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A Limited Engagement

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  673 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Ross has done everything Adam has asked him to do, including giving the man a part in his new play. All he wants is for Adam to keep his mouth shut about Ross' real life, which contradicts his image as a straight playwright. Adam knows that Ross has to face his true self, though, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to make Ross see the truth. Will all of Adam's effort b ...more
ebook, 2nd edition, 22 pages
Published October 28th 2011 by Just Joshin (first published September 1st 2008)
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Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
3.5 stars. Review posted August 5, 2014

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"Because you're twenty-three years old and queer--and what the hell does that make me?"
"Older and queer!"

The plot/subject matter is controversial; I get why people are concerned about it. While I wasn't fond of the main protagonists, I enjoyed Lanyon's great writing. Also, the idea that brought forth Adam's unconventional activities seemed more than worthy of a thought. When someone is desperate and out of options, then how far are you willing to go? To b
Rosa, really
Sep 15, 2014 Rosa, really rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fuck if I know.

It's so good!

Until the second paragraph when one hero chokes the other until he blacks out.

And not in a kinky sex way.

Other than that it's positively delightful!

Jul 21, 2014 Otila rated it it was ok

Because blackmail and physical violence are great stepping stones to a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

And yet it's Lanyon so I did enjoy the writing.

What for a beautiful and emotional little piece of prose!

I like theatre.
And this short novella is like a single act out of a theatre play with two actors, a final act.

The curtain falls. Silence. And then....


Well, I am definitely among the audience with jubilant ovations!

It helps to understand the dynamic and the hidden message of the story if you won't miss the introduction at the beginning:

Originally written for Torquere Press's donation to Lambda's Legal Fund in support of gay marriage.
I have heard great things about this author and this is my first introduction.
The first thing I realise is the relaxed easy talent. Wow! The words flow fast and furious in tune with the circumstances unveiling themselves. It's a very short read and with just a few clicks I am in deep and feeling things for these characters already.
That doesn't happen too often for me. They might have been feelings of anger and disbelief at the lengths one of the MC's goes to to express his love. In my eyes an
I think love is the point. Because anything else is just a business contract

The closet cases are my favourite in m/m romances! Add to that a woman just to appear straight, some angst and drama, and I'm one happy girl :)

I think short stories are more difficult to write. Let's face it, there's only so much you can tell in 17 pages. But as this was written to support a gay marriage, I think it made a good point.

"Marriage should be about more than friendship and respect, Ross.”
“Respect and frie
Feb 23, 2013 MLE rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blackmail, cheating, and attempted murder. Not my idea of a love story. Sorry, but if someone tried to choke me to death I would hope I have the self esteem to walk away no matter how much I "loved" him.
Jul 28, 2014 Meep rated it really liked it
Recommended to Meep by: Lena♥Ribka
Well then, that happened!

The writing is superb.

Not a romance but a firestorm of emotion, great passion more than love; very much all or nothing taken to extremes.

A relationship that could survive in shadows only so long before exploding into either tragedy or, what exactly? The emotions here are raw and out of control, neither characters behaviour is commendable, there's good reason to dislike both and yet the very rawness tells it's own story.

This isn't a romance, these aren't characters you're
Tully Vincent
Apr 07, 2015 Tully Vincent rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Probably 2.5 stars for story but rounding up for excellent writing. Beginning confused me, because one MC strangling the other? Then blackmail as a means to win love/attention? All that and it did have a sweet ending. Go figure.
Apr 20, 2014 Sofia rated it liked it
For the writing. The story deserved more exploration.
Sep 15, 2013 Deeze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quick-easy-reads
I'm not sure I should like this as much as I do.

I feel bad for cheering on Adam, when he is a blackmailer, but I found myself feeling more for him than for Ross. Maybe it's because the story is told from Adams point of view.

This really should be a longer story. I wanted so much to see these two meet and fall in love, rather than just being told. I wanted more back story on Ross and why he felt the need to hide so strongly.

But that said the emotion in this little story was heartbreaking.

A hear
A nice short read. A little different from the Lanyon-norm since there’s no mystery or crime in sight (or not really since there is some blackmail.) But here the focus is on the bitter and angry reunion of two lovers and how they sort out their feelings for each other as well as how they want to live their lives—up-front and out, or in the closet. At 18 pages, it's a quick read, a little sad in tone, but with a nice ending. If you're already a Lanyon fan, you'll probably enjoy this short story v ...more
Mandy*reads obsessively*
(view spoiler) ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was ok
2.25 stars

I rather disliked this story. Linda had the right of it. "Was I supposed to be rooting for this couple? One's a blackmailing backstabber and the other is a pushover douche. But true love, so yay?" Least favorite of Lanyon's very short stories.
Jul 09, 2012 Beck rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one has me perplexed...possible spoilers...Adam blackmails Ross & Ross forgives Adam (implied by the continued relationship). Adam 'outs' Ross ruining his relationship with his fiancée...Ross throttles Adam until Adam passes out. Is that attempted murder or grievous bodily harm or domestic violence? Adam forgives Ross. Ross still hates Adam for outing him but is so in lust that he can't resist making sweet love. They live happily ever after. Is this short story like a 'what not to do' g ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Not exactly my idea of a lovestory.... but a nice read nonetheless. :)
Emma Sea
Great short story: typical Josh Lanyon fare.

Seriously? I'm flabbergasted.
It would be one thing if this was supposed to be twisted, dark mindfuckery, or at the very least an ambiguous, deliberately unsettling exploration of dysfunctional dynamics.

Is it?

Hm, it rather seems like ..... really ..... this is supposed to be a romance. Doesn't work for me at all.
Dec 27, 2014 Alisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-read, zz-2014
I had a lot of emotions while reading this story. Not all of them good. Actually most of them were not good. The magic was in how much the author was able to make me feel in such a short story.
Very well written as always from Josh Lanyon. You cared for the couple right away, I think it has a great start that puts you in the middle of it from the beginning. It was really sweet, it made me smile. It's about a young man who has gamble everything just so love could have a chance...
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
Was I supposed to be rooting for this couple? One's a blackmailing backstabber and the other is a pushover douche. But true love, so yay?
May 24, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, gay, done, 2010, owned, ebook
Good short m/m romance about an actor who gambles everything when he outs his closeted lover to end his lover's engagement to a woman.
Tami (synchro from BL)
A poignant short story. It is always amazing how much can be said and told in such a small space.
Edina Rose
It was OK, but nothing special.
Erin (PT)
Short stories are a difficult art form; too often, authors write them by taking a bigger idea and shortening it by making it a telling story, rather than a showing story. And, equally often, it doesn't work...or it doesn't work as well as if the author had just gone long form with the idea.

The biggest problem with A Limited Engagement, as an example of this kind of story, is that it starts with a fairly unpalatable act on the part of one of the protagonists, which we learn is the last of a seri
Jul 22, 2012 C.P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of short stories when done correctly and this one was. Strong characters, necessary information to form the plot, and enough description to get the full scene without spending 10 minutes reading about the seam on a sweatshirt. I've never read this author before but I thought this story was very good. Truth is love is ugly. It just is. Relationships aren't always lace & roses and people do terrible things in the name of love quite often. I did hope for a different ending, I thin ...more
Jun 03, 2016 Nerea rated it liked it
Not very healthy relationship here...
Pia Veleno
Oct 29, 2012 Pia Veleno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two different types of review for this one. Love or hate. It's interesting to read through them all.

Yes, this short story was different. No, it doesn't fit in the nice neat box that has become the M/M romance trope. And for those two reasons, I enjoyed this story. Kudos to Lanyon for writing something that wasn't a perfect little formulaic romance.

I felt the MC's uncertainty. I wondered, even dwelled on what the final decision would be. I pratically bared my own throat to see if Ross
J. Rosemary Moss
Ok. Blackmail and murderous rage don't exactly scream romance--yet Adam (the blackmailer) and Ross (the enraged blackmail victim) both come off as sympathetic characters. Adam wasn't in it for the money, after all. He's just a lovesick kid who wants to force Ross to be true to himself. And Ross's momentary and uncharacteristic rage, given the circumstances, is understandable.

So even if both these guys are deeply flawed, you might as well root for them. They're surprisingly sweet together--and m
Serena Yates
Mar 29, 2016 Serena Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
Big surprises come in small packages – and this short story is a perfect example for this well known idiom. Take two men who are deeply in love, make sure one of them is closeted enough to get engaged to a woman to “prove” he is not gay, and add a range of desperately devious activities, stir well, and the result is as disquieting and unusual as it is scary. ‘A Limited Engagement’ is so much more than its few pages suggest, and while it is in no way a traditional story, it is nevertheless a very ...more
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Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called "arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today." Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh's work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be publi
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