Title: The Best Damned Thing
Author: B. A. Tortuga
Length: 12 pages, 3200 words.
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M, contemporary, erotica
Blurb: Jim sure doesn’t want to get into the middle of it when the guys on his construction crew start messing with Collin, the new, and queer, guy in town. He will if he has to, though, because he doesn’t believe in letting anyone call a man out for being gay. Foreman Walker doesn’t like the idea any more than Jim does, but he’s perfectly happy to let Jim get in the middle with him and Collin…
Review: This short is a slice of life, full of verve, with lively characters and plenty of m/m/m sex .
It takes place in Jim’s point of view, though we don’t learn much about him except that he’s discreetly gay, he has little tolerance for his workmates’ casual homophobia, and that he’s alert to any other gay men in the town. The story opens with him and two colleagues, Dale and Cooter, eyeing up Collin, who’s returned to town after some time away. Collin, the man, is very obviously gay – we don’t hear how or why, except that he was into “weird art shit” at school, according to Dale. Jim is angry at his workmates’ aggressive bigotry, though he doesn’t leap to challenge them at first. However, we get the feeling that he would if pushed to it – it’s not a matter of his principles, just that he doesn’t seek out conflict for the sake of it. He twisted his lips. He’d fight if he had to. He didn’t back down from assholes like Dale.
The dialogue is crude, with a lot of swearing. Fuck. Jim stared at Walker’s hand, his heart starting a hard, steady thud. That was so fucking hot he could hardly stand it. But for me, that suits the style of the piece: it’s narrated in both the thoughts and the words of Jim and his workmates. The dialogue is also witty and sharp and blunt. It fits the fierce, cheeky sexuality of the story.
Jim and Dale nearly come to blows, but then they’re interrupted by Walker, the foreman, who takes very firm control of the situation. And, it turns out, of Jim himself . The rest of the story is basically a sex scene. Poor Jim is pretty bemused at first, but he goes along with it all. This was like… well, he couldn’t figure out anything that could be this good except this, so Jim went with it. Everything else would compare to this now and come up lacking. The sex is well written and not confusing like m/m/m can often be. The author makes sure we share Jim’s delight and excitement as he joins in with Walker and Collin.
I liked the brash style and the frankness of the men. The sex was hot, and the author made me believe in the fun that a threesome can have. It had a great ending line! It’s by no means a romance, and there’s very little we learn about the men and their lives beyond this one occasion. But I’d recommend it for a well-written, hot scene, and – a bit like Jim! – I’m very happy to have stumbled in on it. I rate it a good B.
by pettyprose…my opinion alone.