Andrea K Höst by another name

So, here’s something some of you might want to take a look at: The Book of Firsts by Karan K Anders, which is to say, Andrea K Höst.

AKH evidently put this one out under a different name because there’s lots of explicit sex in the story, a departure for her, and she didn’t want to accidentally mislead the many fans of her other works into picking up a book of hers automatically and then being disappointed.

Although in general I prefer no explicit sex, I do read contemporary “hot” romances if I like the story in other ways, and I’m sure I’ll like this one just fine. Those of you who like or don’t hate erotica in a story will probably want to check this one out. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Three boys, the ‘kings’ of the school. One cynical newcomer. An outrageous competition.
When Mika Niles overhears the details of “The Book of Firsts” she’s at first bemused, then scornful, then intrigued. Judging which of three very handsome young men is best at kissing, and…?

With no time in her final year for serious attachments, a series of lunchtime trysts is more than tempting – and an opportunity like this might never come her way again. But this light-hearted game is also a scandalous secret, and few can play with fire and walk away unscathed.

This isn’t something I would be interested in trying if it were by some other author, but AKH? That’s different. I’ve picked it up and will probably try it soon.

Also, that’s a really pretty cover, much nicer, or at least a whole lot more to my taste, than the bare-chested hot-dude closeups we so often see on romance novels.

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8 thoughts on “Andrea K Höst by another name”

  1. I started it shortly after getting her announcement a few weeks ago about it, put it down – pet health was very bad last month, 2 died – and did not pick it up again. Don’t know if it was really that uninteresting, or it was the rest of my life swamping engagement.

    I’ll be interested in your take.

  2. I read it, because… it was Andrea Host. I liked it, because… it was Andrea Host. It was far from the most explicit book I’ve read, but much more so than I would expect from Andrea Host. I really appreciated how she created three such attractive guy characters who were so different from each other. I felt like the narrator had a voice very similar to Cassandra, except she was much more confident. My only caveat with this (and I had the same issue with the Touchstone trilogy, especially towards the end) is the narrator feels much too mature and she does everything so – right, for lack of a better word. By the end I felt like all her interesting edges had been smoothed out and though the events around her might be exciting and surprising, the character herself not so much. But it’s a small caveat, and I will continue to read and reread Host’s stories.

  3. I was not intending to read this one, even though it is Höst — but then I bought it in an impulsive mood. I was surprised by how much it made me care about the characters. In so many ways this is SUCH an Andrea K. Höst book. She’s still writing about people who are exceptionally intelligent, talented and attractive! It’s just that none of them have magic.

    I thought they were unusually mature for their age, but not unbelievably so, given their various personalities and personal circumstances. Also if they were less mature, I suspect things would get much more messy and I didn’t want to see that. (Whereas I too was disappointed when some of Cass’s edges get smoothed out towards the end of that trilogy.)

    I like the cover better than something shirtless too and hopefully combined with the description it won’t mislead readers into expecting something less sexual.

  4. Good to hear all your comments about The Book of Firsts. I think I’ll like it a lot. I’m very much in the mood for something rather light, with good characters and no death-defying circumstances. And I’m generally just fine with very mature young characters; I’m almost always quite happy to sacrifice some believability in return for maturity and competence in young protagonists. … Also, I usually find young characters who are mature for their age pretty believable. “The characters are kinda unbelievably mature for their age” is a nice example of a critique that moves me toward a book, rather than away from a book.

    I get what you mean about Cassandra. She was SO competent as a mother-figure for those children and SO mature at that point in the story. On the other hand … I didn’t mind that, and on reflection, still don’t mind it. That is yet another example of me being happy, as a reader, to sacrifice believability for competence.

  5. This is a strange book. Yes there’s a ton of sex, but it’s written with little affect, in the first person. In fact the whole book might be described in that way. Way less affect than Cassandra. Plus it’s set a totally over the top private school. Everyone is rich, or beautiful, or most likely both.
    Not bad, but not really for me.

  6. These comments are encouraging. Maybe I’ll try it after all.

    When I first read the description, my initial response was a quick No. I don’t usually like explicit stories because the whole story tends to focus on body parts rather than the whole person. Though I have read one story that was quite explicit and yet was really about character. The author, Ruthie Knox, focused the story on the idea of how the hero/heroine knew everything about each other physically and nothing otherwise. It’s a novella called ‘Big Boy.’ (Don’t look at me like that; it’s the name of a train, okay?) Also, I liked it because the heroine is the single mother of a rambunctious toddler, which is not the usual demographic for a romantic heroine.
    I’m rambling. All I meant to say is that in the hands of a good author, pretty much any subject matter can be done well, so maybe I should check this out.

  7. Evelyn, Ruthie Knox is really just over the edge into too much sex / too explicit for me. I read Big Boy — yes, train, thankfully — and liked it pretty well, but haven’t tended to look for more by Knox. So far — and I’m still near the beginning — The Book of Firsts seems at least as much about character and less explicit and detailed about sex. And I’m quite intrigued by the three male characters, who are being developed really well, just as everyone says in their reviews of this book.

    I went in expecting a somewhat silly setup and a lot of sex, so nothing about this was a surprise or disappointment. I’m enjoying it. And honestly, AKH did about as well making the setup seem … plausible is a stretch … not completely, wildly implausible, at least. If you like Ruthie Knox, my guess is you will like this book too.

    Pete Mack is right, but instead of saying low affect, I would say very, very low angst. That’s a huge plus for me. I’ll be fine if it stays that way.

  8. Even though there is a lot of sex, it’s way more about the characters, the talking they do, and choices they make, and them and us getting to know them; it’s not that much about the mechanics at all.
    I tend to skip explicit scenes, but I liked & read all of this book.
    What I did notice was that the characters, especially the three guys, had rather a strong manga/anime flavor for me, even though I have hardly read any of that.

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