Audrey's Reviews > Something Different

Something Different by S.A. Reid
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's review
Jan 07, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: man-love

3+ to 3.5 stars. Good to really good story about Michael Maguire, who begins the story as a sexually-repressed mid-30s suburban dad caught in a dissatisfying and unhappy marriage. His unlikely journey to self-discovery and realization begins when he's goaded by a coworker into finding a prostitute for the night. Little does he know the prostitute he's going to find is James Campbell, a beautiful early-20s rent boy.

Normally I'm adamant about avoiding books with cheating because I find it so distasteful. However, the cheating aspect worked for me in this story because it's pretty obvious how dissatisfying and unfulfilling Michael's marriage is and how indifferent his wife feels towards him. James, so grateful and appreciative of even the little things, is a breath of fresh air and a balm to Michael's battered and numbed senses. James has led a hard knock life, so he's shocked when this new client arrives on the scene and shows James courtesy, caring, and politeness.

I have no quibbles over why they would fall for each other because it seems like they fill the gaps in each other's lives (no pun intended, really) with thoughtful Michael going so many years feeling so unappreciated and with James not having had anyone to care for him or look out for him before. The story also doesn't ask us to believe that hard-living James falls straight away for Michael - we see James's inner narrative and his progression from thinking of Michael as a client to just...Michael. That was very sweet. However, one thing that I did find required a pretty heavy suspension of disbelief is Michael (heretofore identifying himself as heterosexual) and his sexytimes with James, particularly early on in the story. (view spoiler)

There were also some aspects where modern day realities intruded a bit too much into either the narrative or my thoughts. First is the first sex scene. Notwithstanding the above issues I had with the unlikely progression, Michael's description/narrative was rather off-putting for me. (view spoiler) Beyond that, the modern day reality of potential STDs in a relationship with a rent boy also came to light. I found it very surprising that Michael took such a casual approach to using condoms with James. I know that Michael explains he was aware of the risks and took them knowingly, but that seemed a drastic leap for someone who takes care of his body so meticulously (working out, etc.).

Overall, I thought this was a strong story with characters that I really came to care about and who really grew on me. The way that the story resolves Michael's marriage issues and shows a bit of foreshadowing for his relationship with his kids is believable and well done. The story could have been a bit longer to allow for development of Michael's back story a bit more (maybe to show why he'd be that open-minded about sexuality, etc., particularly given what we DO find out about his back story), but I enjoyed it very much in the end. Thanks to S.A. Reid for providing a copy for me to read. I liked her writing voice, and I'll be on the look out for more of her work.
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Reading Progress

January 7, 2012 – Started Reading
January 7, 2012 – Shelved
January 7, 2012 –
7.0% "Okay, I know that (1) I'm the first one to scream "no cheating allowed!" and (2) the premise of this story is an unhappily married man cheating on his wife with a rent boy, but nevertheless it has quite promising start already. The author did a good job of setting up the total dissatisfaction with his marriage through the grumbling narrative and examples of interactions with the wife."
January 7, 2012 –
11.0% "Wow, penetration already? What happened to "just a blowjob"...??"
January 7, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 10, 2012 – Shelved as: man-love

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KindleRomance Reviews Great review!

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