Story Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4.25 stars
Narrator: Ry Forest
Length: 2 hours, 55 minutes
Craig Elson is a plain man with plain problems. Fading into the background has just cost him the promotion he’s been counting on—and deserved—but it was snatched away by a fast-talking, flashy executive. Thoroughly frustrated, Craig uses his back vacation time to try and figure out his next steps. And, that’s when he runs into Jesse, the hot young man who’s got enough bravado to wear suggestive gay pride shirts that turn Craig inside out. One, with the sassy saying “I would bottom you so hard,” gives Craig the gumption to strike up conversation with Jesse when he sees him at the coffee shop.
Jesse is a graduate student in English, but he agrees to “tutor” Craig in seduction—just until Craig’s able to be assertive enough to get an even better job, and improve his sex life. Turns out Jesse had been pining for Craig just a bit, himself. Craig’s never had the chance to be a dominant lover, but Jesse’s encouragement gives Craig the confidence to stretch beyond his self-created boundaries, both sexually and professionally. During the week Craig takes for vacation, he learns he’s a fantastic top, and he and Jesse connect so well. Unfortunately, the job offer that seems imminent will spell the end of Jesse’s tutoring. That is, if Craig bothers to mention it.
This is a sweet and sexy story. It’s rather short—a novella that takes just under three hours in audio—but packs a good deal of emotional punch. I really enjoyed the narrator’s smooth and playful voice, and he does Jesse especially well. Craig’s parts really transmit a sense of desperation and borderline depression. He’s a good guy who strikes out, for no fathomable reason. Perhaps, it’s his lack of assertiveness, or perhaps he’s just surrounded by jerks. The second part’s definitely true, though it’s likely not the full story. I liked how kind Jesse is, and how he’s able to fit into Craig’s personal world without any difficulty. The sexy explorations Craig makes with Jesse are all the heat such a short book could hold. I have read the sequel to this story, which was why I jumped at the chance to listen to this audiobook. The story is kinda light and fluffy, with only a little bit of easily-resolved conflict, and the narrator made me enjoy it even more.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.