Title: Happy Hour
Author: JD Barrett
Length: 5,000 words (15 pdf pages)
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: m/m erotica paranormal
Sal has spent three years serving drinks behind the bar and servicing guys in the back room. It’s been a nice gig, one Sal has enjoyed. But things change the night hot-as-hell Matt walks in and takes a seat.
Sal is instantly drawn to Matt, more than any guy before him. He’s gorgeous, sexy, commanding—and Sal can’t stop himself from going for it. The two men are on each other in a flash, sharing in a frenzied lust that culminates in immense pleasure for them both.
But Sal has made a mistake. He isn’t supposed to go all the way. Going all the way means trouble. And Sal can’t have any more trouble.
Now he must do the one thing he hates most—the one thing he can never take back.
This review may contain spoilers.
Right to start, I will warn readers that this is not romance, it is straight up erotica with a paranormal horror aspect. There is no HEA or even a HFN. That said, if you are in the mood for something hot and steamy with very descriptive prose with a twist ending, it might just hit the spot.
As the blurb notes, Sal is a bartender in the South, where very few men admit to being gay, but his instant attraction to Matt is overwhelming, and Matt seems to be making a move. Matt follows Sal to the back room where he’s having a cigarette and before long there are mutual blow jobs in the bosses office, which leads to the surprise ending, which I’m hoping I’m not ruining with a spoiler. I’ll just say it’s against the “rules” for Sal to come inside someone, but he can’t seem to resist Matt’s mouth in this case, and there are always penalties for breaking the rules.
The prose is very descriptive. There is great detail about the way both men, but especially Matt, look. It’s also told in a narrative style (of which I know not the name, but I’m sure it has one) that gives the impression that Sal is talking to you and telling you the story of what happened. It’s not as blatant as some I’ve read where the character is addressing the reader directly, but I had the sense that I was sitting and listening to him talk, rather than reading it a bit more removed. It was an interesting technique and pulled me in, almost as if you were right there with Sal.
The ending certainly surprised me, I hadn’t noted the story was a paranormal before I read it, I started to suspect something, but still the author managed to get me to blink a few times at the end. As I said, without giving too much away, it’s not a happy ending of any type, and perhaps the prose was a bit descriptive for me personally, but it’s a style that works well for an erotica story (of which this is) because the thrust of the book (ha!) is the sex, and the scents and sounds and sights that go along with that, more so than the emotions.
I’m sure this isn’t to every romance reader’s taste, but it’s the kind of short that might pull in someone looking for something more descriptive and erotic, than sweet and romantic.