This story was written as a part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's "Love’s Landscapes" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
This is a fabulous event that gives M/M readers a chance to catch up with some of their favourite authors, experience new authors, and also gives those readers that have yet to dip their toes into the genre a chance to find out why so many of us are huge fans of Gay Romance… all for free!!! AMAZING!!!
The M/M team will be following the Love’s Landscapes releases and bringing you our take on some of these fabulous gems. We would also like to thank the Goodreads M/M Romance group who organise this yearly event and those authors that give their time freely for the fans enjoyment… Free eBooks from amazing authors is a gift we are all immensely grateful for.
This Hour I lost by Indra Vaughn
Tags: action/adventure, suspense, blue collar, rich guy, amnesia, enemies to lovers
Content Warnings: violence, dubious consent due to amnesia
Word Count: 22,946
These two are together against certain odds and chances. The one on the left is the rich, party boy, maybe even a millionaire. Never had to work, never gave much care, felt entitled, likes the finer things, never saw himself mingling with the other people and side of the world. Not terribly friendly, sarcastic, aloof, etc. Beautiful and “ice princess” if you will.
The one on the right has always had to work hard for everything he’s got. I’m not sure I see him as a father, but maybe he’s been left behind to care for his two to three younger brothers. He’s modest, but he definitely has bigger dreams. He works with his hands creating beautiful furniture or homes. He doesn’t put up with people’s shit, least of all from a spoiled guy who knows nothing about his world. Please don’t write him as the typical everyman that is innocent. He’s been around the block and then some. He’s scrappy… rough.
They meet by chance. They fight, but right after the rich guy ends up with amnesia and runs into the other guy whose motives you get to determine decides to convince the other one they are married and takes him back to his place as husbands.
I’d like it if both men were in their late twenties to mid-thirties. These two should fight and have fire, I wouldn’t even mind this to be dark and gritty. Please no super fluff! Make these two guys WORK for their HEA. Please no insta-love. I also don’t want gay-for-you at all. Please make both gay or bisexual. NO family angst due to sexuality, drugs/alcohol issues, or anything else. I want the issues and struggle to come from the two men and them falling in love. I want there to be an awakening of betrayal once it’s revealed. I want ANGRY sex. This should be a complete story from meeting, amnesia, to the adjustments and falling in love, to the reveal, to the HEA. Everyone’s idea of romance is different, but I imagine these two as having atypical ideas and styles to romance. Surprise me with something that makes me melt into a puddle of goo.
This image is perhaps after one of their epic fights. They have come inside after getting dirty or throwing dishes, something. They are at the point where they say fuck it and decide to get naked and drink champagne and start laughing… finally bonding. Or perhaps they are celebrating the rich dude’s birthday that the other has made up a date for. You can tinker with the idea a bit.
Two men are sharing a bath filled with bubbles. The one on the right fills pours champagne directly into the other’s mouth. They are both laughing, looking elated.
This one was a bit of a strange one for me personally. I liked parts of it but unfortunately I also think its plot became a little bit too convoluted and ended up just tipping itself over the edge. There's a lot going on in this short story so whereas my normal instinct with short stories is that I generally want extra, in this one I think the adage 'less is more' might have been a better bet. HOWEVER... Despite those niggles, it still kept me engaged till the end, I liked the two main characters together and I actually did come away feeling glad I'd given it a go. One of those books that I know I would have probably loved if it had just been toned down a tad. What I will say though, is that this is not a book that's just been thrown together, considering this is only a short I think Indra has put a lot of time and a hell of of a lot of effort into this freebie and I thank her for that. The prompt asked for quite a few bullet points to be included in the story and you'll see that Ms Vaughn hit every brief that was in there, especially the one that asks for the guys to have to work hard for their HEA, because 'Oh Boy' they certainly do!
RATING ~ 3 STARS
Indra’s contribution to the Love’s Landscapes event is a romantic suspense story with an interesting storyline. It’s fast paced and entertaining, even when parts of the plot seem to be a little far-fetched (the amnesia and the bad guys criminal energy). The location selected was interesting, Italy and especially Rome colourful settings.
I think the prompt was really challenging and Indra’s job wasn’t an easy one, I enjoyed reading the story.
RATING ~ 3.5 STARS
There was a lot I liked about this short, but the problem for me with this book is just that, it’s a short… The readers prompt is incredibly detailed and what they wanted included in this story was just too much, in my opinion, for a short/novella length. Baring that in mind, I think Indra did a fabulous job of capturing the readers requirements.
I fell hard for Mal, a lost and lonely soul, who through circumstances out of his control is forced to become a person he himself is ashamed of. Travis our rich playboy, I initially didn't like but he more than redeems himself by the end of the book. Both men's behaviour is a little confusing at times and this is again down to the fact there is so much going on. Whilst we are still trying to figure out the amnesia and the relationship, we have a mafia protection racket to deal with, extortion, espionage, drugs and a near death experience, whilst in the background another layer is being played out, that of the good Samaritan.
I felt the bones were there for what could be a great novel, but a little too complicated for a short, overall it was an enjoyable read.
RATING ~ 3 STARS
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