Author: Clare London
Length: 46 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary fantasy romance
Kevin knows his crush on his gorgeous but impossibly aloof boss, Marcus, isn’t going anywhere. But it’s actually Marcus who brings them together when he appears mysteriously one night in Kevin’s bedroom. Marcus acts very differently outside work, feeding Kevin’s romantic hopes—until they’re back in the office and Marcus has no recollection of their tryst….
One thing I love about Clare London’s writing is that she’s a dab hand at getting to the heart of an awkward situation and providing maximum emotional quality from the set up. This story is a case in point. It starts with Kevin who’s spending a lonely evening in his flat. As it approaches midnight his boss, Marcus, appears in his room acting like they are lovers and trying to get into bed with him. Kevin is mortified, but when Marcus disappears as quickly as he arrived he chalks it down to a hallucination brought on by a cheese toastie. Things are a little awkward at work the next day and Marcus seems to be acting a little out of character but other than that it’s like nothing happened. Kevin is convinced it’s all been a dream, until later that night.
My summary makes the book sound a lot more lighthearted than it was. Not that it’s filled with terrible angst, more a steady sense of drama. Kevin is baffled and nervous about the appearances of Marcus, especially as he’s had a huge crush on him for ages. The story is characterised by a series of awkward moments, both in Kevin’s bedroom and in the office situation, each moment captured perfectly as Kevin tries to find a way to approach Marcus over why he’s in his bedroom at night. This made the story very strong on character as we see Kevin struggling with the differences between the sexy, confident man in his bedroom and the staid perfectionist that Marcus shows in the office. The gradual chance in the way they interacted during their time in the office was done well too, with a mutual respect developing between them.
Another part I liked was the general atmosphere of the office, with its ‘water cooler’ culture. The brief appearances of Kevin’s work colleagues added a touch of lightness to the tone of the story, keeping it well balanced between serious drama and less serious moments.
I also liked the way that the story managed to tie up the loose ends whilst still keeping the romance. The twist surprised me because, whilst reading the story, I couldn’t work out how everything was going to resolve itself. It was an ending that fit well with the theme and title and as such I was happy. My only niggle was that I wished I’d seen more of Kevin and Marcus together outside the bedroom. As it is, we only have Kevin’s assurances that they’d developed a sort of work friendship whilst planning for their presentation together, although his wasn’t enough to spoil my enjoyment of the story.
Overall, I think this has to be my favourite so far of these Time Travel stories in that it had a strong, sympathetic character in Kevin and a premise which was intriguing and satisfying. If you’re in the mood for something with a good balance of fun and drama then this story could be for you.