Send Me One Back? is a collection of eight stories centered around the idea of being seen, of being known, of being touched and held and wanted. Some of the offerings are barely 10 pages long while others take their time. Some are almost chaste while others dive in wholeheartedly into the sex and all of them leave you wanting more. This collection also comes with a list of trigger and content warnings at the beginning of the book, which include but are not limited to threesomes, voyeurism, public sex, and dubious consent, though I’d call it more consensual dub-con as all parties involved are willing. Sometimes more than willing.
The first story, The End of the Line, lets you know immediately what you’re getting into as it starts with a young man on a public train falling in lust with the man across from him. The sheer eroticism of someone taking off a pair of gloves, the lush descriptions of leather — the texture, the color, the smell of it — and the shape and length of hands and fingers combined with the public handjob was … well, it’s pretty much this book wrapped up in a story.
Of the eight stories, three of them really stood out for me. The first is Of Camaraderie and Corruption in which a manservant finds himself caught up in his master’s games when the Earl of Harley brings home a pair of friends for a night of fun. Spencer is, at first, an unwilling witness to his master’s decadent behavior, but slowly finds himself drawn into the tangle of flesh as Lord Godolphin and Viscount Marlborough decide to take an interest in what Spencer has beneath his breeches.
The power games, and the unwitting and reluctant — but never unwilling — voyeurism are well done with just enough detail to hint at a time period without letting it overtake the story. And even while being coaxed to join in, there is never an indication or threat of violence should he refuse. Spencer is free to leave when and if he wishes, just as he is free to join in. It’s fun, it’s steamy, and I think it ended on the perfect note.
Inside Looking Out takes place in Covid times, with an unnamed man catching the two men who live across the street from him in a bit of public sex as they make use of an alley. What began as an accident ends up being the start of something new and fun as his two neighbors begin to show off for him, inviting him to be a witness — and distant participant — to their relationship.
As in the other story, it’s made clear that there is an invitation from one side to the other, with all three men enjoying themselves. For the narrator, he gets to watch two handsome men fuck, knowing they’re getting off on his getting off, and that they’re performing for him. It’s just fun and lighthearted, and it turns out that the couple are doing this in part because — owing to Covid and one of them having an autoimmune condition — they can’t safely get out to clubs. This way they’re able to indulge, share, and be safe all at the same time.
And then there’s Meeting Isaac. We never learn about Isaac’s past, just that he hired a professional to help him learn about sex, touching and being touched, love languages, and plain affection. Isaac is finally strong enough to know what he wants, and what he wants is to try a threesome. Luis, who — for all that Isaac pays for his time and attention — has come to care for Isaac, and takes the time to hunt down a suitable candidate in Daksh. He vets the man himself, checks around for Daksh’s reputation, and makes it clear that if Isaac says stop, they stop. He’s here for Isaac and Isaac only. He’s been hired to do this, he has a boyfriend thank you, and if Daksh has a problem with any of that, he’s welcome to go home. Luis is amazing and I want nothing more than for the author to write a novel about him. Not to say Isaac, Daksha, and the sex weren’t also good … but Luis is the star of the story for me.
I have never read anything by this author before, but I certainly hope to read more of their work in the future. These are quick, bite-sized stories, and I enjoyed each of them. If you give this a try, I hope you enjoy them, too.