Title: Miami After the War
Author: Jay Starre
Length: 32 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m historical romance
At nineteen, Danny Ramirez is the youngest of the tiling crew working the postwar construction boom on Miami’s beachfront. When veteran Jake Tyler needs a roommate and asks if he’s interested, Danny jumps at the chance. He’s been hot for Jake since they day they started working together. Jake never talks about his wartime experiences, though they’ve obviously marked him in more ways than just the scar on his leg. Danny wants to offer comfort, but can he make the first move without driving Jake away?
This historical set just after the second world war in Miami, tells of a time and place I know little about. It’s taken from the third person point of view of Danny, a young man on a team of builders who is partnered with a tiler, Jake. Jake is very quiet and aloof but the pair get on well together and Danny is delighted when Jake asks him to share an apartment. Their friendship turns to more, but Jake is haunted by his experiences in France.
I very much enjoyed the little pieces of detail in the historical setting, especially the descriptions of the buildings or the beaches of Miami during the late 1940′s. The war missed Danny but he can see its shadow in Jake and I thought this aspect was handled sympathetically. Danny has an earnestness which I found endearing and that contrasted nicely with Jake who could have come across as dour were it not for Danny’s obvious admiration of Jake. He wants to help Jake and is curious about his past, but rather clumsy in the way he broaches the subject. Their romantic relationship happens slowly, with a tender gruffness to it that fits with Jake as a character. I enjoyed seeing how it developed and felt happy that Danny feels so excited about his feelings for Jake.
Any problems I had with the story are mainly stylistic. Danny is often referred to as ‘the young Cuban’ rather than his name and this was a little jarring. I also find some of the descriptions used by this author in his sex scenes are more likely to have me sniggering than getting into a sexy mood, “pouting butt lips” is an example of this.
Those niggles weren’t enough to put me off the story too much though. If you’re looking for a sweet romance with a realistic touch of drama in Jake’s experiences, then you may well want to read this story.