Buy Link: Precious_boy
Author: K.Z. Snow
Length: Novella

Rating: 4.5

One night while scanning through an online porn site, a gorgous blond young man captures Jonathan Wright’s attention.  He is immediately drawn to the man’s beauty, although he looks too young to be legal.  Something about the man just grabs Jon’s attention, and he soon realizes that he looks familiar.  At first Jon assumes they have met before, or he has seen the man on other sites.  But later Jon is shocked to realize that the young man is actually Ethan, the son of one of his former boyfriends, an older man Jon dated while in college.

Jon is appalled, both to find that the boy he remembers fondly has turned to porn, but also to realize that he has an undeniable attraction to this younger man who he knows can’t be quite 18.  However, Jon’s first instinct is to try to reach out to Ethan, who calls himself precious_boy online.  Jon is shocked to hear the details of Ethan’s life, especially about his controlling, much older boyfriend.  Jon reaches out both to Ethan, and to Ethan’s father Donald, in hopes of making a positive difference in Ethan’s life.  But through it all he finds that his attraction to Ethan continues to grow and that Ethan feels the same way about him.  The question is whether Ethan can move past the situation in which he has has become entangled and whether the two men can make a relationship work.

Precious_boy was really an enjoyable book and touched on a lot of quite interesting issues, many focused around Ethan and Jon’s relationship.   First there is the age difference (Ethan is 17 and Jon is 28).  Ethan is a pretty mature guy though and he turns 18 during the course of the book (and the two men wait until he is legal before hooking up, although just barely).  Then there is the issue that Jon had dated Donald as a young man (and in fact sees him again briefly over the course of story) and now is starting a relationship with his son. And then of course the fact that as a young man, Jon had some degree of a caretaker role with a younger Ethan when he dated his father.  It is not really paternal, and it not even really fraternal.  I think Ethan looked up to Jon and had a bit of hero worship (and perhaps a crush as well, although his young mind probably didn’t see it that way). So there are lots of interesting dynamics swirling around between them and I liked how the book pushes the envelope a little to explore whether the two guys can make something work out of this unusual history.

I also really liked the dichotomy in the portrayal of the men’s parents.  Jon goes to his mother Marti for guidance in helping him sort out his feelings for Ethan.  Jon knows he is attracted to Ethan, but not sure he should be.  Marti is there for him completely, helping him figure out what he wants, supporting him, and even pitching in to help Jon make things work out in the end.  On the other hand we have Donald, who can hardly be bothered to care about his son at all.  Donald has always placed his career before his relationships and years before walked out on both Jon and a young Ethan when job opportunities took him to another area.  When Jon shares with Donald that Ethan is caught up with an older man and involved with porn, Donald can barely muster the energy to care and Jon must practically drag him into even a minimum of action.

Another thing I appreciated is that while Jon is older and makes a big effort to help Ethan get his life back on track, he is very clear that the change is coming from Ethan himself and his desire to make things better in his own life.  Jon doesn’t try to take over and make decisions for Ethan. He supports him but allows him to be an adult and lead the way in his own life.

This is a relatively short book and I did feel the ending could have been fleshed out some more.  I feel like we jumped really fast from Jon accepting his feelings for Ethan and Ethan sharing his own for Jon right into the point that they had sort of accepted a long-term relationship.  Jon especially does have some hesitancy after they first jump into things that Ethan helps alleviate, and the men do take time toward the end of the book to really develop a relationship together.  But they are only together for a short while before the big declaration and it would have helped me to see their relationship develop a bit more before they reached that point.

This isn’t a particularly intense book but I love the way it made me think about so many different things.  There are so many relationship dynamics happening all at once involving Jon, Ethan, Donald, and Ethan’s boyfriend/manager that I loved watching all the interactions.  I really enjoyed Precious_boy and would definitely recommend it, especially to those who like stories with younger heros and age differences between partners.

Cover Review: Oh so pretty pretty and looks exactly like Ethan is described