Book Reviews

Perfection by Clare London at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Horror
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 03-November-2012

Book Blurb

James is surprised when co-worker Vic disappears, but even more so when Vic shows up months later as James’s manager. As a single gay man with few responsibilities, James takes his fun wherever and whenever he can. He’d even played around with Vic a few times. But now something’s changed, something James can't quite put his finger on. In fact, almost everything about Vic is subtly different -- and maybe not so subtly, when it comes to them resuming their affair. James never used to think Vic was hot, but now Vic’s like a new man and he wants James. James should be flattered, shouldn’t he?

Unfortunately, things don’t develop quite the way James hopes. He’s just out for a good time, but Vic wants something more than mutually satisfactory sexual games. He’s obsessed with finding out James’s idea of a perfect man. And what’s more, Vic seems determined to do whatever’s necessary to become that person -- whether James is a willing participant or not.

Book Review

Perfection is a goal to be striven for, but not one that is reachable. One can have guidelines in life and even come close to meeting them, but no one can achieve perfection. Vic of 'Perfection' by Clare London believes that if he can be perfect, he can win the object of his affection, James's, heart. What he doesn't realize is that James isn't interested in giving his heart to anyone. This premise sets up a series of misunderstandings on both of their parts about what their relationship entails and leads them both down a dark, destructive path.

James is a nice enough fellow. He's not oblivious to other people's feelings. When he and Vic become friends with benefits, he tries his best to accommodate Vic's needs while not giving him false hope. But Vic doesn't understand that it's not him personally that is being rejected; James isn't interested in a relationship with anyone at present. In a normal situation, this is where it ends. Yes, there might be hurt feelings and a period of discontent, but one doesn't continue to pursue the object of their affection regardless of what the other person says. One gives up.

Not, Vic though. He continues to pursue, becoming the man who he believes to be James's ideal man.  At this point, James seriously begins to question the wisdom of associating with Vic and tries to draw away. That's when Vic, without any warning, disappears. James is completely baffled and wonders about his odd behavior. When Vic comes back, James, against his better judgment starts trysting with him again. Something is different now though and it nibbles at the corners of his mind. It's like seeing something out of the corner of your eye, but not quite being able to figure it out. James searches to ease these feelings, but instead of doing so, realizes that there are changes in Vic which are terribly close to those who after duress, James described as his 'perfect' man. To James, it was a game but for Vic, it was deadly serious. We begin to see that Vic's behavior and attitudes toward James are totally skewed. He can't perceive the difference between what's real and possible and what is not. His actions go far beyond persistence and come close to obsession. Part of James is flattered by his attention, but it's causing him to ignore what his mind is desperately trying to warn him about. Unfortunately it becomes too late to turn back.

'Perfection' is written in the sinister style of a gothic horror story, with hints and insinuations all the way through. There's always a feeling of foreboding, the feeling that things are not quite right, but even with all of these clues, the ending is a deliciously shocking surprise. It fits marvelously into the Halloween spirit. Although not my usual kind of story, Clare does an excellent job of building up the suspense, intrigue, and spookiness necessary to pull off a good old-fashioned horrifying tale with an appropriately frightful ending. I recommend this story to everyone who enjoys the pleasure of being tormented and scared by fearful things. Thanks, Clare, for shivers and shakes.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by JMS Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 8350 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-October-2012
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link