For various reasons Brian and Tate became best friends during their first year of college: Brian the country boy, straighter than straight in his blond appearance and perfect healthy body, and Tate the bad “gay” boy, skinny and tattooed. But Brian is completely out of the common attitude and thinking, he is not influenced by society, he was raised by a single artsy aunt far from the big city, and so when Tate approaches him, he only sees a nice guy who desperately needs a friend, a bit like himself.
Year after year their friendship develops to a level that only Brian really knows Tate, all people outside only see the outspoken tattooed guy, but Brian sees the little boy searching for love, and also Brian has developed a different type of feeling for Tate, love. Brian has really no issue with being gay, his main issue is that he doesn’t like to be center stage, he likes to be average; moreover, Brian has not really the alpha male core, he is more the type to be dragged. In a way he is “straight” simply since he has never approached someone, but he was always cruised, and the ones to cruise him were always women, probably since to the superficial acquaintance he appeared as a straight guy.
On the other hand Tate knows him well, but he probably fears rejection: Brian is his best friend, his mainstay, the only sure thing in his life, and there is no way he will put in danger this for love; love is not a steady feeling, and he needs more Brian as a friend than lover.
I like this story since both characters are young and innocent (and no, innocent is not referring only to a physical thing); these two are not naïve or spoiled young men, they grew before their age, and Tate has experienced pain and even rape; at the end of this novella, not everything will be solved for them, they will have still a lot of obstacles to overcome, but at least they will be not alone in doing so. I feel that even if young, these two have a long-term future together in front of them.
Amazon Kindle: Talker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 31, 2010)
Cover Art by Reese Dante