Title: The Man Who Wouldn’t Wear Leather
Author: Aaron Michaels
Length: 3,900 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
For their ninth anniversary, Chuck scrimped and saved to buy Milton a sexy leather bomber jacket which Milton not only refused to wear, but which very nearly caused the break-up of their relationship. Imagine Chuck’s surprise when he comes home early one afternoon to find the jacket he thought Milton gave away draped over the back of a kitchen chair and Milton nowhere to be found.
Has the jacket come back to haunt him like a bad penny, or is something else going on with Milton that Chuck knows nothing about?
This story is one of those slice of life tales from an established relationship. Chuck and Milton have been together for a long time and are rather opposite in personality. Milton is a classic geek who wears a pocket protector (yes, I had to look up what that was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone wear one in the UK) and Chuck loves him for it. Chuck arrives home to find a leather jacket on the chair and is surprised because he thought Milton had thrown it away. Chuck had bought it for him a while ago for their ninth anniversary but Milton had hated it for reasons unknown. When Milton’s Mum arrives at the flat, Chuck manages to weedle the mystery of the rejected coat out of her.
This is only a very short story and because of that I didn’t really feel there was enough time to explore the dynamics of Chuck and Milton’s relationship fully. Chuck even comes across as a little condescending of Milton’s geekiness, although I’m sure this was supposed to come across as fondness. The secret was a bit of an anti-climax, as was the end of the story which promised a frank discussion, but actually fizzled out into nothing.
Having said that, the writing was lively and I quite liked Chuck. When the pair are together on the page, which doesn’t happen until right at the end, their attraction to each other zings off the page, as does their banter. It’s obvious that they love each other a great deal as this shines through their interaction. I also liked Milton’s mother and her careful protection of her son. For a secondary character she shares more page space than Milton, but doesn’t overwhelm the romance of the story.
Overall, if you like this author then this is a good addition to your collection. For me it was a decent story and worth reading if you get a few spare minutes.