Title: Casual (Sex) Friday
Author: Evie Kiels
Length: 15,000 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Ben is not a fan of Fridays. Every Friday Calvin asks him out, and every Friday Ben turns him down. One incredibly boring date was enough for him, and he can’t figure out why Calvin won’t let it go. After delivering yet another Friday brush-off, Ben retreats to the park to try to decompress from the work week.
When Calvin shows up at the park, the very last thing Ben expects is to end up spending his Friday night with a man who is suddenly anything but boring.
I really liked this story which took the theme of not relying on first impressions of people. It tells of Ben who is asked out by Calvin every Friday after work. He went on a date with Calvin a few weeks earlier and was bored to tears, so each week Ben turns Calvin down. When Calvin catches Ben doing something naughty in the local park, he practically blackmails Ben into spending some time with him, where Ben discovers there’s more to the supposedly dull Calvin than he thought.
How well you like this story will depend on your reaction to Calvin blackmailing Ben to spend time with him. I chose to see it as the desperate act of a man who is really attracted to Ben but realises that he’s blown his one and only chance. When the opportunity arises to show Ben that he’s not as dull as Ben thinks, Calvin takes it. Of course we don’t know that for certain since this story is only from Ben’s POV, but that’s what I inferred from the story. I liked the way that Ben is in charge at the beginning and how that slowly changes when he realises that Calvin isn’t as boring as he first thought. Instead, Calvin keeps him on his toes, showing Ben things about himself that couldn’t be seen in a staid and dull dinner date. I loved how Calvin jumps at the chance of showing what life would be like for Ben if they were a couple. It was a different take on romance. The sex scenes were hot and also a little unusual, and it amused me the way that this also partly led to Ben feeling so off kilter.
Another part I liked was the way that Ben is slowly drawn in. He doubts himself all the way, considers not getting involved and refusing to play along with Calvin, but in the end he’s curious (and a bit horny) and that plays into Calvin’s hands. Both men are nice guys, although Ben comes across as a little judgemental due to past bad relationships. Calvin is a complete sweetheart whose joy of life becomes increasingly evident as the story progresses.
By the time the story had ended, I was pleased for both of the men. The story had a bit of an inauspicious start but I was charmed by Calvin and amused by the slightly grouchy Ben. This meant that I would happily recommend this story to those looking for a well written short with an amusing tone and a romance which is a little different from the norm.