“When he takes a girl home after a date, Graham learns he has the power to make the women he sleeps with buff. Graham likes Lena, and he really likes the way her muscles grow whenever they hook up. As for Lena, she’s spent her whole life feeling weak and powerless, and Graham’s unique… ability provides her the opportunity to feel powerful. Not to mention it turns her on.” – Synopsis from Smashwords.com
The world of Female Muscle Growth (FMG) media is not as vast as say, Giantess or Breast Expansion, this means that many times certain themes and ideas are re-used in different scenarios, or with different characters. This of course could lead to stagnation in the art, since there are many repetitive presentations of the fetish. So it is difficult sometimes to find an image, comic, or story that truly stands out in a unique way.
Common amongst these stories are a woman who through some means obtains a larger and stronger physique. She becomes a heroine, or a villain, maybe she uses her power to get back at those who bullied her, to take control of her relationship and life, or simply just basks in her own power. In some cases the change is permanent, others not. But there is something that I feel is missing from the genre, romance.
This is where I feel Hard Gains truly shines as a piece of the FMG culture. For at its core, there is more to it than just FMG, there is heart. The story is about a man and woman, who meet and start to build a relationship together. There is intimacy, passion, and real character moments that exist within the chapters. Hard Gains is not just a story for FMG fans to simply fetishize, there is some depth to what happens between Graham and Lena, and you actually find yourself wanting to see what becomes of their relationship as the story progresses.
Overall, the story flows at a good pace, with very little downtime. The growth (and sex) scenes are very well written, with careful and precise attention paid to minor details. The dialogue is all well-written, and only helps to better establish who the characters are as people. Flynn does an excellent job at exploring their feelings (both romantic and sexual) between the main characters.
However, there are what could be called familiar tropes within the story that FMG fans will notice right away. They do not take away from, nor hinder the story, but also do not bring anything new to the genre. While the story flows well, it does take some time for them to start trying to learn more about what has caused Graham to make Lena grow. This can be seen as both bad and good, as some might grow impatient trying to get the answers, whereas some might enjoy the prospect of not rushing into the answers. Neither character has much of an arc or growth (of the character variety) beyond their relationship building, but there are hints of change within both of them that might be explored in the next book.
With all being said, the book is certainly a must have for any lover of FMG erotica, and easily shines as a unique story within the genre.
- Unique story, more of a romance erotica with FMG blended in
- Excellently detailed growth and sex scenes
- Well paced, and easy to read
- Does feel a little cliché in some parts
Hard Gains by HB Flynn
Thank you Trent for providing this post!
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