Greg has been in a relationship with Tim for ten years. Despite feeling like maybe he’s not as young or hot as he used to be, he still believes he and Tim are happy. Until he comes home from work one day and finds Tim and a gorgeous teenager having sex on the couch. Getting rid of Tim, however, becomes an emotional roller coaster ride for Greg. Not even the curious flirtations by his new colleague, Kellan, helps matters, especially since Kellan seems straight. Greg’s life is a mess.
As soon as I read the blurb I wanted to read this book. But… if a story’s goal is to evoke feelings, then this one hits the mark—in a negative way. Frustration had me all but pulling hairs out of my head as Greg kept making the same mistakes again and again. He was used as a doormat—plus a wallet, housekeeper, and occasional fuck-buddy. His waffling, told in first person from his point of view alone, made me repeatedly grit my teeth.
Sure, everybody’s been in his situation, caught in the limbo between an ex and a potential future partner, having feelings for both of them and not knowing which way to go. Did realizing that make me sympathetic to Greg’s emotional plight? Only at times, unfortunately. Greg just can’t seem to make a decision, and when he does, he doubts it, and then changes his mind. When this happens more than three times, the plot loses forward momentum. There’s a lot of repetition and rehashing things that have already been covered. At times I felt like I was reading the same scene, over and over, until I simply started skipping a line here, another there, and didn’t miss a thing.
In fact, this relatively short novella gives far too much room to Tim, the cheating boyfriend, and his dumber than a boot boy toy, Charlie. I assume they were used to show how indecisive Greg could be, his low self-esteem evident to anyone for miles around. But honestly, considering the length of the story, this could and should have been reduced.
Especially since the ex situation was shown at the expense of Kellan, the new love, and in the end I felt like I knew next to nothing about Kellan other than him having a teenage daughter. He simply didn’t become a real character of flesh and blood, just a hot bear type with a huge penis. Sad.
Plus, Greg’s hesitation leads to cheating, even after he starts a sort of relationship with Kellan. If cheating offends you, then this story sure isn’t for you. All I know is that I couldn’t relate to Greg at all, and I failed to see the charm in Tim, who was a loathsome cheater and a liar, who has a habit of using people to be able to live like a carefree teenager—though he’s thirty-eight.
There are several editing snafus as well, such as a point where Greg’s first person point of view suddenly shifts into third person and then back again. Weird, and not up to the high standard I’ve come to expect from Less Than Three Press.
The quality of the writing style gets lost in the repetitive plot. I’m not saying it’s straight out bad because I think the writer has potential, if he works on compelling characters and plot development. A good balance between dialogue, internal monologue, and sensual scenes exists in this story already, which is commendable. Since the author is just starting out his writing career, I’m hoping he’ll improve. As is, my overall opinion is that this is suited for those who appreciate the realism of people unable to decide between the past and the future, as can be the case, and who have an abundance of patience.