Title: Brass Knuckles and Silk Sheets
Author: Vic Winter
Length: 5,400 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rich kid Swift runs into a trio of thugs walking home one night, literally, and they’re planning on taking their pound of flesh in retaliation. Before they can really go to town on him, though, a homeless man comes to his rescue.
Wanting to return the favor, Swift invites the man, Foster, back to his place for a shower, a meal and possibly more. Can these two seemingly disparate men find common ground in each other?
Swift is walking home quite late at night when he is accosted by a group of man and dragged into an alley. Rescue comes in the form of homeless man, Foster, who Swift brings home for a shower and food.
This was a nice little story which suffered a little from being too condensed for the romantic story to work for me. Swift is a sweet little guy who comes from a rich and influential family but prefers the simpler life of living alone. He is rather naive but that worked in his favour for me, and also allowed some of the way the story develops to seem realistic. I liked that Swift had a habit of putting his foot in his mouth and that he was hands on and liked cuddling. I also liked that Foster seemed to be genial and not mind when Swift says things that might be considered insulting. We are told Foster’s story but not much else about him, and given that Swift is the narrator, Foster remains a bit of a shadowy figure.
The story fast forwards through time quite a bit, telling rather than showing us about the developing friendship and feelings that the pair develop. This was my main gripe about the story. The initial set up made me like the characters but I felt I was cheated a little out of seeing them together except for the inevitable sex scene. I found that I wanted to know more about their backgrounds as well as what they liked to do in bed and we didn’t get that in the story because there wasn’t the space for that sort of development.
This wasn’t a bad story and would be a great quickie for when you have a spare few minutes. I think I’m just finding myself increasingly frustrated with stories that provide great characters but fail to capitalise on that. Hence the C grade. Or maybe I’m just turning grumpy in my old age!