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Review - Nervous Kid by Colin Dereham

Part of the Bondi Bears series, this is a standalone novel of extremely high quality. Yes, there is a LOT of sex, but to counteract it, there is a searing story of half-brothers finding love, acceptance and learning to accept their chaotic childhoods.

All through this book I was waiting for the crunch, the one where everything falls apart. There's no reassurances of a happy ending, just a warning of "strong adult themes, sexual scenes and violence." The reason I was waiting is that the two men striving for their happy new beginning are half-siblings, something you will either go for or you won't. If it's not your thing, you've been warned.

If it is your thing, or if you just want to see how these two souls fare when the odds are against them - like me, then there is much to enjoy here. Not least the superlative writing and the way the story unfolds. The familial relationship aside, this is the story of the hot-as-hell relationship between Ryan and Dominic, told in visceral, graphic detail at times. That's not a criticism, but a warning for anyone preferring their men twinky and hairless and smelling of rainbows. These guys ain't that, sugar chops. Not by a long way.

These men have dad bods and body hair. They smell, grunt, get hair in their teeth and have spunk and arse breath after one of their prolonged sessions. This feels REAL. Fragrant as a farmyard is fragrant. (No shade - I love farmyards.) Not fragrant as in the perfume counter at Macy's, honey.

The author really goes there, and what a refreshing change. My goodness, at times it felt as if I were spying on these two hot men, the otter and the bear, if you will, writhing and snorting and grasping as much pleasure from each other as they could. Their chemistry is enough to melt your e-reader. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you might have to move away from that cozy fire and possibly put a scatter cushion over your lap to avoid scaring Aunt Fanny.

Okay, enough, you should get the idea by now. The sex aside (and there is a lot, so it's definitely worth mentioning) this is about family, being crafted in a way that was denied them when they were kids. This is about the tensions gay couples have to endure, and how wonderful it is when acceptance comes, and is normalised and people can just be who they are and get on with their lives.

Finally, this gritty novel shows that sexy fiction can be literary fiction, and vice versa. It was intelligent, not just grunty, with a poignancy that was deeply moving at times. I will definitely read the others in this series. This author is definitely one to watch, in my humble opinion.


As a young college graduate, Ryan Underwood's mother's impulsive choices destroyed the Brazilian Duarte family, scattering them across the globe. When they reunite sixteen years later, the children from both sides of the family meet for the first time. Tentative connections are explored, relationships develop and a fragile family unit starts to form. Life looks rosy again for the Underwood-Duartes, until Mrs. Underwood's actions send a rift through them once more, tearing the siblings apart for over twenty years.

Eventually, the brothers reconnect through tragedy. Broken homes, broken dreams and broken promises have festered in their lives as they tried to create families of their own. But now, for the first time, they finally have a chance to build the relationship they’ve always needed.

“Nervous Kid” is a brutally frank depiction of contemporary gay life, with laughter, tears, burning love and a whole lot of heart.

Please note: this book contains strong adult themes, sexual scenes and violence.

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