Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Release Date: July 13, 2017
Received From: NetGalley
Christian Coulliet is the premier gay erotic photographer in the country. His pictures are spectacular because he will go to whatever length he needs to get the photographs he wants, including having sex with his models. He’s famous for capturing images of his models at the absolute height of passion.
David Weatherby is Christian’s assistant, organized and efficient. He considers himself plain and ordinary, unlike the models Christian works with. David’s also attracted to Christian in a big way, but has seen Christian brush off so many men, and he doesn’t want to be another notch on Christian’s photographic bedpost. Besides, Christian wouldn’t notice someone as plain as him anyway.
What David doesn’t realize is that Christian has noticed and watches, but stays away because David works for him, and because he feels that David deserves someone better. With both men reluctant for various reasons to voice or act on their feelings, will they ever be within the same frame?
SEXUALITY: presumed homosexual
TROPES: workplace romance, coworkers to lovers, boss x employee, age gap, unrequited love
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, erotica, queer romance, queer characters, short story
WARNINGS: ableism, sexual content
This short story was cute! I do, however, wish it would’ve been longer so there was a bit more meat to the story and relationship. It would’ve been nice to see more instances of Christian and David working together, but also more of their personal lives. The shortness of this novella was enough to give tantalizing glimpses into both sides of their lives, but it wasn’t enough. I want more!
Along with that, we don’t really get to know the main characters very well, so it’s difficult to empathize with them. All we really know is that they’re hot for each other and how they do their jobs. There were clearly some attempts to go past the superficial but they weren’t integrated into the story in a good way–for example, the part about David’s father being an alcoholic was dropped into the story rather abruptly and would’ve made more sense if the story was longer and Christian and David got to know each other better on page.
The story was, however, very cute and I liked seeing the two main characters interact with each other, especially in the last chapter. It was also nice to see the characters with people other than just each other, as often happens in such short novellas, and I liked seeing bits of David’s friendship with Javier, even if I wished to have seen more of that as well.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world, visiting every continent except Africa and Antarctica. Andrew adores meeting people from cowboys, to executives, artists, police officers and everyone in between. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing). He also hates laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Luckily he has a husband who does that for him so he can keep writing. He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.