Buy Link: Permanently Legless
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Amber Allure
Length: Short Story

Rating: 4.5

Chris has returned home from Afghanistan after losing both legs in a bombing.  He still has plenty of spirit, as well as an active libido, and decides it is time to get back out there at the local club. When Chris arrives, he is shocked to see Josh, his one night stand from right before shipping out.  Josh was supposed to be a one off, but Chris has fueled many fantasies with memories of the gorgeous man. Even though Josh had given Chris his number, Chris never called, partly due to his injuries and party due to his assumption that the beautiful man would have moved well past him already.  So Chris is quite surprised to find that Josh has been thinking about Chris as well, and the men pick things up right where they left off.

I loved Chris’ voice throughout this story.  He is coarse and a bit rough and says “fuck” constantly. He is occassionally grouchy about life in the wheelchair, but never self-pitying.  I loved his attitude and his frankness and he cracked me up multiple times.  Chris’ description of the club:

The music’s still good, though. Vintage Pet Shop Boys is blaring out as I roll up to the bar and wonder how trashed it’s safe to get. How embarrassing would it be if I couldn’t get home on my own? At least they’ve got a disabled loo here. I remember that much.

After you’ve had a three-way in a place, it tends to stick in your mind.

Actually, come to think of it, I don’t reckon it’s ever been used for anything but group sex. I’m going to be well hacked off later if I have to wait for a bloody orgy to finish before I can take a leak.

I really liked that while the book doesn’t dance around Chris’ disability, that is not the focus of his relationship with Josh.  The conflict between them is really whether a one night stand can be rekindled months later, and whether Chris can get past the idea that someone as hot as Josh would still want him.

My only complaint is I wish it were a bit longer.  I know, greedy greedy.  But I felt like things were a bit rushed after the guys finally get together. Maybe because while there is an epilogue of sorts, the scene is between Chris and his friend. So we get a hint of how the relationship with Josh is progressing, but a lot of focus is on his friend and his new date.  I would have liked to see things fleshed out a teeny bit more between our guys instead.

But other than that, I thought it was really great.  As with all of Merrow’s books, this has a great British feel.   I loved the set up and the characters and thought it was a great short story.