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Bitchie's Books

Avid reader, part time gamer. I read and review books for other readers, not for authors. I review mostly M/M books, so if that doesn't float your boat, well, there are other boats in the sea, other reviewers in this great blogosphere!

Currently reading

In The Absence of Light
Adrienne Wilder
My Brother's Lover
Lynn Kelling

With or Without Him

With or Without Him - Barbara Elsborg

This story had a lot of potential. Likeable characters, good plot. I love rent boy stories, and this had a real "Pretty Woman" feel to it.


Unfortunately, it was a bit bogged down by too much sex (very hot sex, but it got a bit much), and way too many misunderstandings. I lost count of how many times I shouted to me ereader "just talk to him already!" to both men. They both have quite a lot of baggage, and I get them having trust issues, but damn.


Tyler is a rent boy, determined to get through college without any debt. Once you read his history, you understand why he feels this way, if not what he did. He gets hooked up with this guy who pays him 500 bucks a week for sex with as many guys in as many ways as they want. He feels shame at what he is doing, but he feels he deserves no better. Again, it kind of makes sense once you know his story.


Haris also has big issues, including a big betrayal by a former lover. I don't know if the betrayal was quite enough for all his trust issues, but I got why he was wary. He sees Tyler one time and knows he wants him, so he offers to pay him 20k to live with him for 4 months.


They grow close pretty fast, and it's fairly obvious they both feel more than just a sexual arrangement for each other. And this is where the talking thing comes in. Tyler is terrified he is nothing more than a rent boy to Haris, and he wants to be more. Haris is terrified Tyler is only with him because he pays him, and he wants more. But neither ever come out and say this.


Tyler is also terrified to tell Haris what he really did for money, about the sex parties. Dude, he's with you now because he's paying for you, I don't think he's going to be particularly shocked that you take money for sex.


It's just page after page of hot sex, witty banter, and stupid misunderstandings. I don't even know if I could have forgiven Haris for his last huge misunderstanding and the way he acted, at least not as easily as Tyler did, but he's young and in love, what can you do?


One thing I really loved in this story was Haris' valet/butler/driver Wilson. Funny and sarcastic and a hypochondriac, I laughed through every scene he was in, and could probably read more about just him.


All in all, this was a pretty good book, which could have been great, with just a little more communication and a little less misunderstanding. Good if you like a bit of angst, a lot of sex, but not so good if you grow weary of stupid behavior.