Time for a coffee and a quick read?


Need something quick to read? Below are a couple of short stories, that can be read in under 30 minutes or so. And they cost less than your cup of coffee! I hope you enjoy!

Pascal's BoysPascal’s Boys by Fabian Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Pascal Janssen is terminally ill and tries to help ‘his boys’ Tom and Adam prepare for his death. He hopes that Tom and Adam will come together as a couple, but Adam’s love for Tom seems to have cooled. Will he be able to make a commitment? Beautiful, inspirational, heartrending, but ultimately optimistic Pascal’s Boys is a story about love.

What did I think?

Although dealing with death, this was a heartwarming short story. It was not a romance as such, although Pascal’s boys do love each other. Rather it tells of the feelings of the various characters as they come to terms with Pascal’s impending death.

We learn a bit of the history of how Adam and Tom came to live with Pascal and his wife Eleanor “She believed God denied us babies of our own for a reason, so we’d be ready to open our arms to children who needed not only love, but acceptance and understanding.”

We learn that Pascal had lost his wife and their friend Ian lost his partner Marcus when they were both in an accident. However they found a way to go on. “I try to rejoice in the good years I had with Marcus rather than mourn the years lived without him.”

Yes, it is a sad story but it also tells of the good in the world.

4 Stars

Someone Like YouSomeone Like You by L.M. Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Todd Hunter knows Deacon Jones is the one for him, and despite pressure from his family he’s determined they’ll spend the Christmas holidays together. Can he convince Deacon that their different backgrounds shouldn’t keep them apart?

When Todd Hunter went to university, he left behind his boyfriend, Deacon Jones. Todd knows Deacon is the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with, but for some reason Deacon has stopped returning his calls and is ignoring all his letters.

Now Todd is home for the holidays, and he wants to spend them with Deacon. It might not be so easy though. Neither Todd’s family nor Deacon’s are happy about their relationship; and while Todd knows if they stand together they can make it work, convincing Deacon may be the greatest challenge of all.

So what did I think?

Todd is at university and his parents have high hopes for his future. They accept that he is gay but are not keen on his relationship with Deacon. “Making your mark in the world will be hard enough for you as it is, without someone like him holding you back.”

Deacon is working in a garage, learning to be a mechanic. His background includes a drunken father who definitely doesn’t accept his sexuality.

The story starts with Todd preparing to head home for Christmas, very worried because he hadn’t heard from his boyfriend for 3 months (this did seem a bit odd to me and I couldn’t quite grasp why Deacon didn’t at least call Todd or why Todd didn’t try to find him harder during that period).

Todd wants Deacon back, Todd’s family want to keep them apart, Deacon doesn’t feel good enough. Thank goodness for other friends who give good advice. “Deacon, when are you going to get it through that thick skull of yours the most important thing in this life is holding onto love when you find it?”

I found this story pleasant but it was missing any real spark but it’s only a quick story so a nice way to spend half an hour. 2.5 stars

3 Stars

Learn more about L.M. Brown and her books as her website.

Buy from Amazon. See my Short Stories category.

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photo credit: javaturtle via photopin cc


Nothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown

Nothing Ever HappensNothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Andrew’s life is a cliché: he’s a gay man trapped in a loveless marriage, thanks to his religious, overbearing mother. Then a new couple moves in down the street, and Andrew finds himself falling for Nathan in a big way. Nathan is straight, married, and just about to be a father, but after one fateful night out together at a club, Nathan has to face the fact that his feelings for Andrew go way beyond that of a friend and neighbor.

When Andrew’s wife asks for a divorce, both men’s lives are thrown into disarray. Arguments about their responsibilities to their wives and children, doubting themselves and each other, and some harrowing lies pull them apart… but they never leave each other’s thoughts.

So what did I think?

Warning: the end of the review contains a quote which might be considered slightly spoilerish!

My expectation was that I wouldn’t enjoy the story and wouldn’t like the characters due to the infidelity – actually that sounds a bit silly given that I bought the book to read! 🙂 However, I really, really liked this book.

I loved both Andrew and Nathan. I didn’t necessarily like all their actions or agree with their decisions, but I found myself quite passionately wanting them to get together.

The books was interesting to read. The journey was not necessarily a happy one. There was lots of heartache and Andrew and Nathan weren’t together most of the time. There were a couple of moments where the story looked to take one path but diverted to another, keeping me turning the pages to find out want happens next.

The secondary characters were varied and interesting – children, wives, ex-wives, in-laws, best friends, neighbours, lovers. Everyone seemed to have an opinion on the relationship.

Although I found it hard to understand why Nathan didn’t just bite the bullet and leave his wife, his confusion and indecision was clear. He was worried about his very young children (Daniel and Jess) and his career but the person he seemed to be hurting the most was himself. “For too long now, Nathan had only felt alive when he was bathed in the warmth of Daniel and Jess or in the blazing light that was Andrew.”

It was also easy to feel sympathetic towards Andrew whose overbearing parents had forced the direction his life had taken. He had spent his life trying to do the right thing by his wife and son. At the beginning of the book he is living with his wife and son and supporting them, but it was a marriage in name only. He was honest with his wife.

The love and passion between the two men was obvious and their journey a very hard one but with the outcome I was hoping for.

“This will be difficult, and I’m not going to say it’ll be unicorns and rainbows. I’ve just got my head about being bi and I’m having a f*cking hard time coping with that, but I am in love with you. Living away from my kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but you’re not asking me to do it. I’m finally making that decision for myself. I love you, and we’ve waited too damn long to be together.”
“Then we’ll find the unicorns and rainbows.” Andrew pulled Nathan into his arms again, kissing his lips, his wet eyes, the tear-tracks down his cheeks.”

4 Stars

For more information on Sue Brown and her books, visit her website.

Buy Nothing Ever Happens at Amazon.

View all my reviews