Title: In His Corner
Author: Charlie Cochet
Length: 8K words
Genre: MM Historical Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/none
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, 2012 TQ Charity Sip,1920s, Athlete, Boxing, Age Difference, Second Chances
Rating: Really liked it
Reviewed by Sadonna
When Eli’s uncle Jasper mentions needing a cornerman for former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jessie “The Demon” Dalton, Eli jumps at the chance. Having had his heart broken by the man five years earlier, Eli is not only determined to get some answers, but he has no intention of letting Jessie push him out of his life a second time around. However, when he comes to face to face with Jessie, it becomes very clear to Eli how much Jessie needs him in his corner, and in his life. All he has to do is convince Jessie of that.
Charlie Cochet has written another lovely historical piece – this time for the Torquere Charity Sip collection. I will confess right here that I am a big fan of Ms. Cochet’s writing and have thoroughly enjoyed all of her historicals that I have read.
This story takes place in a favorite time period, the 1920s. Jessie “the Demon” Dalton is a disgraced former heavyweight champion boxer who is going to fight again on an exhibition bill for charity. Eli Mayhew’s Uncle Jasper has gotten him the job of cornerman for Jessie.
Eli has been in love with Jessie his whole life. He was at the gym since was 8 years old and Jessie was a 21-year-old bruised knuckle fighter. He was still there when Jessie won the title at 25. But Jessie broke his heart 5 years earlier when Eli had just turned 20. Now at 25, a college graduate, Eli is given one more chance with Jessie.
Jessie is worried about having Eli around. He’s grown into a handsome man and Jessie has trouble keeping his mind on boxing. He’s also worried about this fight because he’s had a bit of a crisis of confidence after the scandal that occurred when he lost his title and ultimately Eli. Jessie definitely feels that he is not good enough and too old for Eli even though Eli has made his renewed interest quite obvious.
On the night of the fight, the opponent is changed to a contender from the fighter who was originally fighter. Jessie is very upset thinking he can’t possibly beat this guy and could very well be injured. Eli stands up to him and tells him he’s wrong and that he’s got faith in Jessie. Ultimately there is a bit of a confrontation forced by Uncle Jasper about not only Jessie’s boxing, but why he pushed Eli away 5 years earlier.
I really liked these characters and the way the story is told. The reader is drawn into the world of boxing in the 1920s. Jessie is a very likable character despite his intimidating demeanor. He is very protective of Eli and his reputation. He’s been willing to sacrifice what will make him happy because he wants to protect the younger man. Eli on the other hand is very tenacious and demands to be taken seriously. The dance they do around each other feels authentic. I also really liked Uncle Jasper. He is well aware of what has always been between Eli and Jessie and while he may not understand it, he wants them both to be happy.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy good historicals.