Title: A Delicious Smelling Leather Wallet
Author: Dakota Dawn
Length: 3,500 words (14 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Returning a lost wallet was Bryson’s only goal, but when he sees its handsome owner, he can’t help but wish for more. For the last couple of years, Bry hasn’t felt like dating. One look into Jonas’ eyes changes that.
The only problem is, he doesn’t know if Jonas free or already claimed.
Purple prose and insta-love/lust based on scent made this on a difficult read for me. Bryson finds a wallet on the street, and before even opening it, he’s sniffing it in his truck and turned on by the smell of the leather combined with the scent of the owner. He opens it to find a picture of an attractive man and sets about returning it. There is mutual insta-love/lust and in the guise of keeping Bryon around, Jonas tells him he wants his yard landscaped, so they begin to work on the project, however we are told that Bryson won’t get involved with a client so they become friends, however once the job is finished, all bets are off for Jonas.
Now in theory, there are no problems with the concept here, a slow relationship build, starting out as friends for 6 weeks sounds promising, but the entire 4-6 weeks that they are becoming friends is just mentioned in passing in a sentence or two. They go from meeting, and after 15 or so minutes, it hops ahead to a sex scene, aka their first date. Despite the whole wallet issue, the prose was really far too purple and flowery for my taste. And this is my taste, others may not mind that style of writing, but phrases such as: “his heart thudded in sweet agony” upon seeing the other man’s picture; “he tipped over the edge and fell into nirvana’s sweet embrace” just don’t work and I prefer my prose more straight forward.
I had issues with a few other points, because we skip from just meeting to 6 weeks later, we know nothing about Jonas, and the only thing about Bryson is that he now owns his own business. Otherwise we don’t get to know them at all. Also, they both admit immediately they are gay, but rather than ask Bryson out, Jonas comes up with a scheme to have Bryson landscape his yard to keep him around. Considering their interaction and obvious attraction, why not just ask him for a date rather than spend thousands on construction. And also, on their first date, which granted was after six weeks of friendship, he stashes a vibrator, condoms and lube under the lawn chair on the patio. It just seemed an odd thing to do.
So the lack of characterisation, combined with the weirdly strong and sudden attraction via the smell of a wallet (picked up off the ground), plus the language, just made this one a miss for me. Unless you really like that type of language, I can’t really recommend it.