Bane of Boston

BaneofBostonTitle: Bane of Boston
Author: J.P. Barnaby
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link:  Buy Link Bane of Boston, Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Rating: 5 stars


A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: A short story of redemption and love that packs the wallop of a full size novel!

Blurb: The day Jonathan “Jack” Young caught that foul ball was the worst day of his life. Instead of seeing his beloved Red Sox hold the lead, he watched in horror as his mistake cost them the first real shot they’d had at the World Series for nearly one hundred years. Jack left Boston in disgrace and moved to Chicago to start over. Instead, he finds Ryan Levine, who shatters the illusion that he could ever escape being the “Bane of Boston.” With decisions about careers and relationships in the balance, one misstep could mean ruin for them both.

Review: I have often remarked how writing a short story is a tricky thing. When done well, the sweet sip of a story leaves the reader breathless, aching for just a little more, but happy knowing they have read something so beautifully balanced as to exist in such a short space of words. When written poorly…well, let’s not travel that road for thankfully, Bane of Boston by J. P. Barnaby got it right—oh so very right.

You read the blurb above–yes? So you know the premise of this cunning little tale. You know that poor Jack caught a fly ball that literally destroyed his life. Hounded out of a job, losing his partner of several years because he could not cope with the media hype now surrounding Jack and, finally, losing his home, Jack starts over–shortens his first name and begins again. No longer can he even bring himself to enter a ball field, instead watching it in various sports bars, still passionate about the sport that nearly destroyed him.

And then Ryan Levine walks up to him in one such bar and invites him home, and poor, poor Jack, so lonely, so bereft of human touch or kindness, follows him there…never suspecting that Ryan knows more than he is telling and will potentially threaten to unleash the hell that was his former life all over again.

A good short story relates a significant deed in a succinct and complete way. In the space of very few pages, it reveals characters in depth, the back-story that impacts the current tale and usually, hopefully gives the reader a glimpse of the future. Did I mention how tough it is to write a really good short story? Well, she did. J.P. Barnaby wrote an amazing short story, with passion, angst, the beginning stirrings of possible love and with such kindness, such redemption, such compassion.

I was stunned. This little snippet–it made me feel such a range of emotions–in under 40 pages of text! I couldn’t believe it. I closed my kindle and just sat, thinking how I wanted more and more and more of these two men. I needed to see the future that was hinted at just there near the end of the story. This story was just so complete. Just really, really wonderful.

Dear Reader, I can truthfully say that any money spent on this short story, Bane of Boston, is well worth every penny. Don’t miss this one, it is a home run!!



  • Sammy – Thank you so much for taking the time to read Bane of Boston and share your thoughts with Wave readers in this amazing review. You’re right – short stories are so difficult for an author, especially for an anthology with a word count limit. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  • Okay, you got me interested.

    Though I know nothing about baseball… What is a fly-ball and what did he do that was so terrible?

    • Now now, if I tell you it will give the story away–a fly ball is a hit way into the outfield–the back stretches of the ball field. That is all I can say!! 😀

    • Larissa – Bane is actually based on a true story. Here in Chicago in 2003, the Cubs were in the playoffs and a fan caught a foul ball that, had the infielder caught it, would have changed the game. If you’re interested, google Steve Bartman – even ten years later, Cubs fans still remember his name. I felt so incredibly bad for him – honestly, people, it’s just a game.


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A mature woman, gracefully growing older, who lives with 12 cats and talks to imaginary people--had ya going there for a minute didn't I? I am an avid lover of all things m/m who delights in occasionally teasing Wave!
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