GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
LENGTH: 240 pages
BLURB: The most seductive stories of love between men, this collection shows that however romance happens, however long love lasts -- a heartbeat or a lifetime -- erotic love between men is a wondrous thing. Edited by Richard Labonte.
Contains my story, Henry and Jim. Henry and Jim have spent a lifetime together. Old men now, Henry reminisces about the love they've shared as he learns to cope with Jim's fading memory and his own fear of being forgotten.
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PRINT ISBN: 9781573443036 | BUY IT NOW:
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From Henry and Jim:
Two seats, a dime apiece, and Jim chose one of the last rows in the back of the theater, away from the shrieking kids that threw popcorn and candy at the screen. He waited until I sat down, then plopped into the seat beside mine, his arm draped casually over the armrest and half in my lap. "Do you bring Betty here?" I asked, shifting away from him. Better to bring my sister up like a shield between us in the drowsy heat and close darkness of the theater to remind me why I was there. Betty trusted me with her latest beau, even if I didn't trust myself.
Jim shrugged, uninterested. As the lights dimmed and the film began, he crossed his legs, then slid down a bit in the seat, let his legs spread apart until the ankle rested on his knee. His leg shook with nervous energy, jostling the seat in front of him and moving at the edges of my vision, an annoying habit, distracting, and when I couldn't stand it any longer, I put my hand on his knee to stop it. As if he had been waiting for me to make the first move, Jim snatched my hand in both of his, threaded his fingers through mine, and pulled my arm into his lap. "Jim," I whispered with a slight tug, but he didn't seem to hear me and didn't release my hand. I tried again -- he just held on tighter, refused to acknowledge that I wanted him to let go. Leaning closer so I wouldn't have to raise my voice, I tried again. "Jim --"
He turned and mashed his lips against mine in a damp, feverish kiss. I shouldn't -- my mind started, then I can't, then Betty. Then his tongue licked into me, softer than I had imagined and so much sweeter than a man had the right to be, and I stopped thinking altogether. I was a whirl of sensation and every touch, every breath, every part of my world was replaced with Jim. Betty isn't getting him back; that was my last coherent thought before I stopped fighting him and gave in.
Later that evening, my sister was waiting when I got home. "Well?" she wanted to know.
I shrugged to avoid meeting her steady gaze. "Do you really think he's right for you?"
"Me?" she asked with a laugh. "Not at all. But Henry, isn't he just perfect for you?"
- Boyz Magazine:
- "Some of the tales, such as J.M. Snyder's exploration of love and memory, are wonderfully emotive and you may well find yourself shedding the odd tear over a number of tenderly calibrated moments."
- Fallen Angel Reviews: 5 out of 5, Recommended Read.
- "Thanks ... for this incredible story. It is one that I will cherish."
- Gazette Tampa Bay Magazine (April 2008 issue).
- "What's marvelous about ["Henry and Jim"] and other of the more marvelous stories in the collection is that the reminder is there, wrapped around carefully-composed prose, that romance ... survives and flourishes."
- Obsidian Bookshelf:
- "A beautifully written short story that shows that a marriage isn't necessarily defined by the gender of the participants. These two men have had a long and loving marriage that has been more successful than most marriages."
- Review by Elisa Rolle:
- "A very beautiful anthology, highly reccomended."
- Review by LouisaClark:
- "Whether the stories warm your heart or warm your body, they all deliver a very satisfying romantic read ... [in "Henry and Jim"] We watch as they build a life together, as they grow old together. Beautiful and uplifting. Five Stars."
- Romance at Heart:
- "A story of love, hope, trials, togetherness, and acceptance ... a must read for all who enjoy a good, well written but short gay romance."