Book Review: Black Balled by Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir

Title: Black Balled
Author: Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir
Genre: M/M Romance
Length: 282 pages
Rating: 5 *Alpha-dominant male* stars


Two dominant males, two worthy adversaries, in a business that takes no prisoners, will soon learn that fate refuses to be ignored . . .

My name is Troy Babilonia, but I’m best known as Babu, a renowned literary critic with my own online column. I’m followed by thousands! I’m a living god in the literary world. I have no filter, and for that, my flock of humble followers are forever grateful. If it weren’t for me, they wouldn’t know what to read. I have zero tolerance for the weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Indie world. My advice to all Indie authors is to never break the cardinal rule in this cut-throat business. Ever.

My name is L. Blackburn and I’m an Indie author. My extraordinary genius was loved and worshiped throughout the literary world, until one egocentric critic tried to obliterate my career. It seems I broke some “cardinal rule,” and now I’m paying the price for it. But I don’t plan on going down without a fight.  

Michelle's Review

I have been wanting to read this book since it came out back in March, but due to other ARC obligations, I said to myself, whenever I get downtime in reviewing, I’m going to read book. I did not even know there was “controversy” surrounding this book, whether the rumors were true or not, it wasn’t going to stop me from reading the book, I read the blurb and wanted to read it regardless. This is my first time reading any of Ms. Smith and Ms. LeNoir’s books.

This book was all kinds of funny and sarcastic, my kind of book! So I will start off describing these two alpha men ala Michael Buffer because I swear I was watching a boxing match of words and wit between these two men. In the red corner, you have Troy “Babu” Babilonia, blogger, literary critic or asshole if you prefer. In the blue corner you have L. (“Larson”) Blackburn, indie author, conceited, arrogant much? lol. Going into this book, you’re not going to necessarily like either of these two characters at first. These are two very strong, opinionated, cocky, self-absorbed men.

Troy or Babu in the literary world, has received Larson’s book for an honest review and instead tore his book to shreds or rather DNF’d. Larson, instead of letting it go, goes on a major cyber tangent with Babu. Then add Larson’s ex-wife Noelle to the mix (nothing like a woman scorned) and you are going to get major drama.

Between the email exchanges these two were having, you also get an insight into their lives. You know that there is more to Troy’s story and why he is so “critical” with indie authors. My heart also went out to Larson. But when these two “meet” each other, that scene in the elevator, HOT! When Troy has his “aha” moment, was just wow. When these two men come to literal blows, holy crap! You get the picture?

I have read my share of alpha male characters, but never two extremely alpha yet stubborn men. A lot of the back and forth could have ended sooner, but then the book would not have given us the funny internal monologues these two had. The Noelle situation, also could have been solved quicker, but I loved what happened when she got called for her bullshit. The sex scenes were extremely hot. Ms. Smith and Ms. LeNoir managed to write two very strong male POVs in my opinion. I really felt I was in a boxing match with these two men.

Overall, I am so glad that I read this book and formed my own opinion. Having said that, on a personal note and this is my own opinion, not necessarily of After Dark Book Lovers: if you are a blogger or just a reader in general and leave a review, whether good, bad, or indifferent, there is no reason to be nasty or downright rude. Just don’t leave a review, period. As an author, if you don’t agree with someone’s review, there should be no reason for backlash either. Again, I don’t know nor do I care about the “controversy”. I went into this book with open eyes and really enjoyed the book. M/M may not be for everyone and that’s fine with me. Just because there is a she said, he said situation, shouldn’t deter anyone from reading someone’s work.

– Michelle

*A gifted copy was received for an honest review.



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