Title: Couched as a Question
Author: Jane Davitt
Length: 7,800 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
When Matt’s partner Jordan suggests redecorating, Matt’s agreeable until he discovers it means getting rid of the red couch. They bought that couch together, and they’ve done a lot more than sit on it. It means a lot to Matt and if Jordan’s bored of it, maybe it’s not the only part of Jordan’s life he wants to change…
Matt and Jordan are partners who have lived together for two years. Jordan thinks it’s time for a redecoration of the living room, including getting rid of their ugly red leather couch, but Matt has fond memories of the couch and has trouble letting go.
I really enjoyed this short story which takes an established couple and then uses the conflict over a couch to explore their relationship over the last two years. There’s a bit of flashback but that is fitted seamlessly alongside memory so it never felt jarring. Matt shows us some of his favourite memories, buying the couch, snuggling in front of the TV and hot sexual encounters, and this makes him resentful of getting rid of it. This is the part that worked best for me, seeing the development of the relationship and the love that Matt feels for Jordan, and it’s all tied in with the couch.
The story has a slight misunderstanding which didn’t work so well. Matt resentful thoughts lead onto a minor case of paranoia, which even I could see was unfounded. I couldn’t quite understand how he would make the jump from ‘he’s getting rid of the couch’ to ‘he’s getting rid of me’, but I went with Matt’s slightly hysterical response to a normal situation because it forms the main drama in the story. It was the sort of situation which could have been resolved by sitting down and talking to each other which is why it made me slightly miffed.
The character of Jordan was a plus point. He’s flamboyant and a bit pushy, but you can tell he loves Matt to bits. Matt’s crazy about him too and their relationship made me feel warm and fuzzy, especially the end, once Matt had been forced to ‘fess up about his paranoid thoughts. I also liked Matt’s friend who tried to inject a note of sanity into the proceedings.
Overall, this was a cute story which utilised the leather theme well. It’s a great addition to the sip blitz overall and I’d recommend it.