Summary Review: When is goodbye not goodbye? When neither party really wants to let go.
When beautiful, perfect basket ball hero Eric hits on grad student Marcus, it’s more than just another flirtation. Marcus realizes it’s time to take a good look at the difficult relationship he’s had with his unpredictable and bitter professor Julian for the past four years. He has to make a decision. Sure he’s ready to move on, he plans to give Julian one last Christmas gift; an unforgettable night, before he leaves.
He never expected to be the person who can’t get the passion they find on that last go round out of his head. His decision isn’t going to be as simple as he’d hoped. Maybe perfect isn’t everything after all.
Marcus and his Faculty Adviser Julian had been sex buddies during his 4 years at university and it was one of those no strings affairs. Marcus knew that his time as Julian’s boy toy was coming to an end, and not only because he was leaving soon. Julian had made it clear that his emotions were not engaged, even though Marcus wanted more. However suddenly Julian seemed very upset at the interest shown in Marcus by another student, the very hot Eric Sinclair who was head of the Student Council and star of the basketball team. Not only did he warn Marcus about Eric but he even attended the charity car wash arranged by Eric to raise funds for underprivileged kids, and watched Eric manhandle Marcus until he could stand it no longer and left.
Eric made no bones about the fact that he wanted Marcus, which was quite different from Julian who was a very bitter and closed-in man and didn’t seem to get any pleasure out of life or sex with Marcus. They had never kissed in their four years together and Julian couldn’t wait to get away from Marcus after every encounter. It was as if he hated Marcus, but there had been many times in the past when Julian had been there for him. Lately, however, he was worse especially since the arrival of Eric. After the car wash Eric kissed Marcus and tried to get him to stay but he had an appointment with Julian which he didn’t want to miss, even though the man didn’t appear to care about him. It was the same as usual with Julian denying any softer feelings for Marcus and even that he was gay. In the meantime Eric was putting pressure on Marcus to gave him a chance.
Two days before Christmas Marcus was leaving Julian because that was the way Julian wanted it, but before he did he bought him a few Christmas presents as goodbye and as one last throw of the dice. When he showed up at Julian’s apartment, at first he wouldn’t let him in because he didn’t do Christmas, but eventually he did and it changed his life and perspective. First they kissed – something they had never done before and one which Julian always avoided because he didn’t kiss, among other things. It seemed that he had a long list of things that he didn’t do but did that night, including being vulnerable and understanding that love is not a one way street. Will their goodbye f**k be really goodbye or will Julian change his tune now that he realized that there was more to life than “slam bam, thank you man?”
I re-read this book today because I wasn’t too enamoured of it on the first pass. Goodbye Scrooge is the kind of story that grows on you, and while I had a few problems with Julian’s character which turned on a dime and became a different person very quickly because of what I call the “magic dick,” there was still a lot to like about him. Marc’s thoughtfulness in getting Julian a present that he would treasure showed that he wanted him to be happy when he was gone, and it demonstrated that he really cared about him despite what he said. Eric who wanted Marc as more than someone for a good time was nicely done, but I thought he waited too late to make his pitch and therefore lost his opportunity. As for Julian, the man who had everything except love, would he realize that maybe being in charge also meant letting go? You will have to read the book to find out.
I had a hard time rating this book because I liked it but I thought that the characters need a bit more work to make them realistic. However if you do get it I think you will really enjoy the story and Julian’s transformation.