Title: Halloween Trick
Author: Julia Alaric
Length: 11,000 words (35 pdf pages)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: m/m paranormal
Life was never easy for Robbie, and death isn’t any easier. Being both ghost and rentboy leaves him with a clientele that is strange at best, and he fervently wishes he could quit once and for all. But the job reminds him of what he is: a dead whore, completely unsuitable for Josh, his amazing roommate who is still very much alive.
This is set in an interesting world where ghosts seem to be a matter of fact for most people, as Robbie sells himself openly as a ghost prostitute. Because ghosts can’t use electronics, Josh acts as his procurer as Robbie sells himself on-line, with the novelty being having sex with a ghost. Josh and Robbie have been together about four years, Josh is an accountant and somehow Robbie’s soul got caught in a teddy bear that Josh bought as a child. When Josh passed back into Robbie’s neighborhood as an adult, Robbie popped out of the bear.
Halloween is always a big night for Robbie, sex with a ghost after all is very Halloweenie, however this time Josh is acting odd. He tells Robbie he’s going away after, and they have a bit of a fight when Josh comes out dressed as a street walker. Robbie knows he loves Josh, but one, he’s a ghost, and two, he’s a whore and Josh deserves a “normal” decent guy. Even after Josh confronts him, Robbie insists on going on his trick that night. However it’s not a normal trick, the guy is testing out whether he’s gay and they end up discussing their relationships and watching Ghost on TV rather than having sex.
I thought even though the story is told from Robbie’s POV, you really got a sense of Josh in all this. He’s tired of seeing the guy he loves prostitute himself, because in Robbie’s own words, he’d be bored otherwise, so why not. It hurts to send off his guy to other men. Then there is Robbie and his noble feelings, believing that if he just ignores Josh’s feelings long enough, the guy will get over him. It was a little bit sad, but Jerry his trick, offers some great advice.
My only concern was HOW does one have sex with a ghost? Robbie has the ability to firm up his body in parts. He could make his hand more solid and touch Josh, but that would mean his legs would become transparent. Kind of like he only has a tenth of the molecules necessary, so I found it a bit distracting because I was thinking of the mechanics of it at times. He also can’t take off his clothes all the way, and is stuck forever in his 80′s cut offs and tank top with Billy Idol hair.
Still, I thought both guys were sweet, and you wanted Robbie to get his head out of his noble butt and give Josh what he wanted. There was some snarky, and bitter, banter between the two at times, but it showed two guys who’ve been together for a while and are comfortable on the whole with each other. I know not everyone enjoys stories where one of the love interests is a ghost, but it worked for me, and was a fun story set in a bit of an alternative setting with ghosts being accepted as part of society.