elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Hard Working Men by Victor J. Banis, J.P. Bowie, Jardonn Smith & William Maltese

An anthology of blue collar love... even if sometime the blue collar is not what he seems...

If Love Were All by Victor J. Banis: Charlie is a boy without home and work. He wonders under the rain when Tom, an older man, offers him a shelter for the night. When they are alone, it's clear that Tom offers also something else, and Charlie doesn't see a reason to reject the man. So they start a strange relationship, where Tom supports Charlie in every material needs, a roof, food, dresses in exchange of sex. But Tom claims he is not gay, that he opted for this solution for avoid trouble with women, trouble that in the past put him in prison. So he is pretty feeling deprived and Charlie has not the strenght to face him.

It's clear that Victon J. Banis is fond of Charlie. In this story Charlie is the victim, the poor boy who needs comfort and instead finds only a cruel sexual relationship with a man who seems not able to love. But all in all instead I like Tom: I think he is not a desperate case, and if Charlie had had the courage to impose his reasons, maybe their relationship could have a chance.

One Brick at a Time by J.P. Bowie: Of the four stories, this one is the most sweet. I don't say the most romantic since, in their own ways, all the stories in this anthology are romantic. Sometime sex is raw and primitive, but all the stories are about "romantic" love. Anyway here we have Tony, a web programmer recently dumped by his wealthy lover. Not that Tony minds the loss of the money, he was truly fond of Jeremy, if not really in love. And so, six months later, what he misses his a steady partner, someone to go bed together and wake up still together. Steve seems the right guy: handsome and gentle, he is working on the construction site in front of Tony's building. Actually Steve is not a real "blue collar", he owns his own business as brick layer, and he is very good at it. From the first time they met, for Tony is love at first sight, and when he has the change to also known better the man, the physical attraction soon develops in real love.

All in all Tony is a true romantic and he finds his match in Steve. Both men are not selfish, and even if they have some slightly trouble during the starting phase of their relationship, it's obvious that they are fated to be together and all the story flows smoothly and enjoyable towards the expected ending.

Amazon Kindle: The Cat House: Catnip Crazy
Publisher: MLR Press,LLC (July 30, 2012)

The Thomas Coleman Full Nelson by Jardonn Smith: Here is maybe the story where the sex vs romanticism match could seem more harsh, and instead to a careful reader, this could be the most romantic story of the anthology. Melvin and Thomas are buddy friends: they lived near each other for all their live, made all the first thing together and were inseparable. Melvin also developed a sexual interest in Thomas when both boy passed the phase between childhood and adolescence, but in their "blue collar" world, being gay is not something you can consider. And so the last night of their adolescence, before Thomas's marriage (a shotgun wedding...), they share an intimate moment, and Melvin offers himself to Thomas, but Thomas is not ready, or willing, to start something with Melvin that he can't have for real. Yes since Thomas is not disgusted, or surprised, by Melvin's proposition: probably also Thomas is in love with his friend. And so Melvin enters his "gay" adult life using another man as experimental playground. But years later, when Thomas is finally ready to admit that he made a mistake, Melvin is there, with open arms, to welcome again his friend, and now lover.

The story is told in first person by Melvin, who, while living his present life as Thomas' lover, remembers their past and all the step that took them together. As I said there is a lot of sex, the type of sex from gut rather than heart, the type of sex that can discourage the most faint hearts, but try to pass over, or better, try to enjoy it, while at the same time you enjoy the story.

Tow Blow by William Maltese: last but not least the like a riverin flood William Maltese telling the amusing adventures of... William Maltese! in the role of an hustler who sometime has to play the role of a blue collar for kinky customers and that, in the end, will fall in love with his own personal "blue collar". After a rather quite calm starting, William launches himself in a 13 pages long sex scene all in first person and all "talked": it's not the author that told us the story, but it's William Maltese, in the hustler role, who explains in every details to the current customer, what he will do and what he is doing. Like I said, a riverin flood of words. After this William continues his adventures with some eclectic customers, to finish in the middle of nowhere Texas, in a barn, making love for pleasure and not for money, with Denny, a supposed truck driver. What William thinks a passing fling, reveals to be the true thing, and the skilled hustler will do everything to find again Denny, even if, in the meantime, he tests his "devotion" to true love, with other men... well, you need to be certain, needn't you?

Amazon Kindle: Tow Blow
Publisher: MLR Press,LLC (October 25, 2012)


Amazon: HARD Working Men
Amazon Kindle: HARD Working Men
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (July 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934531790
ISBN-13: 978-1934531792

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: j.p. bowie, author: jardonn smith, author: victor j. banis, author: william maltese, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: hustlers

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