Title: Must be Love
Author: Dallas Coleman
Length: 3,700 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Nick figures his thing with doctor Lee can’t be love. A break-up and booty calls sure don’t add up to something permanent. Still, even agreeing to his best friend’s plan to set Nick up on a date can’t keep him apart from Lee when a family emergency throws them back together. Will it be love this time?
I have a fondness for stories which deals with two estranged lovers who work through their problems and are reunited. I think it’s because we come into the story at a point where the misunderstanding has already taken place and have the reconciliation to look forward to! The short story is a good medium for these types of plots and this story hit all my ‘like’ buttons.
We begin with meeting Nick who’s a barrista at a coffee shop. He loves his job and has got plans to take over the business when the owner retires. He broke up with his lover, Lee, five weeks ago when it became obvious that Nick just wasn’t good enough for Lee’s doctor friends and colleagues. Since then Lee has called him up every so often and they have sex. Nick is trying to make a clean break of it but his feelings for Lee keep getting in the way. It takes a family emergency for Lee and Nick to finally get a chance to talk through their problems.
The story is taken from the point of view of Nick and he’s a really easy guy to like. His total honesty and unpretentious feelings are a real draw. He knows that his odd relationship with Lee is going nowhere, but still jumps when Lee phones, despising himself a little for his weakness. As we only see Lee through Nick’s eyes, he’s a little difficult to like at first, but the way that the men are reconciled made me like him a lot more and I could see what Nick saw in him by the end of the story.
There are a number of incidental characters who flit in and out of the story and I especially thought that Nick’s friend Marco and Nick’s sister-in-law, Leslie, were well rounded. The way that Leslie in particular was used as a catalyst for change was nicely done and it was good to see a sympathetic female character.
Overall, I really enjoyed this little short, so much so that I immediately re-read it after I had finished! It’s sweetly done but the use of the family emergency kept it from being too overwhelmingly sweet. I’d recommend Must be Love to those looking for a well written romance with a big ‘aw’ factor at the end!