Storm Moon Press - Counterpunch Untitled Page

Counterpunch

Aleksandr Voinov

Out of Print

Fight like a man, or die like a slave.

Brooklyn Marshall used to be a policeman in London, with a wife and a promising future ahead of him. Then he accidentally killed a rioter whose father was a Member of Parliament and had him convicted of murder. To ease the burden on the overcrowded prison system, Brooklyn was sold into slavery rather than incarcerated. Now, he's the "Mean Machine", a boxer on the slave prizefighting circuit, pummeling other slaves for the entertainment of freemen and being rented out for the sexual service of his wealthier fans.

When Nathaniel Bishop purchases Brooklyn's services for a night, it seems like any other assignation. But the pair form an unexpected bond that grows into something more. Brooklyn hesitates to call it "love"—such things do not exist between freemen and slaves—but when Nathaniel reveals that he wants to help get Brooklyn's conviction overturned, he dares to hope. Then, an accident in the ring sends Brooklyn on the run, jeopardizing everything he has worked so hard to achieve and sending him into the most important fight of all—the fight for freedom.

The enemy was swaying on his feet, too tired to lift his hands, but Brooklyn kept pushing him into a corner. Eight rounds in, he was tired and yet buzzing high on adrenaline and sheer, uncontrollable rage, delivering low punches into the enemy's sides, his solid resistance like a wall he wanted to tear down with his bare hands.

The enemy squirmed under the onslaught, rounded his back and stumbled away, but there were only the ropes, and beyond it, the baying mob.

Brooklyn kept punching, hitting, then noticed that the enemy had lowered his guards to protect himself. He responded to the weakness the only way that made sense to his adrenaline-dazed brain. He took a half step back and delivered a straight punch with the right and a cross with the left. Like in slow motion, the power from that cross tore the man's head to the side, Brooklyn saw a flash of the yellow mouth guard, and then the man went down as if struck by lightning.

No, not yet.

Before anybody could interfere, Brooklyn caught him him by the throat, pushed him up against the ropes and kept punching him. The rage knew no bounds, burning in his veins, turning the exhaustion to ashes, drowning out the shouts from the mob.

The enemy opened his arms, to try and grasp the ropes, but for a moment he was spread open in a T. Unguarded, unprotected, throat bared, head rolling back. Unconscious, dead, or simply KO, that strange stage when every ounce of strength and endurance had been beaten from his body, leaving only leaden indifference—or a readiness to die.

And it was a mercy to be killed on his feet, in the ring.

5 - Bitch Factor 10
"It is a testament to Aleksandr Voinov's skill as a writer that he can draw me into a novel that features boxing and an alternative 21st Century world where slavery is de rigueur.... [T]he wee little parts of my heart... that love when two virile, sexy men get together... were having a field day with Counterpunch. There was no lack of that sort of (yummy) thing.... The story is action-packed, as is to be expected, and the fighting scenes are descriptive, but also tautly written."

5 - Bobby at Book Wenches
"This is a story of struggle, tenacity, and redemption, and I found it to be an absorbing, entertaining read. Mr. Voinov writes with a gritty realism that breathes life into the story. His world isn't pretty, and his characters aren't empty ideals but are a believable blend of positive and negative traits.... Although Counterpunch does not end with a traditional happily-ever-after, it is still quite satisfying.... Would I recommend this book to others? My answer is an enthusiastic yes. Mr. Voinov has given us fascinating tale in Counterpunch, and I thoroughly enjoyed it."

5 - Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"Voinov pulls no punches in this novel. A sense of desperation blends perfectly with the oppressive rage of a man who is shackled by the tangible and intangible bonds of a society that once defined him as free but snatched it away as punishment in a bid for retribution."

5 - TWLIB Reviews
"Right there on the very first page, slave boxer Brooklyn Marshall comes alive with energy and determination, a man caught between bravado for winning against his opponent in the boxing ring, and his guards daring him to make the wrong move. Counterpunch is a highly charged, gripping novel about redemption, conflicts, identity, and romance."

5 - Alex at Between the Covers
"If you are looking for a meaty plot with a good mix of sex and hard emotions, then pick this up! Although Brooklyn is by no means a perfect character, his weaknesses make him human and any negative traits are balanced by his guilt for his involvement in a young woman's death, and his struggle to maintain his humanity by not losing his identity and "becoming a slave".... Most of the characters have multiple layers, even the minor ones, giving depth beyond the main pair. Characters are "good," but still human and make mistakes, take offense, and get revenge. The dynamic of all the characters together helps bring this dark story to life and throws rays of sunshine in along the way.... The casual and yet dramatic way Voinov unveiled the story left me curious about how everything would unfold and eager to find out while enjoying each scene along the way."

4.5 - Pixie at M/M Good Book Reviews
"[A] brilliant book.... I love this story as it's got boxing, slavery, controversy, love, rage, anger, slight BDSM and great characters.... I recommend this to everyone... it's a bloody good read."

4.5 - Pants Off Reviews
"[T]his book is incredibly sexy without all the fluff and stuff. I am in some serious love with Brook, he oozes sexuality and I just wanna get him naked. I have a huge character crush on him, just seeing him naked with some boxing gloves on (ah the imagery). This book is the Brooklyn Marshall show, no character or situation can outshine him. The overall package of this story is a hit, and I recommend you read."

4.5 - Book Utopia
"Voinov packs a wallop into this short novel, with story and characterization bursting at the seams. The pace is relentless, the detail graphic and brutal. He doesn't hold back on portraying the dark underbelly of the world he's playing in, a characteristic of his writing I adore.... The world-building is rich and detailed enough to create a sense of here and now, without pandering to unnecessary explanation that often bogs down series stories. It's superlative storytelling, but then again, that's become what I expect from this author."

4.5 - Fire Pages
"Brooklyn is an amazing character, and I love that Voinov tells this story from his point of view.... Brooklyn wrestles with so many strong emotions, regret at the decisions he has made that brought him here, anger at his life as a slave, and rage that gets released in the boxing ring.... The underground world is amazing and rich with detail. Brooklyn is a complex character that I couldn't take my focus off of, and I think this highly emotional novel is a winner."

4 - Ana at The Romance Studio
"I really enjoyed this story. The author does a wonderful job of bringing out the monotony and hopelessness that Brooklyn's life has become. There are plenty of m/m situations some of them hard and emotionless as the world he lives in but all well written and in keeping with the story. I will definitely be looking forward to more stories from this author as he has a wonderful way drawing you into a story."

4 - Linda at The Paranormal Romance Guild
"The descriptions of the fights were so realistic you could almost see it in your mind. There is explicit sex and violence; the author leave nothing to the imagination. It is a very dark book about slavery, only this time the slaves are men, women, and children of all different colors.... A scary prospect. I recommend this book. it really gets you thinking."

4 - T at Live Your Life, Buy The Book
"I admit this book was not what I expected, yet again it was more. The strange relationship Brook and Nathaniel formed was weird in the fact that I as a reader, even though knowing from the blurb that they were to form a bond, while reading fell for what the author intended and Nathaniel had my complete distrust. Even when everything seemed to scream that that was not the case somehow I was unbalanced and uncertain of what the heck was going on. I love that incredible feeling I got out of Counterpunch, it kept me on the toes for a very, very long time. [I] can’t not admit that I’m in love with yet another character/s of Aleksandr and I absolutely loved this book. God, this author’s work is becoming like air to me, not addictive, but needed for survival."

4 - Jenre at Well Read
"[T]he character of Brooklyn is pretty magnificent. He's a man who fights with all his being against what he has become but also recognises that he has to play the system or suffer the consequences.... [T]he detail in the setting was breathtaking in its scope and breadth. The story was complex with a high emotional content which made the story very engaging at times."

Series

Belonging

Length

55,000 words

Release Date

Book Type

Novel

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-18-0 (print)
978-1-937058-17-3 (ebook)

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, bisexual, slavery, speculative fiction, violence