Reviewer: Kenn Dahll
Let me start with a disclaimer: I write hardcore gay male erotica and was informed by the author in advance that this was a romantic, non-erotic story. The author lied – there may be no explicit sex but the story is still hot!
I anticipated a contrived effort to create a short story about gay sex without the sex. What I found was a charming, well written story that teased and titillated even though both characters kept their clothing on.
Johnny, the narrator, describes himself as a bottle-bottom-thick glasses wearing, book-reading, tow-headed loner. Between the lines you get the feeling that removing the glasses you’ll find a cute kid. His struggles with the library cart and elevator are realistically portrayed, making his initial encounter with Adam, the tall, dark and handsome protagonist in the story who rescues our hero from the hostile elevator doors, credible. For me, painting a word picture of the situation and the principles as economically as possible, while maintaining a sense of possibility, is important.
While I’d like to know more about Adam – is he an undergraduate or graduate student? what’s his major? not the contents of his well-packed jeans – the dialogue between the duo is witty and advances the story. The snappy double entendres are part of the tease, along with the titillating thigh rubs and butt grabs. The minor conflict in the story, an issue of Johnny’s schedule changing, is creatively resolved and provides the setting for the romantic, yet sexy ending.
While I don’t think the style could carry though many more pages, it’s an enjoyable read. I suspect it will serve well as a respite from the steamy action in the rest of the Autumn Anthology.