A guest review by Jenre
A well written m/m/m short with an older hero who celebrates his birthday by taking home two college age men.
His forty-ninth birthday approaching, Ed is expecting nothing more than his usual stiff drink and an anonymous fuck in the back room of Yancy’s Crossings. What he never expected was to be picked up by two college students and taken for a ride that would change his life forever.
Before I begin I feel I ought to point out that although Changeling Press class this as a novella, it’s only about 35 pdf pages long (including 5 pages of stuff before the story begins). There’s no word count given.
I was attracted to this book because it’s an m/m/m and also because the main hero is an older man. Ed is 49 and feeling his age. To celebrate his birthday he heads off to his favourite gay bar on a night he doesn’t usually go, only to find that it’s college night. This makes him feel really old, especially when he’s approached by two hot young guys, one of whom calls him ‘old man’. They want Ed to take them home, but Ed isn’t into barely legal, so brushes them off. The guys are persistent though and Ed finds himself taking them home, much against his better judgement.
What I liked most about this story was that it went in an unexpected direction. Yes, there was lots of hot ménage sex, but in the end it became more than about the sex. There was drama and emotion alongside the sexual tension that lifted this from just erotica. Ed is coping with getting old, whereas the two young men, Kyle and Ryan, have their own issues and problems to deal with, especially Ryan. There’s also elements of humour in amongst the drama and angst which helped to lighten what could have been an overly serious story.
Another part that worked well was the difference in ages between Ed and the college students. The author didn’t shy away from the awkwardness of the situation, with Ed feeling a little out of his depth and nervous, and Kyle and Ryan struggling to articulate what exactly they are wanting out of the encounter with Ed. There’s lots of fumbling and a distinct lack of smoothness about the sex that was amusing and realistic. As the story progresses the tone shifts into something more serious, more emotional and I found myself drawn to the characters of Ed and Ryan in particular.
If I have any complaints it’s that the behaviour of Kyle and Ryan is sometimes a little baffling. As this is written from Ed’s first person point of view we really never understand who Kyle and Ryan are to each other, just friends or something more? Their behaviour is contradictory and although they act very much like young men, I, along with Ed, found it difficult sometimes to understand their reasons for wanting to come home with him. Even after I finished the story, I was still unsure where Kyle fit in with much of what had happened.
Despite this niggle, this story still packs an emotional punch. It’s well written with sympathetic characters and should appeal to those who like m/m/m and a mix of humour and drama in their stories.