Title: Balancing the Books
Author: H. Lewis-Foster
Length: 5,820 words (17 pdf pages)
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m sci-fi
Finn Smithers is an accountant on Terrenia, the first Earth colony. He spends his days under the inscrutable gaze of his boss, Mr Delton, and his nights sipping cocktails at Jed’s Place, his best friend’s bar.
Finn can’t believe his luck when he lands a celebrity client, glamorous hover-boarder Zachary Henser. When he’s invited to an executive soiree at Henser’s opulent home, Finn is prepared for the champagne and canapés, and knows how to mingle amid the other high-profile guests.
But he doesn’t know quite what to expect when he finds himself alone with his charming host in the infamous Xaverley Desert.
This is a cute little sci-fi story, in which the world building is rather secondary to the relationships. It could have taken place in modern times just as well. Finn likes his job as an accountant, and he doesn’t mind his boss, but they have a rather cool relationship. After receiving a big client in the form of a popular hover-boarder, he’s torn between wanting to meet the man, and knowing that often once you meet celebrities in person they turn out to be idiots or jerks. Several months pass with no sign of the man, then invitation comes to a party at the man’s home. Finn”s nervous and excited and to his delight the guy seems like a nice guy, however every time he tries to leave the guy pulls him back. Finally after all the guests leave he invites Finn to go out to the desert where several young men have disappeared. I loved how there was that moment of “Oh my god, is this guy a serial killer?” and Finn wasn’t so starry-eyed that he didn’t tell a friend what was happening so if he disappeared he could find him.
However, the only thing that happens in the desert is some hot sex on a hover board, which was a bit amusing as Finn pretends to be more experienced than he is, and is treated to aerial acrobatics which nearly have him having a heart attack. However after that night, he hears nothing else from the man. Finn enters his bosses office, he finds him in tears, and finally realizes the man is gay when he says his partner is leaving him, and he just happens to be the coach of the hover-board team having an affair with a player, so seems that Finn was just a diversion for the celebrity, and maybe there is more to his boss than just a stiff suit.
It ends kine of with the potential for more, as he invites his boss to his friend’s bar and they head off. You assume they get together, but maybe not. I liked Finn a great deal. He’s pragmatic, I liked his response to the trip to the desert, he wasn’t all starry-eyed despite being a fan of the sport and he was kind of a sit back and watch kind of guy. You don’t know much about his boss at all and get to know more about his bar-owner friend who seemed like a great character. A cute read, although not all that memorable.