Isamu knows one thing—delivering the coffee and brioche to the gorgeous man in Bryant park is the highlight of his day. He may be a starving film student with shoes held together with duct tape, but that doesn’t stop him from fantasizing about the wealthy and desirable Brian Gilles. So imagine how shocked poor Isamu is when Brian asks him out on a date and the sexual tension between them explodes instantly.
Brian may be attracted to Isamu, but any ideas about love are off the table for him. He has some dark, emotional secrets that have molded him into a seemingly unaffected and hardhearted man who doesn’t do relationships. But over the course of a year, four wonderful, sometimes frustrating and tumultuous seasons, Isamu burrows under Brian’s rough exterior and lodges himself firmly in the older man’s heart.
Tales of Bryant by V.L. Locey is a love story spanning a year that never feels like four short stories brought together in one novel; instead, it feels like a birds-eye view of a relationship that begins with lusty attraction and develops into something deeper and longer lasting. I could not love Isamu more than I do after reading this novella. He not only provided the humor—a perfect foil to Brian’s aloof and slightly colder demeanor, but he also was the catalyst for Brian revealing the pain in his past and taking a chance on love again. Their relationship is a classic example of something that should never work, yet did so and remarkably well.
The dichotomy between the colder Brain and the passionate Isamu who must capture every one of life’s moments through the lense of his camera is really brilliant writing. I love their story and I desperately want more time with this couple to watch their relationship develop and expand. Isamu never comes off as older than his age and yet, while Brian may be in a different social and economic strata than he, their relationship is one that never felt unequal or unbalanced. They just fit together so well and that made reading about their lives that more enjoyable.
Tales of Bryant is a lovely romance that will easily become a reread for me when I am looking for a sweet, comforting novella to escape into at a moment’s notice.