“Collision Course” by K.A. Mitchell
K.A. Mitchell’s “Collision Course” is a love story between Aaron Chase, a cynical, usually disgruntled paramedic and Joey Miller, an overly optimistic, free-spirited social worker. The story starts off with a bang—literally, as Joey is on a highway, driving toward Florida and witnesses a horrific, highway car crash. Being the “Do-gooder” that he is, he gets out of his car to help the situation, particularly aiding a young boy whose mother was severely injured in the accident. When the paramedics show up, the first things Aaron Chase sees is the carnage of the crash, and Joey’s incredible butt. Aaron has an immediate and very strong physical attraction toward Joey and clearly the attraction is mutual, because it isn’t too long before the two men are in the back of Aaron’s ambulance truck, going at it like crazy. They continue to have (a lot of) hot sex throughout the course of the novel and Aaron struggles with his ambivalent feelings toward Joey (the sex is great, but he doesn’t want to be attached and yet at the same time there is something about Joey, beyond the sex that compels Aaron to him), while Joey earnestly hopes that Aaron will be the last boyfriend he will have (he’s had over a dozen in the course of a few years).
This is the first novel that I have read by Mitchell. I’m not sure why, because her writing style, her eye for description and character depiction is excellent. The writing is crisp and clear and there is definitely a page-turning quality to the book. I did however, have a problem with the narrative, mainly the over abundance of sex scenes in the book. Not too soon after meeting, Aaron and Joey have a fiery sex session in the back of Aaron’s ambulance truck. It was one of the hottest, erotic scenes that I’d read in a while. The problem was that shortly after that scene, came another sex scene, and another, and another…in total there had to be well over a dozen sex scenes, all of them being over six pages long at least. Now, while the sexual interactions between Aaron and Joey do contribute to the overall progression of the story, I believe that the author could have alluded to some of the sex scenes, instead of describing every single one of them in full detail (although they are all really well-written). The book could have done more with focusing on the emotional aspects of Aaron and Joey’s relationship and how it develops. We do learn a lot about Aaron’s troubled upbringing in the foster care systems and how it affects his relationship with Joey (since Aaron does not trust people and Joey is a part of the social worker system that failed him and his family). Yet, we do not learn that much about Joey, other than he has a lot of ex’s, loves sex, and is a perpetual optimistic. I felt like there could have been more situations beyond the sex to focus on in their connection.
Overall, I do think this is a good book. There are some great snarky exchanges between Aaron and Joey. I really liked that Aaron was not the typical “perfect” hero of the story. He’s flawed and does not apologize for it. Joey is a great person, but has his own faults as well. Though this is traditional m/m romance, there is certain “realness” to the characters, their situations, and the way that they deal with those situations, which I found pleasing. My only real criticism is that some of the sex scenes be shortened/implied, so that readers could focus more on the characters and the plot. I would definitely be interested in reading another book about Aaron and Joey and I am also interested in reading Mitchell’s other works, because I think she is a really good author.
Michael S. Booker
Author of “Boys of Summer”