Take a Dip
Dreamspinner Press, September 1, 2011
Links: Author’s Goodreads | Buy book here
After getting his girlfriend pregnant at sixteen, Adam Williams had never questioned his sexual preference. Not that he’s had a lot of chances to experiment in the seven years since. Raising his daughter as a single father hasn’t been easy, but Denise is the most important thing in his life. Then one day while taking Denise swimming at the local pool, Adam notices Mark, a flirty lifeguard who insists Adam isn’t as straight as he thinks. Adam’s sure the attraction he feels is just a phase he needs to work through – and Mark is more than willing to offer his help.
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Virgin hero, One night stand, Gay For You-ish
Squee! I love Gay For You stories. This was a hot and fun story. Adam isn’t gay, or at least he didn’t think he was. He meets a sexy lifeguard who wants to show him what he is missing, but with no strings attached. Adam can’t quit thinking of Mark and they get hot and heavy in the locker room. This is just a short story and it ends with Mark walking out the door and Adam thinking a challenge has just been issued. Even though we get absolutely no background info on Mark, his flirty behavior and adamant statement that this is a one time deal is very telling of his personality. I would love to know more about him.
My one gripe with this story is it ends! I want the novella! I want Adam to peruse the reluctant Mark and get all angsty before he realizes his promiscuous ways are unfulfilling and he just can’t get Adam out of this head! The Novella Fairy needs to come by and whack Ms. Wallace on the head so she will write their story
For those who haven’t heard my two cents about short stories…paying for one short story doesn’t make sense to me. I think authors should bundle 2 or 3 of their shorts and sell that. Just saying…but I don’t let this affect my rating of the story.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2.5 out of 3
Like Sharon, I also love the Gay For You trope. Except, I’m not sure if Take a Dip really categorizes as a GFY story. For me, a Gay For You theme involves a character that is straight and falls in love with a man while he’s never been in love with another man before and most likely won’t fall for other men in the future. It’s just this particular man he wants and will ever want. This story, Take a Dip doesn’t have a Happily Ever After ending, not even a HFN (Happy For Now). The end of this story is rather open. In fact, when the men part after a quickie in the locker room Marc reminds Adam of their agreement that their encounter wouldn’t be repeated. This doesn’t match with a GFY relationship in my opinion. But that may just be me.
Apart from if it is or isn’t a GFY story, I couldn’t appreciate Adam’s repeated ‘I’m definitely straight’ act very much. He started to annoy me with his denial of his own feelings of attraction for another man. On top of my dislike of this trait of one of the characters, I definitely couldn’t feel any warm feelings for Marc, the other MC, either. His flirty behavior towards one of the fathers (Adam) who visits the local pool where he’s working as a life guard, is unprofessional at the least. I also didn’t like his attitude regarding having sex just once with Adam and the arrogant way he treated him, trying to prove his point about Adam’s sexuality.
A huge dislike of the heroes doesn’t help much to enjoy a story. But what particularly made me rate this story much lower than Sharon did, is the writing. I like to feel or experience a story through one or both of the characters, instead of being ‘told’ dryly about their feelings. The telling gets boring after a while – even in a short story as this – and it additionally becomes frustrating when the character starts making assumptions about the other MC’s feelings as well of which we’re being ‘told’ again. Please, ‘show’ me, instead of ‘tell’ me! For example show us when a character is nervous with a ‘swallow’ instead of dryly stating that ‘he’s nervous’, or that a comment hurts him with a ‘wince’ instead of telling…, well, you get my drift.
So, apparently this story didn’t work for me as it did for Sharon.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1.5 out of 3