Friday, 21 August 2009

Review – Anthology: Friction – Maximum Exposure – Jenna Byrnes & Jude Mason

Title: Anthology: Friction – Maximum Exposure

Author: Jenna Byrnes & Jude Mason

Publisher: Total E-bound

Main Characters: Rob Jenkins & Max

A secret pleasure denied could be the end for long time lovers Rob and Max, or will mistrust do it first?

Rob Jenkins is worried. The relationship he's been in for six years has become a little stale and not very intimate. He loves Max more than anything, but the man's sexual fetish of 'doing things' in public never interested him.
While Max is away at a two-week business conference, Rob concludes that in order to save their relationship, he needs to make some choices. He surprises Max with a weekend visit and the offer to play a 'game'. Will the sexy scenarios be enough, or will they merely expose the flaws in their relationship?


Rob Jenkins climbed into the back seat of the yellow cab and took the first deep, calming breath since he’d gotten off the plane in Chicago. Collecting his suitcase had been a nightmare, as the crowd of meandering travellers at Midway Airport seemed determined to get in his way at every turn.

All the time he’d been dodging kids and dazed adults hurrying from one place to the next, he’d had Max on his mind. Their fights, the lack of intimacy plaguing them of late and his own refusal to play naughty with the man he loved. He shifted uncomfortably, remembering the last time Max had tried to get him to ‘show off his goods’. They’d been at one of the local clubs, drinking and partying it up after a long week of work, when Max slid a hand into Rob’s pants, giving his cock a stealthy squeeze. Of course, Rob had gotten an erection. But fear of discovery and ridicule had cooled his ardour almost immediately. Max had been upset, and the evening had ended with them in silent accusatorial anger and frustration.

The cabbie interrupted his thoughts. “Where to?” he asked in a heavily accented voice.

Rob looked up and saw the man’s dark eyes in the rear view mirror. “The Mason Arms on Michigan Avenue.”

He knew the ride would take about twenty minutes in good traffic. He’d thought about the flight from Indiana, the taxi ride and his other plans a million times before finally deciding to join his lover. Being away from him for the whole two weeks of Max’s conference seemed like a bad idea right now.

“You attending that big software convention at the Arms?” The cabbie made small talk as he pulled into traffic, smoothly accelerating.

“Meeting a friend.” Rob wasn’t in a talkative mood and hoped his clipped reply would shut the guy up. It did, and Rob fell back into his thoughts about Max and the argument they’d had before Max had left—another misfired sexual episode, another denial on Rob’s part—a fiasco extraordinaire.

He shuddered. He knew something had to change. Max needed those risqué moments Rob kept denying him.

Friction: Maximum Exposure © Byrnes & Mason



Rob is on his way to surprise his partner Max – not that he knew if he would be welcomed, but because he knew he had to do something to put the spark back into their relationship.

He and Max has been together for too long to not make this work – but with Max’s panache for wanting to get his groove on in the eyes of the public, things are not going so well, as that is not Rob’s style. Rob is however committed to finding a middle ground for their problem and so he is making the first step.

Max is elated to see Rob and his open minded to meeting Rob half way in resolving what to him is just a glitch. More than just their willingness/reluctance to make the best of the weekend comes to light however and Rob is placed in a position of wondering if it’s not better to cut his lose whilst he’s ahead of the game – the ball is now in Max’s court. 

MAXIMUM EXPOSURE is a part of the Fiction Anthology and I paused for a day or two to put this review together. First off this is a short story – don't know the page count, but fairly short, the plus about this this book is that it is centered around a period of time when a relationship is losing it’s gleam – for one or more reasons.

The protags Rob and Max feels so real – they fear, they strut, they have doubts and one is scared of losing the most important thing his life and the other falls prey to the usual workplace angst, I could so relate to this. The language just rolls with the plot – and there is a sense of growth with this book. It’s short but packs a hells of a punch.

As I said it took two days to get this on paper because firstly this book highlights the fact that sometimes you have to take a risk to have it all, secondly It show that weakness is not necessarily a bad thing – it could be the strongest feature of a relationship. Everything goes quickly and there is nice balance between wanting and doing everything for the sake preserving a relationship.

Once again I can’t say enough about the style Byrnes and Mason brings to each and every book they do together, and as I said as well I feel maturity in this script – it feels more solid than the other books I have read by them, I am looking forward to where they go from here.

This the first Anthology that I have read every single story and that was all based on the quality of MAXIMUM EXPOSURE.



2 Speak To Me:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely review, EH. Jude and I enjoyed writing this one a lot. She's so naughty! heh heh heh


Jude Mason on 21 August 2009 at 16:38 said...

E.H., Thank you so much. This book seems to have really grabbed you. Wow! An awesome review, which I'm going to be sure my publisher sees.

Jenna, do you dare blame this on me. You are so naughty!