Author: KZ Snow
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: novella (142 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Summary Review: How does a man decide between a father and son who want him for different reasons? Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you.
It was just an amateur porn video, like thousands of others on the Internet. Like hundreds Jonathan Wright had seen and hundreds more he’d ignored. He hadn’t intended to watch it, but he gives in to his curiosity. When he sees the lithe, blond young man who’s doing naughty things with a bearish, older man, he’s seduced… and feels like a pervert afterward. The youth in the video seems a little too young, despite the fact he runs his own escort service. Worse yet, Jon gets the nagging feeling he’s seen “Justin Time,” aka precious_boy, before.
When Jon takes a chance and meets Justin in a Chicago hotel room, Jon’s past, present, and possibly his future begin to converge in alarming and confusing ways. There’s no escaping the resulting dilemma: Jon must decide just how involved he wants to get with a sweet kid whose life has turned sour… a decision made more complex by a surprising connection to a lover from Jon’s past.
Jon is a book reviewer who spends his leisure time picking up men for one night stands because he doesn’t have time for relationships. He hasn’t had a BF in quite some time – the last one was when he was in university and had an affair with one of his profs, Donald. He was 19 and Donald 30 when he fell in love with him, but Donald was only using Jon until something better came along. He dumped him two years later when he was offered tenure at a university in another state, but during the time they were together he got to know Donald’s family quite well.
The story opens with Jon waking up and catching one of his hookups in his office late one night trolling the Internet on his computer looking at porn sites. Angry at the intrusion into his privacy he kicked his latest out of his office, but not before he saw which porn site he was interested in. The next day when he took a break from writing reviews he checked out the site again because he couldn’t get the porn star out of his mind. He appeared to be an underage youth or very young-looking man who used the name Justin Time, and he was having sex with a much older man who called himself Roman. He was titillated by the scene as well as repelled, but he investigated “Justin” further to get his contact information since he was available for “dates” and Jon, perve that he was, thought of paying for a one night stand with him if he was 18. However, when ‘Justin’ smiled into the camera that face looked very familiar.
Jon wanted to be sure that Justin was who he thought he was so he arranged to meet him at a hotel and when he showed up there was no doubt, because Justin recognized him too. After the shock wore off the recriminations and explanations were next but Ethan stood his ground and made it clear that he was his own man even if he was not yet 18. When Jon probed to find out how Ethan had ended up selling his body he told him about being ‘discovered’ by Marc, the older man in the video, now his live-in lover, while bussing tables at a restaurant. Then Ethan dropped a bombshell – it appeared that Marc wanted him to make gay porn videos for a living and he was considering it. Of course this didn’t sit well with Jon who was afraid of Ethan being further exploited, but there was nothing he could do except try and dissuade Ethan by telling him that he was destroying his life and and what little self respect he had left.
When Ethan departed John had no option but to call his ex and tell him how his son was making his living but Donald’s reaction was not that of a caring father and confirmed Ethan’s opinion of him. Since Donald wasn’t concerned about what his underage son was doing Jon decided that it was up to him to make him see the light. He arranged a get together with Ethan and his father for his 18th birthday so that Donald could have a talk with him. However Donald’s attention was focused on getting Jon back in his life and he couldn’t care less about how Ethan was messing up his. Ethan was also interested in Jon as his hero worship had grown into something much more mature and sexual, but would Jon ever see him as anything other than his ex’s son? And what of Jon – was he over control-freak Donald who was on the prowl because he could see his youth (what was left of it) slipping away with very few opportunities to score, or would he let Donald manipulate him again?
precious_boy is not the usual hooker redemption story. It hooked me in (the pun is intended) from the first page. Ethan was very mature for his age and at times I thought he was the adult rather than Jon who was 12 years older. He seemed to know what he wanted, even if if was the wrong thing and he certainly knew a lot about sex. Would he and Jon be able to overcome the age difference and the fact that Jon was once his father’s BF, and have a meaningful relationship? And what about Marc who had a choke hold on Ethan who seemed afraid of him?
The story was very entertaining and even had a funny character, in the person of Jon’s mother Marti, who now that she was divorced was quite the cougar. Another character who I liked a lot was Ethan’s mother who had very little face time in the book but showed how much she cared about her son. Donald on the other hand, although well drawn, did not ooze warm and fuzzy feelings and I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be up close and personal with him because he was too selfish even during sex. He was the typical aging Romeo who realized that he would have a hard time finding a man as he grew older and therefore wanted to have Jon back in his life as a source of sex and arm candy. Of course it didn’t hurt that Jon had grown into a very attractive man who could have anyone. Also, while Donald could care less about Ethan the thought of him and Jon together was like a knife in his stomach but not in his heart since he didn’t appear to have one. Jon loved Ethan but could not articulate his feelings and he would need to get up the courage to do so to ensure that Ethan knew he was loved and trusted or it would be over before it began. Finally, would Ethan be mature enough to pick door number 1, realize his dreams, and prove to Jon that his hero worship had evolved into love? All of these questions and more will be answered if you pick up the book. 🙂 BTW the sex was quite hot and inventive, given Ethan’s previous ‘career,’ in case you’re interested
precious_boy is a heartwarming, complex story about a man who waited a long time to claim his love but it was worth every year when he found the courage to go for what he wanted. It took a lot of courage, I’m sure, for any author to tackle this topic and KZ has big balls for daring to go there.
This book is told in Jon’s first person POV. Highly recommended.