Book Reviews

Professional Courtesy by J.V. Speyers at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Students/Teachers/Professors / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 30-December-2018

Book Blurb

Can these two polar opposite professors find common ground, or will it take a Christmas miracle?


Eric is an uptight, conservative college professor whose family is falling apart. When his radical leftist office partner, Mike, has a solution to a family issue, Eric brings him home and lets him get close. Can they bridge the gap between them, or are their differences too much to bear?


Book Review

In a tale of opposites attracting, an uptight and a “radical” professor battle it out in this festive story about family, professionalism, and the events that might just help bring two lonely men together. Between lots of family drama, bad memories that need replacing with better ones, and a few nice pre-Christmas traditions, both Eric and Mike face unexpected challenges and more than one surprise. There is angst as well as a battle of wills, and I found myself hoping throughout that “professional courtesy” would not win out for once.

Eric is conservative, set in his ways (and that’s an understatement!), and finds it very hard to deal with new situations. An office partner is not something he expected, but to find out that Mike is much younger and a “radical” just makes Eric mad. The situation made me grin – because Eric’s definition of radical is not exactly textbook. All Mike is “guilty” of is displaying the Pride flag in the shared office. However, Eric also has to deal with his mother moving into his condo and disturbing his peace at home by putting up Christmas decorations, so as far as Eric is concerned, he is under attack from all sides.

Mike has fought hard to get where he is. His work as a professor means a lot to him, as does his writing. He is attracted to Eric, who is fourteen years older, and is not at all sure starting a relationship with a coworker is a good idea. But Eric’s mother keeps inviting him over for advent celebrations German style since she and Mike share a common background, so Mike can’t exactly ignore the feelings he is developing for Eric. Both men resist as long as they can, but giving in turns out not to be the solution either. Theirs is definitely a complicated situation!

If you like stories that begin with conflict between the two main characters, if you enjoy reading about different countries’ Christmas traditions, and if you’re looking for a fun read where sparks fly in all directions, then you will probably like this novella.





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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 28000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-December-2018
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link