Zach left town after being rebuffed by Mason twenty years ago. News that Mason’s mom passed away has spurred Zack into making a drastic decision: sell his condo, leave it all behind in the hopes that Mason will let him back into his life and consider trying to make a relationship work.
Mason is still in denial, having remained behind in Edenberg with his mom, and he has repressed his sexuality all these years. So much has changed, and yet, so much has stayed the same. Zach’s friend Baliey gives him sage advice: woo the man. Mason has changed and Zach needs to get to know that man and let go of the man he used to know.
The town is small, and with less than a thousand people, the bigotry ends up impacting Mason’s livelihood supplying various businesses with fresh game. Angry with Zach, angry with himself, Mason needs to figure out who he is, where he stands with Zach, and if he wants to remain in the closet for the next twenty years.
I am starting to become a real fan of Veldura’s novellas. The two I have read had some good, unique twists and elements and the tension and angst are well done. I immediately took to Mason’s character and liked Zach’s, but had a hard time reconciling the “sell it all and hope for the best” course of action he took.
The secondary characters are polar opposites, not really demonstrating much depth, but serving a larger purpose in the story and so the hatred and acceptance are more overt, like a parody with a broad-sweeping purpose.
The cover was simple and completely suitable and although some elements were a bit extreme, this was an enjoyable read from beginning to end. Veldura is proving to be a master at twists and manipulation and I can easily recommend Baited for a quick, fun story that may just leave you guessing at times.