Loved this story about Michael, a 34 year old writer who life is drab and predictable. One night he breaks free from the mold and meets dyslexic rent boy James.
This author writes with a raw honesty that breaks a lot of the stereotypes in m/m romance. I don't usually go for stories with marital infidelity, nor stories with rent boys, but the author makes these issues an integral part of the plotline, so that the reader believes and empathizes with the journey Michael is taking, and is cheering for both he and James to succeed. While it is in no way a Pretty Woman, it is quite romantic and there is a strong sense that Michael and James save each other. And there is a pretty good 'makeover' of a sort too!
All of the secondary characters are interesting and three dimensional but they are definitely on the periphery of this love story. I highlighted several enjoyable passages from this book including this one from Germanotti (Michael's lazy co-worker and friend):
"All right." Germanotti took a long pull on his beer. "You know I have nothing. I'm a bleached lifeless shell. A skeleton. Bleached bones circled by buzzards who won't even peck at me. Wendy snapped off my cock and keeps it in a pencil box. I visit it twice a year on Christmas and my birthday. The only reason I don't top myself is in hopes you'll spill the sordid details and let me live vicariously through them."
Michael surprised himself by laughing aloud again - the second time in two days. "If your novel reads like that, I think it might sell."
"My novel is one long cry for help," Germanotti continued relentlessly, staring at Michael over the lip of his glass. "For Chrissake. Her name. Start with her name."
Michael drew in his breath. "His name is James."
And this one from James:
"Oh, and they said I have ADD, too." He lit a cigarette, his first of the day, and took a long, grateful drag. "But listen mate, I once sucked a geezer for twenty minutes to get him off. The clock was just over his shoulder and I timed it. Attention deficit?" He blew out a plume of smoke. "I don't think so."