public display of everythingRating: 3.25 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Cory, an American living in London, has just lost another job and has been evicted from his apartment. While Cory is drinking his bad day away at the pub where is best friend bartends, Flynn overhears his dilemma and approaches.

Flynn runs a website, Public Display of More, devoted to voyeurism and has hundreds and hundreds of subscribers. The subscribers want to see a live scene with Flynn as the subject, but Flynn prefers to watch, rather than be watched. Flynn proposes to pay Cory to be his stand in to pleasure himself in public view for his subscribers. Although Cory needs the money, his initial response is, “You want me to do what?”

I wanted to ask you at the end of the above paragraph if you like to watch, but I did not have the enthusiasm to be salacious.

This book started out unique and had great potential.  The opening of each chapter starts with a message to Cory from Luke. Each chapter we get a little more and, at first, it was intriguing to see what the story and the connection would be.

Cory struggles to find his way as he sees himself as nothing special. His only friend is Tammy, the bartender at the pub he frequents. He has had a list of odd jobs, none of which were in his degreed field of History.  Flynn is nervous and has no social skills. He is so awkward that while planning a movie marathon for Cory he Googles the best snacks and attire and plans accordingly. He is quirky, and at first, when he uses words like, “inept” and “discombobulated,” to describe himself it is quite entertaining.

The first voyeuristic scene is hot as Flynn hides in the hotel bathroom while Cory pleasures himself in front of a window. Cory is attracted to Flynn and turns himself on during his performance with fantasies of Flynn.

After that scene, to borrow a phrase, the story “jumped the shark.” It could not make up its mind what it wanted to be. It felt like a template where scenes and characters were added to fit the outline of what an episodic story should be. The initial storyline of the website took a back seat. We have two male characters, both trying to find their way, and of course one has a trust fund. There is insta-love, insta-relationship, insta-moving in together. There is Facebook, one has a best friend who is a girl, the other has no friends. They of course both have secrets and issues, one involving gay bullying and one involving family that disowned him after he admitted he was gay.

There is a lot going on, too much going on. Cory was a history major and visits a museum to stare longing at the Rosetta Stone trying to decipher a code for his life. Flynn tries to distract him with historical documentaries. At times I had to back track to confirm who was speaking and when they starting quoting movie dialog it just added to the jumbled mix.

The intimate scenes between Cory and Flynn were some of the best scenes in the book. Their personalities come out more as we see Flynn’s lack of experience and Cory’s loneliness. But, I had a hard time latching onto either character and ultimately the story, and by the end of the book when Flynn was still yelling, “Oh, goodness,” in the throes of passion it became grating.  The ending ties it up predictably, but there was a public service announcement feel for tolerance and equality. Certainly, appropriate and relative issues, but just not well executed and further promoted the formatted style to the story.

There is a second book in the works with the aforementioned Luke as the main character. It will not be on my radar to read and I will agree with Flynn when he discusses the Rosetta Stone with Cory, that I would be “…looking in the wrong place.”

michelle signature