I remember reading on the blog's author that he wanted to write a romance from a man's perspective. He was tired, in a very kind way, to see men behave more like women in the romance he read. His point was that, men don't behave in the way he read in romance, but it doesn't mean that they don't believe in romance at all. And so is born When Harry Met Sal, a romance for men and women from a man's point of view.
The story is pretty simple and clear from the first pages: Harry and Sal met the last day of college, when both of them are ready to start a new life in the Big Apple, both of them freshly graduated from Stanford. Sal needs a lift for New York City, and Harry has a car and he is driving all alone across the country. Both of them are young and free, or almost: Sal had a fling with Harry's best girlfriend, but it was nothing serious from both side and there was a mutual agreement that the story will end with Sal's leaving; Harry is in a 2 years old relationship with Mark, but truth be told he is getting tired, and maybe the move to New York City will help having a clean break. So no, they are not exactly free to jump on each other bones, but there is not actually a real impediment.
First difference between man and woman: being Sal the former boyfriend of Harry's best girlfriend would be a very big impediment for a woman, she would be there brooding over the smallest chance that Sal didn't really forget the other woman, a woman to whom, in a way, if Harry was a woman, she would be bound to be honest with, and this would mean not to steal her boyfriend, even if it's really a former boyfriend... and on and on like that, one chance to thousand that in the end a woman is able to clear enough her mind to actually do something with a man she just met... Harry? He was in bed with Sal from night one and for the two following nights till they arrive to NYC. True, Harry did try to put up a bit of resistance, something like, I have a boyfriend, you are straight (since bisexual is not really something Harry understands, or you like girl or you like guy...), but it's soon forgotten as soon as he has a glance to Sal's quite substantial package...
Second difference, the bisexual point. A woman would have stressed Sal till death, trying to psychoanalyze him and finding a reason why he can't choose between men and women, she wouldn't have accepted his simple statement that for him there is no difference, since that statement doesn't collide with her idea. Harry? He takes it like it doesn't matter to him, and it really doesn't matter, it's Sal's choice and to him is all right like that, in the moment Sal is with him, and he is a good lover, what happens tomorrow is all another question.
Third difference, Sal and Harry have no problem to clearly state each other faults, in particular Sal, always hinting to Harry's ability to talk non stop, but it's like water over rock, it washes down without burning, Harry can pout a bit, but both of them are not able to take a grudge for too long, above all when there are much nicer things to do. And they are also similar when they have to talk about each other partners, and their faults, Harry can borrow a friendly ear to Sal, but he will never say to him what is right or what is wrong, it's Sal's choice... a female friend would be never able to stay shut.
And finally the love story. When Harry Met Sal the first time, it was not the right moment, they were both young and about to start a new life, it was not the moment for a serious relationship. And even if they probably recognized that they had something special, at the end of their three days together, they left with only a pain of regret, no drama, no years of thinking and hurting. They went on with their life. When they meet again, the time is again wrong, Sal is in love with another man. But being in love doesn't mean that he is not able to admit that he is still attracted to Harry, and that they can be friends with benefits. If love is not in the middle, they don't hurt no one, above all they don't hurt Braden, Sal's love interest, who is more interest to have sex with as many men as possible at the same time. But where is the romance in all of this, a woman reader is probably asking to herself? Oh, the romance is there, in that little point I made: "if love is not in the middle"... but love is in the middle, and first one man and then the other will realize that it's not possible to be friends with benefits, or they are all for each other or they are nothing at all. This is where the romance enters, when you realize that you can have sex as many time as you want, and enjoy it, but if you really want the best experience of your life, then you have to make love, not have sex. In the end, women and men are not so different at all.
This is not my first romance by Ryan Field, and short or long, I always liked his stories. But I think that When Harry Met Sal it's probably the best at today; it's well-finished and smooth, I didn't have the feeling of reading something too far from my habit like I had with Pretty Man (even if I liked the story, sometime while I was reading I did wondered if everything in it was possible); true, in some sex scene of When Harry Met Sal I had the feeling that they were a bit too much big bam boom, but that is in line with my "pool theory", women linger on the edge of the pool, men directly dive on the center. But even if direct, all the sex scenes were realistic and enjoyable, I didn't skip neither one of them, as sometime I do with other books.
Did the author reach his point? Did he write a romance from a man's point of view without loosing the romance? I think so. http://www.ravenousromance.com/m/m/when-harry-met-sal.php?flypage=0
Amazon Kindle: When Harry Met Sal The Rainbow Awards: First Week results: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/811346.html