Maybe

Title: Maybe
Author: J.M. Snyder
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: Novella / 40 pages
Rating: 2.25 out of 5

A guest review by Kassa


THE BLURB:

Josh and DeMar fell in love while working together on the set of Gimme Moor, a stage production with which they toured for six long months. But something happened between them during the tour, turning their idyllic romance into a strained relationship until Josh could no longer take it and he left.

Weeks after the show has closed, DeMar calls Josh from the airport to pick him up — he’s in town and wants to visit, despite the arguments that tore them apart. He wants a second chance, but Josh isn’t so sure DeMar’s the one to blame for their break-up.

Can they somehow find what it was they had together in the beginning before they lose it all?

THE REVIEW:

Although I’m a fan of Snyder’s, not every story works and unfortunately this particular offering fell flat. The short story is told in third person point of view from Josh’s perspective but is written in present tense. This may cause some readers pause, as it’s not always a reader favorite. The writing tense is awkward and lends to a slightly jarring reading experience. Past tense would have read easier but the choice is not a reason to avoid the short. Sadly the characters and story itself fell flat, unable to evoke the emotion and sentiment it was attempting.

Josh and DeMar were a couple for a few months while touring for a Shakespeare musical production. However, the tension between the two increased as the tour went on until Josh walked out, frustrated with the arguments. Now DeMar drops in unannounced to visit Josh and has more than one interesting proposal.

Problems with this short story begin with the characters and carry through to the lack of action presented. DeMar as a character is non-existent. His motivations and thoughts are never explored and Josh is too deeply mired in self-pity to actually consider reasons for DeMar’s actions. Josh left DeMar frustrated with the growing separation and escalating arguments towards the final weeks of their musical tour. Apparently DeMar didn’t attempt to talk to Josh at the time nor ask Josh why he was leaving. Instead the two break up without any further communication. So why DeMar would simply re-appear weeks after the production ended doesn’t make much sense.

Neither does it make sense that Josh would cave and let the man back into his life and bed almost immediately. Josh spends the entire story mired in angst as he whines that he wasn’t strong enough to help DeMar with his stress. Never mind that DeMar pushed him aside with actions, words, and arguments. No, Josh must be to blame – more so than DeMar – for the demise of their relationship and thus Josh must forgive himself for them to get back together. This line of reasoning was baffling and beyond frustrating. The lack of self confidence and ego Josh suffers from to constantly blame himself for DeMar’s actions was annoying as well as the fact that the men never actually discuss the factors that led to their breaking up.

The story lingers on with Josh’s self-recriminations and DeMar’s open seduction without much point. It’s not a stretch to say the two do get back together, once Josh can move beyond his own guilt for walking out. Unfortunately nothing really has been resolved and no doubt the two will again be in the same situation but the sex apparently is rather good so perhaps that will tide them over. This frustrating story annoyed me, although perhaps it won’t annoy others quite the same degree, but the repeated whining that Josh wasn’t strong enough or good enough to help DeMar was aggravating.

This short story reads like one the author had written some time before and not reflective of some better, more recent works. While this particular story didn’t work for me, I’m a fan of the author’s so I expect perhaps another story will. I’d suggest skipping this one and waiting for the next offering.

2 comments

  • I agree Wave. This was not a good short story. I gave it an extra .25 because it was shorter (and thus less I want to burn these pages). Some of her shorts are really very good and some are just churned out it feels. :/

    Reply
  • Kassa
    I just finished this story today and agree with you totally that it fell flat on all levels – the plot (none), the characterizations (Josh was not a character that a reader could love and DeMar was no better), the dialogue and the prose.

     
    I reviewed another book by JM recently, Double Standard, and I felt the same way about it.

    Reply

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