Review written for Hearts On Fire Reviews
This short story is about a 20 year old college boy, Alfie, who is British but chose to study at a Boston college in the U.S. The story is told from his point of view as he attempts to see the country by trekking to San Francisco on his summer break. Alfie finds an ad looking for someone to share the costs of the drive out there, but things go wrong when they get into a fight halfway there, leaving Alfie stranded roadside with little but the clothes on his back. Alfie then stumbles into the little town of Paradise, where diner owner, Ray, takes him in, offers him a job and a place to stay. To make a short story even shorter, Ray and Alfie begin a steamy affair when they both realize how much they each want each other.
The issues for them are: (1) The age difference, which bothered me a bit, but seeing as Ray had the same issues and at least acknowledged it, made it a little better for me; (2) Ray is completely in the closet in Paradise. Ray had returned to Paradise to take care of his ailing father, the previous diner owner, and had been too afraid to tell any of the townfolk; and (3) Alfie needs to go back to Boston for the fall semester.
I’m not usually a fan of May/December romances, and even less so when the youngest isn’t even 21 yet (we never really find out how old Ray is, only that he is at least 30). However, this story is written well, and Alfie and Ray definitely seem to have chemistry, even if we don’t get to see them really learning anything about each other beyond the shared sexual fantasies.
This story contains tinges of Britspeak, which tend to pull me out of a story that takes place in the U.S, for example. While I wouldn’t have minded it so much coming from the young Brit, Alfie, it just sounded odd when it came from Ray. This also has a light BDSM theme which isn’t too detailed and just enough to make things interesting. There were things that could have been a bit better or more involved, but this was an easy-reading enjoyable romance that I recommend to anyone who may not have the same issues as I.