Book Reviews

Second Chances Anthology at Bottom Drawer Publications

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Ron Fritsch on 05-October-2012

Book Blurb

We all know what it's like to lose out in love ... but what if you get a second chance at happiness?

Will you grab it, or run?

The Second Chances anthology is a collection of male/male short stories on finding love again.

Non-Negotiable by T. D. Green
Jacob Kerns is due a promotion, but his ambitions are at risk when he learns his next contract will be handled by Alexander Corey, his ex. Jake tries to put personal feelings aside to do his job, but Alex won't let him. Will they find love again or is the whole thing non-negotiable?

Heart of Glass by L. H. Harris
When Zack Doherty comes to Australia on a working holiday, he is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath Connors, a man he barely knows, for a date. Heath, who has only recently begun to live life his way, wonders if Zack will be the one to mend his heart of glass.

Better Together by DaNay Smith
Greyson Welles followed Dominic Nash to Baltimore for his dream job, putting his own on hold. Dominic can see that Greyson's unhappy, but never expects him to turn down his proposal and return to New York. Will Greyson be gone forever or will he decide they're better together?

Dirty Martini by Bette Browne
When Daniel Fletcher runs into his ex with the man he caught him in bed with, vodka seems like the answer. Nathan Smith is used to men drowning their sorrows at the bar he tends, so the connection he feels to one is unusual. Will a means to forget turn into something more?

Notice to Appear by C. C. Lorenz
Josh Campbell is handed a notice to appear in court for a traffic offence, but his humiliation is complete when he comes face to face with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan, in the court room. Could this be the start of something with Carter now that age is not an issue.


Book Review

The five delightful short stories in Second Chances are male/male romances with erotica. I must disclose that I don’t read a great deal in this genre, but my lack of familiarity with it didn’t keep me from enjoying Second Chances. As the title indicates, the authors of these stories present us with characters who suffer the collapse of a romantic relationship or the hope for one. The “second chance” takes a different and quite interesting form in each story.

In “Non-Negotiable” by T. D. Green, Jake, 28, was in a three-year college relationship with Alex, also 28, who broke it off without any explanation when they were 22. Now Alex finds a way, via a business deal between their employers, to attempt to insert himself in Jake’s life again. Jake will have none of it. I see in my notes for this story these two words: “wonderful seduction.” Part of the seduction is Green’s writing: “Gathering the shreds of my dropped mask was like scooping armloads of water.”

In “Heart of Glass” by L. J. Harris, Zack, 27, leaves San Francisco for Australia to get away from the man he was to marry before he found him in bed with a former boyfriend. Then he discovers homeless Heath, 28, who is washing car windows at a stop light. Two years earlier he left a straight marriage and a good but “suffocating” life. What I especially liked about this lovely story is that it’s written in sections told in the first person from either Zack or Heath’s point of view (and titled with that man’s name). So we nicely see each of them as the other does.

In “Better Together” by DaNay Smith, Greyson and Dominic began an eight-year relationship when they were both 20 and in college. Dominic’s career keeps him at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Then Greyson decides to leave Dominic to pursue his own career in the art world of New York. What I admire about this well-constructed story is that otherwise reasonable career choices cause the breakup. But how can Greyson leave the man he’s in love without suffering regret? How, for that matter, can Dominic not long to be with the man he loves?

In “Dirty Martini” by Bette Browne, Daniel’s the drunk at the end of the bar, and Nathan, 28 and a few years younger than Daniel, is the bartender who knows what the problem is. Nathan’s lover left him a year ago. Two months ago Daniel found Adam, his lover for the past three years, in their bed with another man. Nathan refuses to serve Daniel another drink and makes certain he gets home safely. I fell for this story. Daniel later has a vague recollection of a good-hearted and good-looking man helping him. Some hot sex might be just what he needs.

In “Notice to Appear” by C. C. Lorenz, Josh fell for Carter in his boyhood. Carter, four years older than Josh, was the high school lifeguard at the beach who saved him from drowning. After Josh graduates from college, he runs into Carter, now a teacher in the middle school they both attended, in a courtroom experience that Josh considers humiliating. This is a sweet story. Does a gay man who didn’t fall for an attractive older boy exist? Didn’t we all dream of something more with him when we both became men?





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Anthology/ 5 Short Stories, 68500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 31-August-2012
Price $6.99
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