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Standard Candle

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Denny Wyatt: friend.

Denny, who sleeps in threadbare tees that smell like his cigarettes, who coats his arms in the guts of engines, who kisses like he's sampling you, scenting you, until you forget that there are things you can't afford to forget.

Denny Wyatt: with benefits.

It's not dating. You've both done enough of that. You're both stuck in this town, you're both going nowhere, but at night, you have each other. It's sex. It's an arrangement. It suits you both.

Denny Wyatt: yours.

Tonight, the lie shatters. Denny Wyatt is so much more than friend, than lover, than any one word. But you'd better speak—better find the words—or he's gone.

59 pages, ebook

Published July 20, 2020

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About the author

G.B. Lindsey

7 books16 followers
G. B. Lindsey was born and raised in California, where she earned her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz before moving to Northern England for her master’s. Her first love has always been writing: as a child, she cultivated such diverse goals as becoming “a cowgirl... and a writer” or “a paleontologist... and a writer.”

Aside from her salacious ongoing affair with the horror genre, she engages in dedicated flings with sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, and short stories. Other hobbies include singing, the occasional period drama movie night, and devouring scary film after scary film. When she’s not working in kidney transplant or studying up on Arthurian myth, she relaxes at home in California with a good book and her cat, Hadrian.

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5 stars
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13 (40%)
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7 (21%)
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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Pam.
784 reviews23 followers
October 14, 2020
2.5 stars

There was a little too much internal monologue for such a short story, but I liked the concept, and I felt like the author effectively delivered nine years worth of friendship into my brain with the short snapshots of memories Avery showed us here and there. 

I got a clear enough picture of who Avery is in these 50 pages that I can say my biggest complaint -- -- feels very much in character. Which is pretty impressive considering this starts as the guys are walking into a party and ends as they're falling asleep that same night.  

The writing style will probably be a barrier for a lot of people -- second-person stream of consciousness is the best way I can describe it -- but I didn't mind it. At least not at this length.

The whole story covers just one moment in the life of these guys' relationship, but it's THE moment. The moment you read entire romance novels to get to. The moment that changes everything. And there's something about the almost OTT writing style that really captures/conveys the internal drama that comes with these kinds of moments. 

Avery's emotions have just exploded through the wall of denial/obliviousness he's been barricading himself in, and now they will not be ignored. He's feeling very overwhelmed by them, and I felt a little overwhelmed by the outpouring I was reading from him as well. The ending wasn't quite as satisfying as I wanted it to be, but it was an interesting experiment.

**This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review via the MMRG Don’t Buy My Love Program**
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 73 books2,498 followers
October 20, 2021
Writing a story in second person and making it work takes skill, and the right story. This one worked for me, with enough intensity (once you get past the first few pages) to balance the distancing reflective effect of "you". It's very short, a moment in time, an emotional epiphany that brings two men together. There are hints of a long backstory woven in, skillfully enough that I felt I knew these characters well by the end of the piece. Read this when you want to take a just a few minutes and dive into love as it happens, with two young men whose vulnerabilities show around the edges.
Profile Image for ivy.
399 reviews119 followers
December 3, 2021
I can’t think of any other book I’ve read in second person before. It made for a bit of a strange reading experience. Definitely a wise decision of the author to keep it short.

“He smells like he always has—a million memories every time you inhale. Your entire friendship assaults you at once, and it’s fascinating, giddy. A roller coaster you’ve ridden time and time again, but it never gets old. You push up into him, roll your hips down, breathe him in.”

“Should have said you loved him. You want the life of him, not just his body. You want to know him through and through. You want years, not fucks. A soul mate, not simply a lover. You’re abruptly a stuttering romantic when it comes to Denny, but you can’t say it aloud.”

No rating - too short
Profile Image for Shweta.
223 reviews11 followers
July 18, 2020
Precious! And oh-so beautiful!
I am a big fan of novellas and not many writers can set a premise, walk us through the MCs history and journey, show us the depth and value of the bond the two MCs share, make us yearn with the emotive highs of their intimacy and satiate our need for a HEA.
But this piece of writing here, in less than 60 pgs, took me through it all.

Told in 2nd person, the premise is a little vague to grab on immediately, but as the narrator -Avery weaves together his perception of his best friend -Denny, the bond they share and the moment he realizes his love for him, I was totally mesmerized by the intensity of the phrases..words..such beautiful words..and captivated by the precious emotion that is love. 
|"You want him so badly, even now. Especially now. You want to wrap your arms around him and touch the hot flutter at his throat with your tongue. You want to press your mouths together, drink him up like syrup, shape the sounds he makes with your own lips. You want to open him up, ease inside, feel every inch, and you want to do it knowing what you feel for him this time, tasting the mortality of it in your mouth, the finite, dangerous heat of what he does to you, is to you."|

The author's words initially tease you with glimpses of their personas, but it all comes together so beautifully at the end. Such wonderful penmanship. 

Simply put, it is the story of a lost boy, realising and giving into the love that he has always felt for his one true person- his standard candle, his northern star. I'll not say anymore and let the story speak for itself. If you are intrigued by the blurb, I strongly urge you to pick this one up.

ARC received in exchange of honest review
Profile Image for Scooby2.
719 reviews12 followers
July 20, 2020
“Standard Candle” is a novella that focuses on one moment in Avery and Denny’s relationship. This is a very quick story, estimated fifty-nine pages, about two friends coming to terms with their feelings, that is told entirely from Avery’s point of view. I found this story to be hard to follow at times and felt like I was missing parts of a much larger story. I wished we could have gotten some of Denny’s point of views thrown in, maybe that would have helped. This novella never grabbed my attention and held on, I never felt the connection or love Avery felt for Denny. Although from the reviews, it may just be this novella and author aren't for me.

I give this story 1.5 stars.

I received an arc from the author for an honest review.
Profile Image for ButtonsMom2003.
2,707 reviews13 followers
July 24, 2020
Different but I loved it.

OK, I have to start out by saying that I nearly DNF this one after reading just a few pages. Next, I have to say how HAPPY I am that I kept reading. I don't know what POV this story is written in; it's different from anything I've read before (at least as far as I can remember). When I tried to look it up, I came up with the uncommon second person POV but that didn't exactly seem to fit either. It's almost like it's first person POV but the story teller is talking about himself saying "you" this and "you" that instead of saying "I"; I found it very confusing at first and that's why I nearly quit, but like I said, I'm so glad that I kept reading.

This is a story of two friends-with-benefits who nearly miss an opportunity for the best thing to ever happen to them because they don't really communicate with each other. They talk and kiss and f*ck but they don't communicate what they are feeling for each other. The intimate scene was so moving, as was so much of the rest of the story.

At only 16,000 words this was a very quick read but it left a big impact on me. It's the first story I've read by G.B Lindsey but I do have a couple more of her books in my vast digital library so I hope to read more soon.

I've read some other reviews for this and they do a much better job of expressing their feelings about the story than I am. It's a good thing I'm not a writer because lately I'm having trouble even writing a book review that makes sense. I'll close with saying I loved it.

A copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***
Profile Image for Madhu MaBookYard -.
1,175 reviews31 followers
July 25, 2020
My Rating : 4🌟
Kindle/ GRR/ July2020
Thank you so much GRR for the gifted review copy, so I can provide my unbiased opinion.
This book is a short novella that follows our main characters Avery and Denny , over a very crucial moment and decision of their lives.
First, Can we just talk about that cover? I mean how can i not fall in love with books because of covers when beauties like this exists? Anyways, coming to the story, this book was written in an interesting and different format. Not the writing style of it, but the writing content. It follows the thoughts of Avery and his heartbreak, self realisation, love and acceptance over his best friend Denny.
Second, the writing was so emotional and it delivered a lot of punch while the scenes unfolded. It gives you a quick back story of who they are and what they are to each other, but the happenings of one evening alone delivered so much it just made me almost tear up! Avery in his mind was filled with so many emotions it takes a while to remove the cloud to understand what happened around him. Oh I love the chemistry and the friendship between those two!! They are so precious I can't even begin! The only thing I can complain about would be the length of the story. I want more of Avery's mind and Denny's emotions. Just let the random and jum led thoughts run through the book and let me just enjoy the mess in peace.
Overall, it was an emotion driven story with two amazing characters, lots of self discovery, happy endings and mushy feels!! Pick this book up if you want a quick mood lifter and if you want your dress to soak with happy tears!!
214 reviews3 followers
August 4, 2020
A most unusual little book, this one.
A sweet, short read, written in second person format from the POV of one of the MCs.
This story is a telling of a tale with very little actual interaction or dialogue between characters.
Although it's a quick read, it's not a comfortable "flowing" read because of this unusual approach.
It's almost like the unfolding of the story happens in a dreamlike place where you're unable to enter the story but are watching it happen through frosted glass. This was, at least my personal experience.
This was my first time reading this author, and I'd be curious to try something else to see if all their books are like this.

It was, however, a deeply emotional journey too. A story of two young men who have been best friends since their teens, have had a "with benefits" sort of friendship, but suddenly discovered that their feelings for each other were a lot deeper.
The story kind of drops you in from a height, at random, shows you —almost a moment in time, then drops you back out.
It is more about that moment than about the building of the friendship /relationship.
I will say, though I'm not sure I particularly "liked" the book, as a whole, this book was good.

The editing was immaculate. Not one single grammatical error or typo to be seen. What a pleasure!

° Standalone
° Heat around 2 🔥 (only one intimate scene, very poetically described.
Virtually no profanity at all.
° No cliffhanger but a shaky HFN is the best I got from this.
° I received an advance reader copy of this title, and this is my voluntary review.
Profile Image for Sherry.
729 reviews11 followers
July 26, 2020
3.5 stars

This is a short (just under 50 pages) read, but it packs in a lot of emotion. Maybe too much.

The story is relatively simple, highlighting a single night in the relationship between Denny and Avery. They’ve been friends and friends with benefits, but now Avery has an epiphany—he’s in love with Denny. He decides to tell Denny how he feels in the hopes that they can take their relationship to a new level, but it doesn’t exactly go smoothly.

The author chooses to tell her story in second person from Avery’s point of view, which is unusual, and it took me some time to get into the flow of the narrative. Using second person really intensifies the emotional aspect of the story, though, because the reader is in Avery’s head and experiences the tumult of his feelings along with him. And Avery feels a LOT through the course of that one night. He seemed a bit too melodramatic to me at times, between his thoughts about Denny and what seem to be some fairly serious self-esteem issues.

Overall, it’s an interesting experiment in storytelling, and I give the author props for choosing not to write her story in the standard first or third person. If you want to read something a little different, it might be worth checking out.

A copy of this book was provided for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
673 reviews52 followers
July 16, 2020
This novella is more about a moment than it is a relationship. Lindsey has a fantastic writing style that I found really emotional and expressive. It was a pleasure to read.

Avery, the narrator of this book has come to the point at which he has realized that his long-time friend and sometime lover Denny means a lot to him. I'm struggling to describe the book because it's beautiful and the writing is quite magical.  I was really emotionally involved with the two characters because the writing was so intense.

Surprisingly, the novella is written in the 2nd person POV. At first, I wasn't sure that would work for me, but in a piece of art like this, it was fine. The author has stuck closely with Avery's thoughts and feelings and I could feel how confused and frightened he was. It's not that he can't accept that he is attracted to Denny. Avery has reached a point at which he is suddenly terrified that he's going to lose Denny.

If you are a fan of really great writing, emotion, and intense relationships then please read this. You will not be disappointed by the luxurious tale that G.B. Lindsey has given us!
Profile Image for Ravenclaw Silverstripe.
613 reviews25 followers
July 25, 2020
This is a short novella that focuses on one moment in the main characters, Avery and Denny's relationship; however, it is told only in Avery's point of view. It centers on two friends coming to terms with their friendship evolving into a relationship that exists beyond the "friends with benefits" tag.

Now, I am not familiar with this author, but I will say that the writing style is quite unique. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I fully connected with that style of writing. It was almost like a random collections of Avery's inner thoughts in the form of run on sentences. It took some time to not be put off by that, and I am not fully sure if I was ultimately successful in doing that.

I did like the story for the most part, but it was harder to maintain my sole attention on their relationship without Denny's POV being added into the telling of their story. It felt one sided because we are only exposed to Avery's side. It became Avery's story. Not Avery and Denny's story.

*I received an ARC of this title, and I have provided my honest review*
Profile Image for Jenny Saul-Avila.
475 reviews1 follower
July 27, 2020
This was a unique short story, at least I felt the writing as unique.
In the blurb, there is Denny and there is "you." This remains the same in the telling of the story. There is Denny and there is Avery, but Avery is "you." You see Avery's thoughts, his stream of consciousness of observations, fears, memories and memories, and you feel all the senses as if you are Avery and this is happening right now, all of it. These few moments in time that the story shows, in past and present, all happen to you, you as Avery. There is some telling, but a lot of showing and you only need to know Avery's impressions.
I can see some readers put off by the style, as we all have our own tastes, and I don't know if I could've read a full length novel in this style, but I really liked it for this short story and it has made me want to read more by this author.
Profile Image for Amy Stauffer.
768 reviews15 followers
July 31, 2020
This short story is unlike anything I’ve read before. It doesn’t tell you Avery & Denny’s entire story; it gives you an in depth look at one monumental moment in their life. The amount of detail the author puts into this moment is incredible. It’s also very relatable. This novella is told as if YOU are Avery. At first I thought it was in third person, but it doesn’t quite fit that definition. It’s intriguing, unique. It puts the reader IN the story, as an active participant. Overall this is an enjoyable, short read. I would recommend it.

***I voluntarily accepted an ARC from Gay Romance Reviews. My review reflects my own thoughts and opinions***
Profile Image for Rosy.
1 review1 follower
July 22, 2020
Hawt, sweet and emotional!

I started the novella late one night and had to stop because it was waaayy past my bedtime. Thank goodness I stopped where I did. When I picked it up the next night, I couldn’t put it down! You just can’t put it down when you are in the middle of all the emotional workings of Denny and Avery!! The author weaved in two very emotional people and their struggles within themselves flawlessly. I wish I knew more about them..... and that’s what makes a good novella to me. Gives you a great story but you always want more!
377 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2020
This novella was interesting. It took me a little to get into it. The novella is told from the second person point of view as if you are Avery and having these feelings for Denny. Half the book is realizing that you, Avery, have been in love with your best friend and the other half is nothing but sex. The novella is kind of heavy on low self esteem. This novella isn't for everyone so I would say read with caution.
Profile Image for Janet Hunt.
3,415 reviews28 followers
July 28, 2020
This was a short story, novella. It was unusual as it was told in Avery’s, the second characters POV. Denny realizes that he’s in love with Avery and decides to tell him. They have been friends/friends with benefits for a while. But things don’t go so smoothly. It was an interesting story, felt a little one sided.
I am voluntarily leaving a review form an ARC that I received. My reviews are solely based on my thoughts and opinions.
Profile Image for Ida Umphers.
3,265 reviews15 followers
July 31, 2020
I found this book a really nice change. I am a heavy m/m romance reader and generally like the long, leisurely build up of a romantic story but every now and then I like to be surprised. This story takes you deeply into a moment in time where a relationship changes and it does that from inside one character's head. You feel everything in the moment and that can be both incredibly wonderful and incredibly painful. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for R.
1,690 reviews
July 21, 2020
“The Standard Candle is a measurement of light source intensity.”

Denny and Avery are friends, possibly more. They’ve never quantified their relationship. Until Avery realizes that Denny is the standard by which he judges life.

Short story, writing is a little odd but it grew on me. Very little backstory, almost a moment in time. But I think that’s what created the book’s intensity.

Profile Image for ML.
1,103 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2020
I’ve never read this author before. Their style is very unique. It’s like stream of consciousness and run on sentences. I liked it. It was very raw and real.
This is definitely not a typical romance and I was okay with it and how it ended.
2,885 reviews28 followers
July 21, 2020
This is a second by second study in passion and realizing you love someone.
It reaches a climax that has build up over 9 years.
Denny and Avery had been friends but in the space of one evening truly become lovers.
Beautifully written with sparse dialogue.
You have to experience this!
Profile Image for Joscelyn Smith.
1,795 reviews13 followers
July 22, 2020
An engaging look at the progression of a relationship. Denny and Avery were great characters and I enjoyed seeing Denny through Avery's eyes as he falls in love with his friend. It's short but lovely.

*I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the GRR team*
Profile Image for J.
440 reviews
July 22, 2020
This novella is about a moment in Avery's (MC) life than it is a relationship. The author did a fantastic job with her writing style that I found really emotional and expressive. I was so sad that this was a short novella.
I recommend it...
545 reviews
July 31, 2020
This was very different for me. I can not think of many books I have read in second person POV and I am not sure it worked for me.
This was a short novella but I kind of felt cheated because we only get one side of the story.
Profile Image for Patricia Nelson.
1,722 reviews12 followers
August 1, 2020
I absolutely LOVED reading this marvelous, grab-you-by-the-feels, tug-at-your-heartstrings, emotionally charged, poignant, sexy, powerful, and totally awesome turning point moment in Every and Denny's relationship.
Profile Image for Paige.
256 reviews7 followers
January 25, 2022
A gorgeous, second-person POV perspective on what it's like to realize you've fallen for your best friend. Beautiful prose steeped in fierce yearning and emotional language and turns of phrase that sucked me right into every single moment. Short and perfect and just what I needed!
75 reviews8 followers
July 25, 2020
Wonderful story about best friends Denny and Avery. Good writing, great characters, I'll look for more by this author.
967 reviews3 followers
September 14, 2020
This read to me as stream of consciousness, a style I am not used to.

I received this as a prize in the MM Goodreads annual party.
Profile Image for Annie.
1,686 reviews24 followers
July 26, 2020
3.5 stars

I love curling up with short stories on a weekend afternoon. You get right to the point, revel in the enjoyment, and still have time for whatever else in on the agenda. Standard Candle was a unique and well done short that explored a specific moment in a relationship, and I thought it was great.
Often times in romances there is a particular moment where things click. This seems especially true in friends-to-lovers stories, and I, for one, eagerly await to see what the tipping point will be. Standard Candle highlighted just that. The short follows best friends with benefits, Avery and Denny, on a night out, giving readers a front-row view of the moment when Avery realizes he wants something more significant with Denny. I loved how the author explored all the details of Avery’s feelings: the initial jolting revelation of his emotions, the uncertainty of saying something, the courage to say what he wants from the relationship, and the sexy aftermath of finding Denny felt the same way.

Admittedly, I did find the second person point-of-view choice and narration style jarring and difficult to adjust to. That said, the substance of the short story is worth it. If you enjoy friends-to-lovers stories and specifically like waiting for that one moment things shift in a new direction, I’d recommend this short.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
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