I enjoyed reading this. This book did have a few errors but I didn’t pause while reading it which means, at least for me, they were not drastic enough to take me out of the story. The one thing, that wasn’t a typo, that did though was the use of the word bowels. That took me out of the story a bit. But beyond this, I enjoyed reading the story.
The technical thing that stood out the most was after a night of being too drunk to immediately remember a party the author says it takes a few days to remember the party and another few to remember the guy who saved him from the morning hangover that same night with a hangover remedy. I assumed just over a week might have gone by so a week is doable, four days if a couple is literal, but the author says they were talking more. They hadn’t talked in a week if it took so many days to get his bearings back so the saying when they next met they had been talking more seems like they had been talking already.
A time or two I felt the wrong word was used but this happened at a level below what would usually annoy me so I ignored it.
What I like is the genuine confusion and inability to assess if he, Blake, is actually offended. The first time when Jared asks him if he’s had any guys the internal monologue he goes through is easy to follow, confusing and somewhat contradictory as it should be, and somehow arrives at what I would expect the character to conclude. It’s the wrong assessment of his own character but it fits Blake which makes it believable.
The internal struggle he has from this point until their next meet does a good job of describing the type of guy Blake believes he is and his struggle to convince himself it’s true when his brain and body say otherwise. All the truths about who he really is come undone despite his best efforts to shut them down and knowing this he’s still convinced meeting up with Jared again is a good idea. That’s what makes this so much fun. His committal to his preconceived notions of himself are more along the lines of stubbornness then flat out denial but his inability to see his own lack of conviction is what allows him to walk so easily into dangerous territory. It doesn’t always work and I’ve def hated on denying the obvious before but in this case it actually manages to skip over annoying straight to fun. Within the boundaries of this novel it fits. Still cliche, but not annoying.
What really sells the book in the second half is that it focuses on the bet; on the teasing, the wimpy denials and draws you into it. You know where it’s going but still want to go along with it. The pay off at the end is worth the ride.
This is a short story, and they only really work if you pick something and focus hard on it because there isn’t’ enough time to delve into things like a normal length novel. So to actually get good characterising thy need to pick less things to focus on and go hard. Choosing the first half to set up the meeting with the love interest and use the internal monologues to express Blake’s conflicting issues does a good job of solidifying him as the focal character. Then, centring the second half around the simple idea that guys do it better and using that idea as a new focus for that same internal battle gives it a more physical representation and takes it from this idea he’s losing in his head to something tangible in the real world. It’s a nice transition from an internal battle to an external battle. By choosing a very clear point of conflict from beginning to end it keeps the reader engaged and stops the book from trying to do too much considering it’s page length.
After all of that, the pay off scene was so much fun to read. I was all smiles reading this book. It definitely delivered on what a short story should be. Maybe it could’ve used a bit more editing but nothing jarring enough to bring you out of the story. The pacing was perfect. It actually felt like a slow burn but it’s a short story. That’s another good thing about this story the buildup had good timing.
If you’re looking for a short read that sticks to the point, doesn’t try to step out of short story parameters, has a nice steamy ending and a good conclusion, this is the book for you. A sweet, slice of steamy fun without all the unnecessary angst and drama.