Title: Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Books
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (10K 39 PDF pages)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A guest review by John
Summary Review: Two opposites from a small town Texas on the same gay cruise?THE BLURB
Ryder Carroll and Christian Isham have never gotten along. In their small Texas town, they’re constantly at odds. Which is why it seems like some kind of cruel joke that when both of them go on gay-friendly vacation for Christmas, they keeping meeting up in unexpected places.
The thing is, once Ry and Chris see what lies beneath the mechanic’s coveralls and the buttoned up school teacher, they’re so intrigued that they can’t stay away from one another. Can they find any common ground beyond the physical attraction they’ve unwrapped?
Christian Isham is an elementary school teacher from a small Texas town and he’s about to board a gay cruise. He’s looking forward to his first vacation in several years and the chance to be out of the closet for 10 days. He wants some sun, a few umbrella drinks, good food, and some hot sex. But as he casually looks around the dock area, he spots a hot, humpy cowboy, tight wranglers, body hugging t-shirt, and black Stetson hat. Just the kind of man that gets his blood pumping. But that jawline looks familar. He is vaguely concerned about someone from home recognizing him, but then that someone would be afraid of Christian doing the same.
Later on deck he does recognize someone from home, the mechanic that has made his life hell for the past 20 years, Ryder Carroll. And Ryder sees Christian. Each man knows the other from their small town. But each man is not who the other thinks he is. Ryder wears baggy coveralls in his mechanic’s shop, but now his muscles bulge in places Christian would like to explore, on anyone other than Ryder. And Ryder is seeing Christian in revealing clothes for the first time, exposing intriguing body piercings and ink. That’s definitely not the straight-laced school teacher he has taunted for years.
Cruise ships are huge with lots of people. Surely these two can avoid each other. But it seems as though fate is not going to let them alone. As Christian carries his luggage to his room, who should he see walking down the hall and stopping at the door right across from his own room? You guessed it. And at the formal dinner that night, Ryder is seated at an isolated table for two, and of all the people to be seated across from him, there is Christian. This Christmas cruise is not starting out well for either one.
But then they meet up at a dance and decide to throw caution to the wind, at least for the remainder of the cruise.
Unwrapped is wonderful little story. All of 39 pages, it will transport you through lots of emotions told by both men. I live in a small Texas town and am in the closet, so I know all about what Christian and Ryder have gone through to get to the place Unwrapped starts. Each deals with life in his own way and each gets away every so often to let loose and be who he really is. But they also like their life the way it is. Neither man is expecting to find someone special and then, at first, it looks like the person they like the least is confronting them at every turn on this huge ship.
Of course there is lots of sex! Very well described sex scenes, I might add.
Unwrapped ends before the cruise does, and in that ending the mind is free to add all sorts of scenes. That is the mark of a good author – to leave the reader wanting more.