Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
Patrick’s Dom Leo has been suffering from writer’s block. He spends all his time in his office, frustrated in front of his laptop. Leo is too busy and distracted to have time for Patrick, so Patrick finds himself seeing to his own needs. When breaking that rule doesn’t even bother Leo, Patrick knows he needs to do something. So he books a little time away for the two of them over Christmas, hoping that the trip will prove just the distraction Leo needs to get his muse to return.
Muse’s Vacation is a short little story that focuses on Patrick and his Dom Leo as they go through a difficult patch. Leo is so frustrated and distracted with his writer’s block that he doesn’t have much time and attention for Patrick. And Patrick is lonely and needy without Leo. We can especially feel Patrick’s frustration as he is not even sure how to approach Leo, wary of disturbing him but also feeling unable to do anything to help.
My issue here primarily is that this story is just so short and simple that we don’t really get to know much about these guys. I can tell they care for one another. But we get no sense of what their relationship is normally like, of how long they have been together, or really anything about them at all other than that Leo is a writer and they have a Dom/sub relationship. Even that feels a little oversimplified as other than being told they are Dom and sub and a few “sirs” thrown in as well some topping by Leo, there is not much else to indicate they are in this type of relationship. I just felt like there isn’t enough here to really make anything from this story. Not enough of either man to get to know them, not enough about the two of them together, and no real depth to any of it.
I was also sort of put off by Patrick when his primary concern in all this is the fact that Leo is too distracted to have sex with him. There is very little concern expressed about how Leo is doing. Patrick’s main motivation here seems to be getting off.
And my last issue is that I never really understood clearly how this is all resolving. Yes, they go away on vacation together and after that Leo’s muse is back. But is it the change of scenery? A renewed connection with Patrick? Taking time away over the holiday? Given how short this story is and how the resolution comes very quickly, I feel like this point needs to be clear and strong if the whole story is hinge on it. And instead I felt like things were left a little vague.
So overall I think this was a nice story with some potential, but there is just not enough here to really sink into. Even with a short story an author can craft some real depth and feeling without a lot of pages. And unfortunately in this case, while I found it a nice story, it just fell flat for me.
Note: This version from MLR was published at the end of 2013 and appears to be a rerelease of this story.