Collision Course by K. A. Mitchell – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ Title: Collision Course
Author: K. A. Mitchell
Genre: Contemporary erotic
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $5.50
Other Information/warnings:Light S/M (spanking), blood, violence, explicit m/m, language
Summary [from the publisher]:
Immovable object? Meet the irresistible force.
Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn’t have anything against love. It just comes with a lot of responsibility, like when he had to raise his sister and brothers after their drug-addicted mom took off for good. Now that the last one is off to college, Aaron’s anticipating enjoying life on his own terms. He certainly wasn’t expecting Joey Miller to accidentally drop into his life.
Joey’s sexy, funny and annoyingly optimistic, and his tendency to get into trouble keeps sending him Aaron’s way. Even the fact that Joey works for the hated social work system isn’t reason enough to keep him out of Aaron’s bed.
Joey knows all about love. He’s fallen in it ten times—he thinks. It’s not that he can’t tell the difference between sex and love. All that experience has to count for something, right? With Aaron it’s different. Maybe because there’s something to fight for.
This time Joey’s fallen for good. He’s not going to let number eleven get away.

My review: Most erotica doesn’t even make my nipples tingle, let alone disturb the sanctity of my undergarments. But dude….

::fans self:: This is a smoking hot story. The sex is frequent, well-written and, wonders of wonders, actually relevant to the plot and characterisation. And hot. Very, very hot. How often do I say I enjoyed a story because of the sex content, not despite it? Not very bloody often.

However, there is a story, and characters, and both work better than in either of the two previous Mitchell stories I’ve read, though I enjoyed those as well. Joey appeared in Diving in Deep as Noah’s ex. Here he’s on his own, in all his highly sexed, topping from the bottom glory. He appealed in the previous novel, and does so again. He’s a smart ass, hot assed, very together child protection officer, with a brain and a heart and did I mention his hot ass? I loved him right from the start, dealing with a thankfully briefly present child, and his klutziness, and his apparent inability to cook or to unpack. He’s just cute, but with enough edge to stop him being the least cloying.

Aaron isn’t cute, though he’s also hot and horny. He’s a bit of an arsehole, actually – good at his job, arrogant, rude, and demanding. But there are reasons for this, and he isn’t a thug – just a very forceful personality with very definite ideas about how he wants his life and his family to work. He’s not sentimental, and he definitely doesn’t want some social worker interfering with his personal affairs.

He’s drawn in masterly fashion. At first sight, he’s just a prick driven by his hormones. Little by little, he softens, but never becomes sappy. The lack of sap in this story is an utter delight – the ‘tough’ in tough love was never tougher, and Aaron remains to the end, reluctant to ‘share’ more than absolutely necessary. Cameron and Noah from the earlier story have a role to play and Cameron’s impatience with Noah’s ex, and Noah’s incisive analysis of exactly what kind of games Joey likes to play with his boyfriends, are highly amusing. Other minor players, particular Aaron’s brothers and Dr Kim, were pitch perfect, and also added humour which leavened the angst and the sex. The blend of emotional elements struck me as just right.

Again Mitchell makes effective use of environments – the sea and surf, crimes scenes, accidents, hospitals. She gives us all the necessary visuals and sensory information, putting us right there. It’s a talent too many authors, including myself, lack, and if you want to see it done well, then I suggest this novel as a very good place for that.

I don’t have any criticisms to offer. The flaws in the other stories have not found their way into this one. The pacing is good, the writing tight and evocative, and Mitchell makes the sex seem so much more than mechanical. She puts us inside the heads of Joey and Aaron, and we feel along with them. A spanking scene was one of the best of that kind I’ve ever read, and Joey wasn’t the only one who felt limp afterwards!

It’s another long, and deeply satisfying novel from an author who improves with every book. I can’t wait to read her next offering. Collision Course is an enjoyable, engrossing read, and thoroughly recommended.