To say the reclusive Parley Taylor is something of an obsession for Bobby Kendrick is a bit of an understatement. The two novels Taylor has written influenced Bobby like no other. They actually set him on the path to pursue his own masters in literature, but it’s more than that. In his core, Bobby felt something no other writer could ever touch and finding Taylor is now more of a sacred mission than just an excuse to interview the man. What Bobby doesn’t expect is to basically find the famous author living in a place of squalor. His own apartment is fairly spotless, yet the building and neighborhood are pretty shabby and rundown. Bobby also doesn’t expect Taylor to taunt him to the point where he loses all his control and finds himself having sex with the guy and then leaving in shame.
But Bobby is nothing if not tenacious and two days later when Taylor shows up at his hotel room, the roles are reversed and the two men not only sit down to talk, but find their mutual attraction is still very much alive. However, time is short and Taylor is not likely to throw anything Bobby’s way—not a desire for more conversation or even much more than one date and a night in bed together. Leaving Taylor to return to grad school is going to be harder than Bobby ever expected but just maybe there is a chance for more.
I do enjoy the writing team that makes up the author Jamie Craig (Vivien Dean and Pepper Espinoza) and have read other work by them both separately and under this pseudonym. However, this novella, Nowhere Man, is not one that has stood the test of time very well, in my opinion. Originally released under another publisher over a decade ago, the story relies on a lot of sex and very little else to make it interesting. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with scenes of intimacy when they are surrounded by a good story. Unfortunately, this one just lacked the cohesive plot that would keep this from falling into more of the erotica category than the romance one for me.
For instance, there is not really a clear happy ever after, but instead a grudging kind of happy for now with Bobby revealing he is in love with man he has physically known for all of three or four days. It comes out of the clear blue and there is no indication in the story that Bobby is headed there, but rather seems more in lust and harboring a massive crush on a man he previously only knew through his writing. Even Taylor tries to talk Bobby out of his hero worship and while that does change during their few conversations, still this declaration of love is so sudden and just a bit bizarre.
Also, more frustrating to me is the constant alluding to a past that has shaped Taylor into the cynic he is today. We get glimpses of his backstory, but nothing ever solid. I assume because their interactions last only a few days, Taylor never really reveals all that has gone on is his life and Bobby never pushes for it either. Yet Bobby somehow just knows he understands who Taylor really is; that assumption just made me so confused.
In my opinion, Nowhere Man comes off as a series of sex scenes cobbled together with a really good beginning story about two men who meet and change each other’s lives. But because there is no depth to either character and we find out so little about their past or even their present, for that matter, the story comes off as shallow and unfinished. Again, I have really enjoyed work by this duo before and am sure I will again, but this one just isn’t a win for me.