Monday, March 16, 2009

Scars by Jessica Freely

TITLE: Scars
AUTHOR: Jessica Freely
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 15k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $2.49

After being rescued from a gang attack, David takes in the homeless Seth, offering him a second chance. Seth doesn’t know what to do with it, especially when David is so determined to do for him. They attempt to try and build some kind of real life, but gangs continue to threaten them, and Seth’s past rears its ugly head…

I have to admit, I didn’t read the blurb clearly enough when I bought this short. I hadn’t realized it was a continued story from earlier short stories. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have bought it because I’m just not one of those people who can come into the middle of a story and enjoy it the way it’s meant to be. I believe the fact that I didn’t read the previous stories definitely hindered my enjoyment of this one, because I was left with questions about how things had transpired, and why David reacted as he did throughout the course of this one. That being said, it’s still a nice little diversion, and I can’t say I regret buying it too much.

The prose is simple and unassuming, cleaner than Torquere books tend to be. While the sex scenes aren’t wholly innovative, they’re functional and more romantic than anything else. It’s through these moments I was able to see some of the connection between David and Seth, a connection that was built in earlier stories and taken for granted at the top of this one. They help to establish Seth as a keenly sympathetic character, making him both tragic and sweet all in one sweep. His pride is understandable when David tries to do too much, and the fact that he goes to the extremes he does even more so. I definitely liked him more than I liked David, but I think a big part of that is due to the fact that this is more about Seth and his past, as if I’m already supposed to have an opinion on David.

The significance of Seth’s past probably didn’t impact on me as strongly as it could have, had I read the prior stories earlier. It seemed a tad extreme and melodramatic, and I wish I could have been just a little more invested to appreciate its depths. In the end, the entire experience was much like trying a new recipe where one or two ingredients are missing. You get the hint of what it could be, but not the full effect. As such, I believe this would be best enjoyed by those who have read the previous stories.


8/10 – Simple and unassuming, though knowledge of the previous story helps

Hero #1

6/10 – I think it would have helped understanding his reactions if I’d read the first stories

Hero #2

7/10 – Tragic and sweet

Entertainment value

6/10 – I enjoyed it, though I think my enjoyment would’ve been greater with the emotional commitment from the previous stories.

World building

6/10 – It doesn’t stand as well on its own as I would hope.



No comments: