May Day

Title: May Day
Author: Bryl R. Tyne
Publisher: Changeling Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M/M contemporary romance
Length: Novella
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jenre

Summary Review
A well written m/m/m short with an older hero who celebrates his birthday by taking home two college age men.

THE BLURB

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.

THE REVIEW

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.

13 comments

  • Jenre,

    If you hadn’t reviewed this I would have never looked twice at it. The cover is the stuff of nightmares. Is that guy on his knees an elf? And I assume that’s Ed in the middle – poor guy has a serious torso problem.

    Ok, on to your review…A great one, as usual. I like the idea of Ed and the younger men and the awkwardness you described. I always have a hard time believing that first time sex runs completely smoothly. Oh, if only. lol

    Reply
  • Thanks for this review. I like the idea of awkward scenes that feel realistic, and a short story that rises above just sex… a bullseye for me.

    I will be keeping my eye out for this one.

    Reply
  • Jen
    Wonderful review as always. I might give this one a whirl.

    Re the page count for a novella, the information I picked up from a few pubs is that the industry standard for a novella is 18K or 19K to 30K, and an extended novella is up to 39,999. From 40K on generally that’s considered a novel. I should send you the information I have. Anything below 18K is a short story. Page counts vary, which is why the industry uses word count. Hope that helps Tam. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for the info Wave. The whole labelling thing is so confusing and I wish that pubs would drop the labels and give us readers an honest word count for each story they publish. Some publishers do, I know, but if all the pubs did that we readers would know exactly how many words we are getting for our dollar and things like page numbers and labels would be irrelevant.

      Reply
  • Sounds interesting. Thanks for the heads up about the pages. 30 pages of text is a novella? Really? I’ll keep an eye out for it but not sure I’ll rush out as it’s probably pretty expensive $/page.

    Reply
    • Hi Tam
      Pdf pages can be misleading, but yes, I was surprised that this was classed as a novella rather than a short story. Partly the trouble is that many pubs have different ideas of how many many words tips a story from being a short to a novella.

      This story was interesting enough to give it a go, if you’re in the mood for a short (which I know you usually are *g*).

      Reply

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