The writing duo of Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead have written a delightful, steampunk-esque short story as part of the Some Like it Haunted collection, entitled, How to Make a Perfect Man. Featuring two older main characters who have been life-long friends, the story is a lovely version of the old time horror story, Frankenstein. In this case, a scientist, Aubrey Waldegrave, wants a date for the annual Halloween party. A party that hosts everything from werewolves to banshees and is always attended by Aubrey and his best friend and secret crush, alchemist Trismegistus Nimlet. Unfortunately, poor Aubrey has been dateless many times. So what if he seems a bit stuffy and enjoys wearing his tweeds while accompanying the flashier and gorgeous Tris?
Of course, Aubrey wishes it was Tris who he could ask out, but his friend could never possibly want to date such a dry old character such as himself. So off to the lab he goes and creates a bronzed, golden beauty who awakens in time for the party. The only problem is that Kai is NOT gay and is definitely not someone Aubrey’s speed, if his desire to go surfing and calling Aubrey “dude” is any indication. As usual, Tris saves the day by convincing Kai to not only put on the boring clothes Aubrey has for him, but also to behave himself and act as Aubrey’s date to the party. From there, craziness ensues, which includes a party of young werewolves luring Kai into the woods, a talking alligator, and a smitten banshee. It also will see if a friendship that has spanned forty years might just lead to something more for Aubrey and Tris.
This is a perfect little Halloween sip to put one in the mood for the holiday and also give a person all the sweet feels that a romance sometimes does. Between the outlandish characters, the silly premise of making a surfer dude come to life, and the so very sweet longing that Aubrey is constantly hiding from Tris, this short story flies off the page. This writing duo is so good at making interesting characters fall in love and How to Make a Perfect Man is no exception. I would love to see how these two grew up together and learn more about their friendship over the years, if only to just to learn more about the crazy world these authors created in this marvelous Halloween tale. In the meanwhile, I heartily endorse this treat of a story.