Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.
When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.
However, Christian is not a boy any more. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.
Roe Horvat's second book, Dirty Mind was another winner for me! I'm so happy to get to read their words and go on the journey with their characters. So happy.
As with the last book I read, by this author, Dirty Mind is full of feelz and realness and even though it is short, it never felt lacking. Honestly, not many authors can accomplish this. All too often, books under 200 pages just feel incomplete. Either there isn't enough plot development or enough character development or enough relationship development. Roe Horvat manages to hit all three with such precision that I can hardly believe it is only their second book. It is clear that writing is something they've always done and they've taken the time to hone their skill into a finely crafted tool.
Dirty Mind is a story about learning to let go and learning to love. And sometimes, the older person is not necessarily the wiser one.
Alex Popescu teaches creative writing at university. He also writes gay erotica under a pseudonym. Alex always thought that he would be able to find someone to share his life with, but then he he found that life passed too quickly and here he was, 33 and still very much single. Luckily for him, life doesn't end at 30. But he worries. He worries about being alone. He worries about not being alone. He worries about getting old. And most of all, he worries about failing Christian.
Christian König was just 18 when he met Alex, and after three years, Alex is still the most important person in Christian's life. Christian has always been happy and a bit innocent and, at 21, is still a virgin -- by choice. Christian is a very determined young man. He has dated, but he never wanted to sleep with anyone that wasn't Alex -- so he didn't. But getting Alex to see him as anything other than that 18 year old kid he met three years ago is quite the challenge.
I enjoyed watching Alex spin. There is some angst in this story and it is all in the form of Alex's insecurities and fears. He tripped all over himself trying to keep Christian in the box marked "unattainable". I loved their relationship development. They're best friends, and though Alex does tend to keep part of himself locked away, Christian might as well be a locksmith because was a master at digging beneath the surface. Alex didn't stand a chance.
Dirty Mind didn't quite reach the same emotional level that The Layover did, but it was still pretty brilliant and I loved it. Roe Horvat writes characters that just feel real and that's often my favorite kind of story. Easily relatable characters in easily relatable situations trying their best to find their happy ending. Simply put, I loved it.
ARC of Dirty Mind was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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