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Cage Match (2009)

Cage Match (2009)

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3.47 of 5 Votes: 4
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About book Cage Match (2009)

I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Bonnie Dee’s m/f romance books and I’ve always found them well written with good characterisation. When I saw that she’d written a m/m book and that it was set in the future, which is a setting I usually like, I snapped Cage Match up. Sadly, this book failed to impress or engage me.The book begins well and in fact if it hadn’t been for the first section of this book, I may have graded it lower. Andreas is one of the priviledged. He lives in what used to be Boston which has been rebuilt after a devastating plague. The rich are now completely seperate from the poor and criminal class and live in opulent splendour, wasting their lives on amusements and corrective surgery to make themselves look perfect. One of the amusements is watching the cage fights between men. This is a violent often deadly sport, similar to dog fighting where two men fight until the other is dead or unconscious. The way that the fight is described is a mix of thrilling and repulsive as both men grapple desperately to save their lives. The descriptions of the blood-thirsty crowds was also effectively done and I was drawn into the story quickly through the eyes of Andreas who is the heir to a large corporation and one of the disaffected rich.Afterwards, for a fee, a spectator can visit the victor in order to have sex with him. Andreas is particularly attracted to one of the fighters and his friend, the odious and frankly rather OTT Timon, pays for Andreas to have a special visit with the fighter, Jabez. When Andreas meets Jabez the attraction towards him deepens into full blown lust. The sexual tension between them works well even though Jabez is essentially Andreas’ whore at this point, something which Andreas feels both a mix of shame and excitement about. Andreas is also horrified to discover that the cage fighters are prisoners who are working off a prison sentence rather than doing it for the money as he first assumed. Andreas then goes on to ‘rescue’ Jabez by buying his indenture and taking Jabez back to his house so that Jabez can become his personal trainer.It was at this point that the story started to go downhill. For a start Andreas lives in a safe environment where there is no crime. He doesn’t need to defend himself against enemies or learn martial arts in order to protect himself. Yet he and Jabez train in fighting skills for most of the book. It all just seemed contrived and I could see that it would be leading to a forced ending. Andreas insists that Jabez is not his personal whore and that he only wants a trainer, not sex, but that doesn’t last too long before both men are in bed together supposedly because that’s what Jabez wants. The story is your typical rich man/poor man scenario and all the cliches and stereotypes are wheeled out one after the other. Andreas is young, innocent, easily influenced by his friends. He lives in an ivory tower well away from any nasty people. He’s spent a lot of time amusing himself with trifles and has been spoiled by his mostly absent father. As well as this he is just a ‘nice guy’. Jabez grew up an orphan in ‘Brick city’ where the criminal class and poor are locked behind high walls so they don’t desecrate the city of rich people. He is rough, distrusts everyone, cannot read or write, is world weary and down to Earth. There was nothing wrong with these two men or their character other than I’ve read these types over and over again and, frankly, I was bored.Everything that happened after Jabez arrived in Andreas’ house was utterly predictable. I knew they would end up having sex; I knew that Andreas would develop a conscience once he’d heard Jabez’ tale of woe; I knew that Andreas’ father wouldn’t approve of his relationship with Jabez; I guessed the ending and pretty much how it was going to occur. I’m sorry to say that I had to drag myself through the second half of the book and only finished it because I knew I would have to write this review.There were some good things about the book. I liked the world building and the idea of the two separate societies. Jabez’ memories of living in Brick City were affecting and I actually liked his character and the way that he resisted and fought against Andreas at the beginning. There were a few nice touches like the jet-gliders but most of this future world was very similar to ours which gave the book enough realism to be believable.Unfortunately, I can’t say I can wholly recommend this book which is a shame because I’ve always liked this author’s writing before. It may be an auto-read for fans of Bonnie Dee, but I know that she has written much better books than this.

In a futuristic world, Boston after an apocalyptic disaster, the rich are even richer and the poor are even poorer. Worst, the poorer have no right, and they are used as "meat": to experiment new drugs or to fight in cage as once rabid dogs did. Andreas is the heir of one of the most powerful and wealthy family of New Englandia, the good side of the city; following his friends, that are not exactly role models, he starts to frequent the clandestine cage matches. One night he bets with his friends on a fighter, Andreas is more interested in him as a man, than as a possible source of earnings, and so when he wins the bet, his friends buy him a night with the fighter. Jabez is a former street kid and robber; before being convicted, he hasn't never killed, but now he has no choice, him or the other. And other than fight in the cage, he is also sold out as a whore, obviously with no gain for him, if not the small chance to be free sooner or later. Andreas takes a sympathy on the young fighter and decides to buy his contract: he will offer to Jabez a roof on the head and food on the plate in exchange of fighting lessons. And if in the meantime, Jabez is also willing to share his bed, it is his choice, not a must.The story is pretty simple, the classical Cinderfellas theme, with maybe also a bit of Beauty and the Beast; Jabez is not some noble soul ended in a bad way, he was for real a street kid, and a thief, and he is also uncultured and untrusting. But all in all he is not a bad guy, and not once I felt that he was taking advantage of Andreas generosity. The only think he asked was for something that Andreas did despite his money, a paint. Jabez has a smart mind, and even if he doesn't like Andreas's friends, and in general, his people, he never makes Andreas feel guilty for being born like that, he recognizes that Andreas is a generous soul.On the other hand is not that Andreas is totally unselfish, I don't think he would have taken Jabez in if he wasn't attracted to the man. Like when they go to choose a puppy: Andreas has the money to buy all the puppies of the kennel, but he makes Jabez choice only one... Andreas has his own reasons, he wants Jabez in his life, and he will do anything to prove to Jabez that he is a better man than he thinks. And if in the course of the demonstration he does also something good, it's a bonus. Doing a good deed or winning a fighting match with Jabez, to Andreas more or less are equal. And it's not either that Jabez realizes that he has the power to manipulate Andreas into doing something good for the people like him... we are only lucky that both Andreas and Jabez are good persons, and so what they do has a positive implication.

Do You like book Cage Match (2009)?

I enjoyed this more than I expected to, given the premise. The setting was well-done, in that you got the idea of it being earth after a plague and the changes wrought by it, but without the extensive detail that (IMO)can bog the story down. The main characters were well-constructed, but the secondaries were fairly one-dimensional. I like how Andreas went from unaware to idealistic, because Jabez was there to balance him. Thought the time it took for Andreas to learn fighting techniques was incredibly short, and that niggled at me a lot throughout. I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Andreas and Jabez. And the sex was pretty hot!

I read this book for a challenge, I needed a 'fighter' character. I seen imprisoned gladiator and jumped at this one! I will say that if I had known that it was slightly 'futuristic' I probably woulda passed on it. (Sad to say but I'm not really into these kinda books....with saying that, I'm glad I didn't know because I would have missed out on one pretty awesome book!)We get to meet Jabez the imprisoned fighter & Andreas the very naive prince of industry. These guys are both sexy and opposites, yet they manage to find a common ground to start on and end up falling in love! Through their story we get violence, hurt, betrayal, growth, realization, smoxin hott sex and love. You can't ask for a whole lot more than that! :)
—Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)

...will be back with my review.Cage Match – 5 stars urban-futuristicWords that came to mind while reading the story: greed, tenderness, violent, mellow, stark contrast, revealing, gritty, deception, betrayal, sexy, romantic, passionate, intimidating, loving, Zen, stubborn, hard core.Once upon a time, in a far away land called Brick Town (B-town), there lived a young boy who fought hard to survive. He lived on the streets with his friends, struggling to stay alive. B-town, formally known as Bosto

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