Grown Men (HardCell, #1)

Grown Men (HardCell, #1) - Damon Suede Really really good sci-fi m/m story between a highly unlikely duo. I absolutely loved Ox and his gentle giant ways. Runt, who is the narrator of the story, also grew on me and was endearing in his insecurities and doubt over the motives of his oversized partner. Although Ox is mute, his actions are so sweet and loving, and I just wanted to give him a huge bear hug because he was so adorable. He just goes to show that you really don't need words to show your love - actions speak clearly enough.

The world-building is really well done and creative. Diminutive dynamo Runt (~5'6") has been cultivating a new habitat on a distant planet, and he's been struggling on his own for months, ever since his intended clone-wife was destroyed in transit to the planet. He's grateful when a crate of provisions finally shows up...and bewildered and suspicious when he discovers the gigantic ~7' tall Ox included in the crate. Runt suspects Ox has been sent there to exterminate Runt, but Ox soon makes it clear through his gentle mannerisms and hard work ethic that he has nothing but good and pure intentions. They build a successful working partnership, and through the weeks and months, they develop a growing friendship and, as we see from Runt's perspective, a certain attraction for each other. It's really a great story with solid relationship development, and Oi! Ox with his eel really really made me "awwwwww" at how he was able to show his feelings without words.

By the way, there is a related story, and I definitely recommend reading the (free!) prequel, Seedy Business (featuring a little backstory to this short novel), before diving into Ox and Runt's story. For this book, I note that I thought it was a bit pricey for the length of the novel, and there were a few consistency errors that, while minor, nevertheless took me a bit out of the story. Even so, it was ultimately a worthwhile read that transported me to the far-off Andromeda galaxy and Runt and Ox's little corner therein.

On a random sexytimes note, I was a little surprised that, given the size difference and that both are *ahem* uncut, there was no cock-docking in this one. Yes, I recently learned what this was, and now I'm curious to see where else it might show up. Then again, Runt and Ox are new to their physical love, so we'll see what they discover in their future... *winks*