Elected by Pepper Espinoza
This is a really short, 35 pages, but really nice story. Sam and Owen know each other. More, they probably spent more than one night together knowing each other better. But Sam and Owen can't be friends.
Sam is a Republican strategist while Owen is a Democratic news producer; and even if it's not clear if Sam really believes in what he promotes, it's more than clear than Owen is a Democratic for passion and not only for convenience. In the only 35 pages we had, it's not said how they met, probably for work related reasons, but Owen knows very well and in a very intimate way Sam, and Sam is more than willing to prolong this acquaintance, if they are discreet. Sam is also willing to make some changes in his life, to find a work that allows him to be near Owen, even to behave as Owen's boyfriend in their private life, if he could maintain his public face. And their attraction is so strong, and truth be told, Sam's behavior when they are alone is really good, that Owen is willing on his side to let go the "little" facts that he absolutely doesn't like Sam's boss, Sam's work, Sam's public face.
The story is a really good example of how you can't choose the person you love. And that it's better to try to fit together you different personality rather than be sturdy and wait for the other to change. Being extremist only led you to be alone in your bed.http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Elected.html
Peanut Butter Kisses by Pepper Espinoza
As the candies in the title, this romance is sweet like sugar.
Peter is a big pastry chef, he is at the top in every competition, but always second. He is again competing at a national level and again he has as an assistant Josh. Josh is a young chef who looks with starry eyes upon Peter: for Josh everything Peter creates is perfect, and when Peter loses, for Josh is almost a personal matter. Obviously Josh is in love with Peter but he has never had the courage to make a move on Peter, both since he doesn't judge himself worthy of the love of wonderguy Peter, and because he really doesn't know if Peter is gay, since the man never express an interest in him, other than for work.
But this time Peter seems a bit more interested in Josh as a man than in Josh as a pastry assistant...
The story is short, less than 40 pages, but really really sweet. I like above all the fact that Peter is really not a special guy, maybe he is even a bit overweight, and he is really a sweet guy; but for the loving eyes of Josh he is wonderful.http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/PeanutButterKisses.html
Amazon Kindle: Peanut Butter Kisses
The Obsolete Man by Pepper Espinoza
This is a really, really, really nice short story... I have said to many really? well sorry but it's what I was continuing to replay in my mind while reading this book.
James is an average man; good looking, nice, beautiful eyes, probably if he was a little more self-conscious he could be the classical successful man, and instead he is quite and maybe even a little shy, he doesn't consider himself worthy of more than he has and he settles down to a life that maybe it's not what he dreamed, but that is good and so why change? There is a part of James' life that remains obscure, and it's how he ended married with a woman when he is clearly attracted by men. Anyway James being a nice man as I said, has never thought to cheat on his wife, even if he has noticed the handsome man on the 7.23 a.m. train he takes every morning to work.
But if drama didn't hit James' life, he would probably have continued with his daily routine till the end of his working life to then settle down again in a retirement routine, letting that handsome man slip in a hidden closet of his mind. But in a blink of a moment, James becomes an obsolete man: at 45 years old he is too old to learn again how to be printing technician in the publishing firm he has worked for 25 years and he is fried; his wife, that probably has never shared passion with him, has not enough patience to support her husband in a life change, and leaves him. Without his daily routine of going to work and coming back home, James is lost, and the only solution he sees is to end his life "using" that daily routing, throwing himself under the 7.23 a.m. train.
In the spur of the moment, and since he has really nothing to loose, James decides to devote his last day to realize his secret fantasy, approaching the man of his dreams, the handsome stranger on that train. He is nicely surprised when Chad not only welcomes the approach but confesses that also him had noticed James before. There is no question on the fact that Chad is gay, maybe since we are at San Francisco, and Chad has "that" attitude, maybe only since he welcomes James' approach in a way a straight man wouldn't do, anyway James chooses the "straight" way (pun intended) and asks Chad to follow him in an hotel and share a morning of sex. And Chad accepts.
Chad's character is not really full developed, at least not as James' one. He is a nice man, he is gentle and caring, and from the things he says, we can understand that he is not selfish; he not only noticed James since he was a nice looking man, but he also noticed when the man stopped to smile, so in a way, he noticed when life started to spiralling down for him. He is not so unselfish to refuse an offer of easy sex from an almost stranger, even if Chad knows that something is not right with the man, but then he is really nice, trying while having sex, to also understand James' reasons and troubles.
I don't believe that James really wanted to commit suicide, he only needed a nice gesture from someone; but if that gesture hasn't come, probably James would have gone on with his intent, the author is really good in mounting the tension till the break point.http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/ObsoleteMan.html
The Prince Who Never Smiled by Pepper Espinoza
Leopold is the prince of a fantasy medieval kingdom. He has never smiled and so people think that he is deformed or maybe cursed. Recently his mother is not well and her only wish is to see her son's smile and so the king, who is deeply in love with his wife, sends out a decree: the first person who will make his son smile will marry him.
After being subjected to all the type of "show" from a string of wanna-to-be princess, Leopold takes a break and goes on an hunting expedition in the country, and here he meets Dexter, a young peasant who is going to court in search of a well-paid job to help his family. Leopold, who actually prefers the company of men, even if, till this moment, neither men were able to make him smile, as soon as he sees Dexter, can't help the smile on his face. Why is not exactly clear, if not a sudden case of love at first sight, since Dexter hasn't done anything of really funny.
This is the classic example of Cinderfella's story, with also a bit of breeches rippers: Leopold is besotted by Dexter, and he claims that he only wants to please him for once, since till this moment people only pleased him. But truth be told, Leopold bends upon a full debauching plan to strip Dexter of his virginity, and there is a bit of droit du seigneur in this story, with Dexter that feels as he can't deny anything to Leopold since he is his prince. But Dexter is not so against the idea, and once Leopold shows him what they can do together, he is more than a willing participant. He almost forgets that he has a family at home waiting for him.
The story is a quite enjoyable novella, a funny romp between the sheets with a fairy tale atmosphere (even if nothing of really "strange" or out of ordinary happens), but all in all it's more tender and romantic that real funny, with almost a little core of sadness.http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/PrinceNeverSmiled.html
Amazon: It's Only Love
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle