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Fail Seven Times

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Justin Simos knows a few things for sure: he’s gay, he’s an unrepentant jerk, and he’s in love with his best friend—and his best friend’s girlfriend.

Alex and Jamie aren’t like other people. They aren’t fazed by his moods. They laugh at his critical analysis of nineties cinema. They definitely want to have sex with him (…again), and Jamie wants a go at him with her favori
Kindle Edition, 267 pages
Published June 19th 2018
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K.J. Charles The point is that Justin starts off the book positive he's gay, as well as believing he's a total jerk and incapable of a loving relationship. The sto…moreThe point is that Justin starts off the book positive he's gay, as well as believing he's a total jerk and incapable of a loving relationship. The story is about him coming to a new way of thinking about himself. So yes, he's bi and it's a 100% bi positive book across the board. (less)
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 ·  73 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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K.J. Charles
The story of Justin, a gay prickly, self-loathing, self-identified asshole, who is in love not just with his bi best friend Alex but with Alex's girlfriend Jamie. He loves them; they love him and want him to join them in bed with hope of a proper relationship. The entire conflict here lies in Justin's horrifically aggressive-defensive personality and terror of vulnerability, which causes him to deflect, push away, walk away, and generally screw up.

It's a testament to the author that this is int
Wart Hill
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-2018, lgbtq
Thing I Find While Shelving

I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review

Justin Simos is in love with his best friends, Alex and Jamie. Alex and Jamie are together - and occasionally play with other people - so Justin has to keep that fact under wraps. Except one night there's some alcohol and some spectacularly good sex and Justin is convinced he's mucked everything up. He struggles to build the distance back up between them, trying to reinforce the walls he built to protect them. Well.
Roberta Blablanski
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ever read a book with a character that aggravates you so much you want to reach through the pages and strangle them? Justin, the MC of Fail Seven Times, evoked those feelings in me. He actively works against everything he desperately wants, hurting the people closest to him in the process. His internal monologue acknowledges his shitty behavior while his mouth adds fuel to the fire. He even refers to himself as an asshole. ARGH! I'm frustrated all over again as I write this review.

Justin gets op
Terri Jones
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review.

Awesome, unique story! So delighted I got to read it early!

I have never read a more charmingly frustrating, perversely interesting character as Justin. Readers of Ripper's Scientific Universe series met Justin in Practice Makes Perfect, but it isn't necessary to read that first. (Although it is delightful, for totally different reasons.) As is Ripper's usual, every character is great, and since I've read all the associat
Cat M
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I usually review books right after I read them, but I read this one on vacation and then the next two weeks were...a lot. So, belated review time!

I ADORED this book, and I highly recommend it, but it is not an easy read.

cw: discussion of past eating disorders, present self-loathing, self-sabotage and (non-physical) self-harm from pov character, a lot of discussion of and meditation on death from HIV/AIDS and the effects of that epidemic on the queer community, and particularly on those of us wh
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book was lovely. Very queer, very heartfelt, very sexy. Highly recommended.
Mireille Duval
Jul 22, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
I'm just over characters creating problems for themselves out of thin air. These two people love you and you love them! Where is the drama?! ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bdsm, poly, queer, realist
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Content notes: contains BDSM, homophobia, deep reflections on men lost to HIV/AIDS, combining alcohol and sex and (to a lesser degree) alcohol and BDSM.

This is a very thoughtful, sweet, gentle poly romance that gets in deep with the (frequently aggravatingly prickly) protagonist, Justin. Justin is gay, kind of a jerk, and in love with his best friend Alex--and Alex's girlfriend Jamie. The worst part? They're in love with h
3 1/2 stars. I think. I enjoyed this queer, poly kinky romance, although I think I like the idea of it more than I enjoyed reading it.

It’s a sequel to Practice Makes Perfect and is part of the author’s Scientific Method Universe. Technically it’s stand alone but I think It makes much more sense if you’ve read PMP. The main character (and 1st person pov narrator) Justin was introduced in PMP - in PMP he makes a decision that leads directly to the opening scene of Fail Seven Times. And honestly,
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another 2018 book that slipped to the bottom of my TBR pile, one I'm regretting I didn't read sooner.

The book opens rather abruptly, and confusingly, with first-person narrator, twenty-seven year-old Justin Simos, in the midst of his second sexual three-way with his two best friends, Alex (whom he's known since they were misfit kids together) and Jamie, Alex's girlfriend. The three (who seem to be all white, but their race/ethnicity is never directly referenced) have been friends since college,
Liz Derrington
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Justin has a problem. His two best friends, Alex and Jamie, seem to want something from him--something Justin doesn’t feel he can give them. Alex and Jamie have been happily coupled for about five years, and the three of them spent a wild, drunken night together a few years ago. Fail Seven Times picks up as they have a second kinky threesome--this time entirely sober. But Justin feels like he’s on the outside looking in at Alex and Jamie’s perfect relationship, and he can’t see a place for himse ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like Ripper’s books so I read this one as soon as I saw it was available, even though a bi poly romance didn’t sound like exactly my cup of tea. As always, the characters are interesting, complicated people going about their queer lives, struggling both with romantic issues and also the more mundane problems daily life. Justin, the MC, first appeared in another Scientific Method universe book but I don’t think you’d have to have read it to enjoy and fully understand this one. It’s all w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ollie Z Book Minx
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
cw: transmisia including conflation of gender with genitalia

a fairly engaging read overall but about 50pp too long. I needed more from Justin. not saying his anxiety wasn’t valid but there wasn’t much in the way of underpinning for what felt like a tragic backstory setup—like why did he think he was so terrible?? I also would’ve liked to see some healthier coping mechanisms and actual support. like Alex and Jamie are great at reading him and trying to get through but I think he’s have benefitted
Shelly Cerullo
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a kinda odd experience for me, because I LOVED everything that Ripper was trying to say about queer art and community and family building, and yet the main romance fell a little flat for me, because Alex and Jamie always felt a bit like cyphers. idk, idk. I liked it a lot, obviously! But I may need to sit on my reaction a bit and revisit this book later, because I feel like I accidentally missed something, because Ripper’s character building is one of hir greatest strengths by far!
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2018
I found the protagonist frustrating, to say the least, and there were some annoying copy-editing errors (especially Hazeltine/Hazletine) but I’m not kidding myself this isn’t in the top 5% of the genre, easy. And by genre I mean m/m and the general category of queer romance; if we mean the gorg subcategory of m/m/f—and this variation on it is a goddamn treasure—it’s right up at the top.
Bar Fridman Tell
While on the surface I have very little in common with the characters or the plot, this book strongly resonated with me.

I feel that I learned something about the world (this is the first time that I could emotionally comprehend the notion of poly), but also about myself. About the painful, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, oh-my-God-nothing-is-happening
way in which emotional growth happens.

It reminded me that climbing out of emotional holes takes time - frustratingly long time. But also that it
Old friends. Such a fucking nuisance. I should surround myself exclusively with new people who find my wit biting and my sarcasm mean. Strangely, it’s difficult to find people who stick around for that, but of course that’s not really a barrier; once they get used to you, it’s time to find new people anyway. [loc 2247]

Justin Simos' life used to be simple, for quietly desperate values of simple. He's an unrepentant self-saboteur, a self-identified gay man who prefers his sex transactional (and so
Okay, I really should have given this book a proper try earlier and the reason I didn’t was dumb. WOW - that was a good one, one that went different and deeper places than I thought.

So here’s the dumb reason I didn’t read it sooner: it’s not in any fucking library I can access. My parents trained me out of buying books young, because I read too fast, so now when I go to purchase a book, it needs to have lasting potential. It’s gotta be a book I read and loved or one by an author I love or somet
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Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and zir pronouns are ze/zir. Kris shares a converted garage with a kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

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