Title ~ Bus Stories
Author ~ Sean Michael
Publisher ~ Torquere Press
Published ~ 5th May 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Jonathon and Benny get on the bus separately, but are clearly together as Benny wears a tattoo on his neck that is the exact match for Jonathon’s scarring. What follows are six short stories that each explore a different tale of why they got on the bus and where they go from there. Originally published in the Bus Stories anthology.
The author explains his idea for the book in a note at the beginning. Two guys, six stories, all of which start at the same place. What an unusual idea for a book.
In the first story the two men were broke and on a bus, but Benny had made Jonathan angry and didn't quite know how to cope with it.
In the second story, Benny had been a naughty boy - not naughty as in sex, but naughty as in the law. He'd been caught panhandling at a local mall where Jonathan's uncle worked as the daytime security chief. Again Jerry was angry with him - angry that Benny would do something stupid enough that he could get himself put in jail.
The third story was harsh. Benny's previous lover was HIV positive and had to tell Jonathan. Benny's scared and it seems that Jonathan is just angry all the time.
If we're not, then we're not and we figure it out. Together.
In the fourth story we find out about the tattoo and the scar and that was so awesome - sort of - J was still angry again. In the fifth Benny was caught kissing a girl and in the sixth, Benny had come back after leaving him for a time.
There are some constants in these stories. The beginning of each story obviously. Jonathan starts out angry, every time. Benny nearly always cries. But underneath there is a sense that these two boys are meant to be together, that they genuinely love each other. Jonathan seems to come across as quite a jerk at times, but he genuinely loves Benny. There were many moments when I thought Benny was TSTL and he annoyed me as much as he annoyed Jonathan. I don't know how old the two were, but it seems they were really young.
Just as the stories were short and to the point, the ending was just as abrupt. I like to think that both boys will find a life together without pain - or maybe Benny would just grow up. It seems throughout J has to do the thinking for both of them. Unfortunately I don't know. Fans of the way the author writes his sex scenes will be more than thrilled with this short book. I was left feeling just a bit unsettled.