Title: Fair Love
Author: Spencer Rook
Length: 5,565 words
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
**This review contains some spoilers**
Blurb: When Devin finds his boyfriend cheating on him, he doesn’t know what to do. Alone in a town that he despises, he winds up at a world famous traveling fair, where everything seems to remind him of his now ex-boyfriend.
Devin tries to lose himself at the fair and winds up in the tent of a fortune teller. There, instead of the stereotypical psychic, Devin meets Ricky, who may know more about Devin’s future than either realize.
Review: As a rather simple short story, Devin tells the tale of his breakup from his controlling and cheating ex, while showing his life cut adrift among the surreal setting of the small town traveling fair. Though he should be glad the man is gone from his life, Devin’s ex still has a hold on him that won’t let go. Just the act of going out instead of wallowing at home is a step forward, but Devin feels cut off from humanity. That changes when he meets Ricky, a psychic who offers to read his palm. The two end up getting along swimmingly, and get to know each other as Ricky shows Devin around the fair the pair get to know each other.
There is a thematic message within these pages that brings the story together — the removal of Devin from life and community. The fair and Ricky’s influence negate this and show him, along with a spark of attraction between the two — that there is more for Devin out there. But, for me, that is where my understanding of this story ended. First, it seems as if Ricky has some true psychic ability (though one line suggests that maybe he recognizes Devin’s past because he’s had the same happen to him), but we never hear anything about his abilities again or get to know anything about Ricky himself. Second, not much really happens. Devin walks around the fair lamenting his breakup and pain, he meets Ricky and through a reading and walking around the fair, they talk about the fair and the people who travel with it.
I suppose I just didn’t understand if the author was trying to subtly bring more to the story, and it just sailed over my head. But, as I saw it, there really wasn’t much more than what I’ve said. That, however, made this story frequently stall for me and only the rather short length helped me to read straight through without wanting to take a break.
I don’t think I’d recommend this story, even for a reader who might be looking for a low-key story. It seemed more like a snippet of a larger story that was therefore removed from becoming something more meaningful, like it could have been.