Title: When I Say When
Author: Tia Fielding
Length: 8,874 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Foo Fighters, Second Chances, Bisexual, Rent Boys, Flashbacks
Rating: So So
Jordan has his hands full running the publishing firm he saved from going under at the cost of his personal life. He doesn’t have time to date, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have needs. Instead of trying to find a date, Jordan makes an appointment with a prostitute—something he’s never done before—and his companion turns out to be his high school crush, Gabe! Panic would ruin everything, including the chance at something real that Jordan suddenly craves.
This is a cute little story that is pretty well described by the blurb. Jordan is lonely, pushing into his mid-thirties and devoted to his career. But the real reason he doesn’t have a lasting relationship is because no man can stand up to the memory of his first love, no matter how unrequited it was. When he was a teenager, Jordan was in love with Gabe, his best friend Elijah’s older brother. The sad thing is that maybe, just maybe Gabe felt the same way about Jordan as he did him, but then again maybe not. When Jordan’s friends pester him to develop a social and romantic life and take some time off work, he decides to buy a prostitute. When he shows up for the appointment at the man’s house, who should answer the door but Gabe?
For the most part this story is pretty well self-described. It doesn’t deviate from the blurb at all and it is rather short, so the blurb suffices to tell most of the story. I liked Jordan and Gabe well enough, thought I didn’t ever really feel that connected to them. It might be because of the length, or it could be because in that small amount of time neither really stood out that much and the story was pretty generic. It was still solidly well written, it just didn’t offer much from the norm.
The best parts of this story and the parts that really stood out and had some personality were the flashbacks. It is so surprising for me to admit this, I usually hate flashbacks, but they really worked for me. There are only a few, and they don’t take up much of the story, but they have a lot of personality, showing the time Jordan spent with Elijah and Gabe during his teen years, going to a Foo Fighters concert and the way he felt connected to Gabe for the first time. I would have liked to know more about the friendship between Jordan and Elijah, however, and how Elijah feels about their relationship in the present. Somehow that seemed overlooked since they talk about him and telling him and the brothers’ parents, but not how he felt about it.
This works well as a short. It is cute and sweet and definitely good for when you want a quick, painless read. I like this author and I always know when I pick up one of her books what I can expect (at least so far).