Title ~ Red
Author ~ B.G.Thomas
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 21st January 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary MM Romance, Male Escort
Leslie "Red" Parks was pretty surprised to find he was considered attractive enough to be a male escort. And once he started and the money came rolling in, he found he didn’t want to stop. For the first time in his life, people truly want him, and he likes that. A lot.
Kirk Toliver has never thought of himself as desirable either—which is why he is single. That, and he has spent years of his life caring for his ill mother. Before she passed away, she made him promise he would splurge on something crazy with the money she left him. So what’s crazier than hiring a male escort?
But neither expected that one night together could lead to what was missing in both their lives.
First if all this is a pretty sweet, prostitute/client story and it's very nicely written. No problems there at all. BG Thomas has a very easy writing style which I like. Basically, it's the story of Red; real name Leslie, a beautiful, very desirable high class escort who is hired by Kirk, a slightly overweight, normal everyday nice guy, who has been in lust with Red ever since he first saw him on the arm of Jeremy a rich friend, at the ballet one time. Since then he's been obsessed with the gorgeous redhead and having been left a decent amount of money from his newly deceased, much loved mum, who told him before she passed away, to just blow it on something that would just make him happy; he decides to use it to hire Red so he can at least be with him once.
What he doesn't realise is that Red/Leslie hadn't always been the beautiful guy. Once upon a time he was the misunderstood gay 'fat kid' who after a disappointment in love and family, took the plunge, lost weight, got discovered by another escort, Matthew, who taught him all he knew...and Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your Aunt...he's suddenly a most sought after highly paid, expensive to hire escort and he's making lots of money.
In a slightly back to front, 'Pretty Womanesque' way they begin a relationship that steps outside the bonds of client and male prostitute but of course there's the problem of Red still carrying on in the profession, Kirk's worries that he's not special enough for Red, and Reds past, that he keeps to himself because even though he's drawn to the nice guy, he's not sure exactly what he and Kirk are really doing together: unsure that he should be pursuing a relationship while he's still servicing clients.
Unfortunately as sweetly romantic and well written as this was, I did struggle to find that special connection and chemistry between the two of them. It just never really sparked for me. There were a few times when the constant adoration from an awe struck besotted Kirk for the beautiful prostitute felt a little too much like fan worship at the beginning, and the constant introduction of how gorgeous Red was and how ordinary and slightly chubby Kirk appeared, began to pall a bit. I got that it's all part of the plot, but I just couldn't get into that mind set at all. They’re likable characters but I never really felt that I had a proper handle on either Red or Kirk, especially Kirk because I had a bit of trouble pigeonholing him, and by that I mean I came away feeling like I didn't fully get to know him that well, even after he got his HEA.
I so wanted to like this. It had all the elements that I have a bit of a thing for. Escorts...opposites attracts...fairy tale romance. I certainly didn't hate it, it was an easy read, and there were moments I did enjoy, but sadly I didn't love it either. I think being a novella length, it was possibly a case of had it been fleshed out, I'd have got to know all these characters more and therefore understood their parts and some of their interactions in the story better. Especially the supporting characters who were a touch confusing. I was never fully sure how Kirk and Jeremy (an older obviously very rich, moneyed client and ongoing patron of Red's) came to be in each other's circles as Kirk wasn't particularly poor but he wasn't in that money bracket...or was he? Again I was never really sure outside of his mothers bequest just where he sat in the social stakes. He'd grown up in a very thrifty environment but where was he in life now? One minute he's wearing Walmart coats, the next he's at the ballet or taking Red to fairly expensive restaurants... Perhaps I'm overthinking it all, but I did find myself pondering little things. And then there was Matthew, Red's friend and mentor in the escort business. Their relationship was a bit unfathomable. He has a fair bit of input in the story and I got that they were good friends but was still a bit uncertain of their underlying relationship. One scene and his over the top reaction, in particular had me confused as to what Matthews true feelings were for his protégée. I'm still not sure?!? Had this been longer and I'd seen more of their previous time together that confusion might have been explained; as it was I was left pondering again.
I haven't read much by BG Thomas but what I have read of his, I did enjoy, so it's another case of what hasn't worked for me, may very well be someone else's little gem and I truly hope that's the case here.
Buy it Here
Meet B.G. Thomas
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of over nine years and their fabulous little dog, Sarah Jane. He sees his wonderful daughter just often enough to miss her when she isn't there! He has a romantic soul and is extraordinarily lucky to have many friends.
He loves science fiction & fantasy, horror, romance and more, has gone to SF&F conventions his entire adult life, and been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He is a “Star Trek” and Joss Whedon fan from way back!
He has written all his life, it is where he finds his joy. In the 90’s, he wrote for gay magazines, but stopped because they wanted him to cut out story and romance, and write only sex.
Then through a few friends, he discovered the growing market of M/M Romance and was thrilled beyond words. FINALLY, a way to write the stories he always wanted to write. Adventure, romantic comedy, science fiction, and more, but with gay characters. And he wouldn't have to fade to black! People wanted to read the erotic as well. Plot and sex! HURRAY!
B.G. Thomas very much believes in The Law of Attraction and that "thoughts become things." A lot of things all started happening at once. He heard the words, "Leap, and the net will appear," and something re-kindled inside. He sent out a story and was thrilled when it was almost immediately accepted.
He believes that we are divine expressions of the Universe, each and everyone. "It is never too late!,” he states. “Pursue your dreams! They will come true!"