So we made it home from Chicago safe and sound. Pretty uneventful. It's kind of nice to have a couple of days to get it together before I start my new position. Spent a small fortune on groceries today as my fridge was empty, otherwise just kind of hanging out and getting psyched up for the end of vacation. I read quite a bit the last couple of days.
Used, Rare and Limited Editions by Chris Owen (116 pages)
This is a compilation of several stories that were under the Chaser banner. Dave is sent by his boss/lover to do some bookshelves for an old friend. The friend assumes Dave is a submissive and in the lifestyle, however quickly apologises, as Des has his own sub, Wyatt. Both couples have an open relationship and before long it's decided that Des and Dave can get together and eventually Wyatt and Archie, which allows Archie to indulge in his bondage kink as Dave is pretty much vanilla, save for the whole partner swapping thing. It was interesting to see how it all came together and I thing there is another set of books that follow. I never really got a handle on Wyatt and Des and what their relationship was like. However if you don't mind books with open relationships (the only on-page sex is between the four characters, although reference is made to Dave and Archie having other partners and they are very open about it), it's a good read and I'll definitely check out the follow-up to see how they work the 4-way thing.
Photographer Stuart spends much of his time speaking at GLBT events, about his lover who died during a plane hijacking. It's been nearly a year but while landing in Dallas, the captain of the flight, flirts with him. By chance Dustin is also at the rally and offers to get him to the airport, however they get talking and he misses his flight so stays with Dustin. He's not ready for a relationship but starts thinking about Dustin more and more and finally after much mulling and talking with his therapist gets in touch. They eventually start a long-distance relationship. This is just a nice story about two guys who have both suffered losses (Dustin's lover died of AIDS) who are getting to know each other and watching Stuart move on from his grief over the death of his partner. It was a bit sad and some funny and sweet and sexy. Interestingly, Dustin is 48, half-Korean and an amputee having lost his leg in a car accident. It was nice to see it treated as "normal" and not made a big deal. Also the reality of Dustin being 48 and not able to have 15 orgasms in a night was smoothly slipped in without making something of it. I was kind of sad when the story ended, not because I didn't want them to get their HEA and I did want them to move in together, but just because I was enjoying them so much I kind of hoped it would be longer. A perfect read when you're not looking for an angst fest or just a sex-filled read.
I've kind of taken of taken a liking to these "Changes" books. In this case, Drew is forced to leave his job as the assistant to the mayor of Chicago (his Dad) and takes the fall for a political scandal. He's annoyed that he has to move to Asheville (fool, I totally fell in love with Asheville and would move there in a minute), and is rather surly about the whole thing. He meets Ridge, one of the co-owners of the inn he's staying at and is instantly attracted. They can't seem to keep their hands off each other, although Drew can be a total ass when he wants to be but Ridge doesn't take it to heart and deals with it in a straight-forward manner. Drew was adopted by his parents when he was 14 and has commitment issues, however Ridge doesn't let him run. Each chapter starts with some quirky little saying by one of the guys and I quite liked it. I really liked Ridge, who was a bit younger and less experienced, but he wasn't afraid to see where it would go, despite his sister's overbearing attitude. On the whole there is not a lot of angst, besides Drew being a jerk on occasion and the attraction and sex between the men is hot and sexy. A nice read when you're in the mood for something light and enjoyable.