Title: In His Corner
Author: Charlie Cochet
Length: 30 pages, 8k words
Genre: m/m Historical Romance
Blurb: When Eli’s uncle Jasper mentions needing a cornerman for former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jessie “The Demon” Dalton, Eli jumps at the chance. Having had his heart broken by the man five years earlier, Eli is not only determined to get some answers, but he has no intention of letting Jessie push him out of his life a second time around. However, when he comes to face to face with Jessie, it becomes very clear to Eli how much Jessie needs him in his corner, and in his life. All he has to do is convince Jessie of that.
Review: Of the new authors I’ve read in the past year, Charlie Cochet has quickly become one of my favorites. I try to read whatever she publishes as soon as I can, because for a genre that I’m not typically a fan of, historicals, I’ve learned by now that in this author’s hands I’ll always be pleased.
This story is no exception, set in a time period she often writes, the 1920s. It tells the story of Jessie Dalton, or “The Demon”, a boxer that is pushing retirement in the wake of defeat and scandal. Eli is the boy who grew up around him, idolizing him and then falling in love with him, only to leave for college brokenhearted thinking that Jessie would never what him.
It is now five years later and Jessie needs a new cornerman. Eli jumps at the chance to be near the man he loved, only to find that his feelings still remain and he needs answers for everything that happened five years ago. Now, however, he’s grown up and can stand up to the man who makes other quiver in fear.
The real strength of this story are the characters. It’s short enough that they really need to carry the story, and their personalities do. Even without seeing the past, five years prior, you can see that Eli has matured. Jessie is a character all to himself, rugged and yet tender. Jasper, Eli’s uncle and Jasper friend and manager (?) offers a lot of color, yet not two dimensional, whose voice consistently reminds us of the time period.
The reminder of the time period is consistent through lots of little details as well as voice, such as Jasper and Jessie. Eli’s years away from the two men at school are subtly shown by his change in speech. Much of the time, he speaks properly, but in frustration, anger, or intimacy with Jessie retreats back into the slang of the time period and shows his roots.
The story is short, so there is little time for more than a few scenes, yet I was impressed with the way the author used those scenes to the benefit of imparting as much information as possible without sacrificing the atmosphere of the story. I would have loved to have more, of course, but the story works well as it is. The story ends without any sex, but that was fine with me as well.
With this story, I remain a fan of the author and continue to eagerly look forward to what she has to publish! Recommended