Title: Just Like in the Movies
Author: Clare London
Length: 2,600 words
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
All Bailey wants is to be a good negotiator, and to impress his boss and teacher, the legendary Drew Fletcher. He admires Fletcher for his skills in the field, but that doesn’t stop him admiring the man for other, more romantic reasons as well. In a tense hostage situation, it’s pretty unlikely Bailey’s usual, rash behaviour will cover him in glory, but in his dreams, it’s all going to happen just like in the movies.
When he finally acts to protect his boss, it doesn’t go the way he hopes — or does it? Will Bailey get to play the hero and get the guy of his dreams?
This cheeky short with a high dose of humour reminds me why I really like this author’s short stories. She’s great at taking a sideways view of situation and giving us a glimpse of romance. Here the story is from the first person point of view of Bailey, a trainee negotiator. He’s blundered into the situation and got himself shot, much to the annoyance of his trainer Drew.
At just over two and a half thousand words there’s not much to the story but we are given a view of Bailey as a slight manic man who in his mind compares his situation to what it would have been like if the same thing had happened in a movie. This is what provides the comedy to the story, as the reader sees the discrepancy between how Bailey wanted things to go, compared with the reality of him making a error of judgement. The story is amusing in the way it made me smile fondly rather than laugh out loud, but I still found it very entertaining.
The romance is only slight, with Drew’s feelings shown in the way he reacts to Bailey in words as well as his actions, and I thought the author had done a good job in showing Drew’s feelings, which seem to be a mix of exasperation, fondness and desire, through the closed first person POV of Bailey. I also liked the surprise that Bailey feels when things take an unexpected turn and the end left me satisfied that something new and exciting was going to happen between them.
Overall, if you’re looking for an amusing quickie, then you can’t go too wrong with this free short at JMS books. It may even make you want to seek out this author’s longer works – which wouldn’t be a bad thing because she really is a superb writer.