slow-burning development according to a Taiwanese reader I talked to–is what stops my friends from reading Suede’s works however hard I recommend him to them. They prefer books like, say, Him & Us from another panelist Sarina Bowen. (I also enjoy Bowen’s writing and how she captures the essence of new college grads, I just can’t feel the “vibe” of hockey players–especially pro athletes–in her books! So, not so passionate as my friends are.) And I think Suede has his distinct and smart writing style even compared with other male writers in the M/M romance genre, (although I’d categorized his works as homoerotic romance.) This genre is primarily straight women writing books for straight women, so it’s good to read something refreshingly different and, in my opinion, more realistic.

    I later learned about the BPL panel via Twitter, and of course I missed another event I was interested in… School’s done. No luck in employment visa lottery. Left for home last summer. But it’s awesome that BPL offers these panels. I actually found your blog while googling for the Korean manga of Hot Head that Dreamspinner plans to convert into English. There’s two pages of preview on Dreamspinner’s Twitter… Let’s just say I get that it’s the popular art style here in Asia, and I like it, but I still expect something more like a mixture of Ethan van Sciver and Tony S. Daniel art with some dirty shaded brushes from Lee Bermejo, which I assume would fit better with the atmosphere of the book… Anyway, I’m still looking forward to it since I don’t understand a single word of Korean, and more works from Suede of course. I think it’s great you keep blogging. Hope you have more time to read more enjoyable books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stoping bye and commenting!

      I try to explain to people that most of these are written by women for women and people look at me like I’m nuts. I remember reading research papers about this and the whole fetishization of MM love/romance.

      I’ll definitely have to check out the illustrated version if they get around to it.


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