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Apple Polisher  - Heidi Belleau
3.5 stars

Christian thinks he has to be an apple polisher, thinks that in order to be a good kindergarten teacher, he has to be a goody-goody, perfect, by-the-rules kinda guy. Unfortunately, he thinks this also means living a lie in the closet.

Christian is a college student in a teacher training program that has an unbelievable list of decorum and comportment requirements. This gets him into a quandary when he falls for one of his hunky housemates, Max, who doesn’t believe in closets and may or may not be a drug dealer. It also makes Christian hesitant about helping his sick auntie Beverly with running her small business while she is under-going chemotherapy. Managing a porn shop called Rear Entrance Video doesn’t quite fit in with that whole kindergarten-teacher persona.

So Christian is conflicted about who to be true to… himself, his family and friends, or the demands of his chosen profession. Really, it’s all about him not worrying about what others will think of him and learning to grow a pair. You just want to give him a good shake. But that’s Max’s job.

“Apple Polisher” starts off a bit slowly for me, the story quietly meanders around Christian, his auntie, and his four new housemates of which Max is one. It isn’t until Christian and Max hook up that it feels like the plot starts cooking— when Christian is faced with his prejudices and self-doubt. Can he and Max make a go of it? They seem to keep a lot of secrets from each other…

Max and Christian are far from perfect, they are not glossy, pretty-boys, they have real life issues. I like how they bumble through the ups and downs, and how Christian finally gets a backbone. I had a small issue with the story towards the end when Christian, who has been so overly concerned with his image, throws caution to the wind to commit an act that goes against everything he has been fretting about. Don’t get me wrong, it is a hot, sexy moment, but it just seems too soon and feels too out of character to me.

The author nicely shapes a community of quirky characters including Rob and the other housemates who come through for Christian, and even a motley crew of porn shop employees and customers. And that porn shop is a perfect setting for a good dollop of humor and the absurd (and, yes, sex). This is the start of a series where we’ll get to know the other housemates better. I look forward to more Rear Entrance Video shop adventures and continuing on with Rob’s story, up next.

For this review and lots more please visit: The Blog of Sid Love