We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM Contemporary
Review: When I first read of Michael Campbell, late for work because he overslept, again, after a hard night at the club, it seems as though uh-oh, this is going to be one of those hard to like MC. When he takes the opportunity to mock a man he sees stumbling down the street, yep, that thought was more firmly entrenched. When his co-worker, Henderson, gets incredibly angry about Michael’s actions, Michael has to step back and reconsider. The thing with Michael is, he doesn’t always think about what he’s saying. And sometimes he thinks things that are so patently ridiculous and offensive you want to slap him. “Could disabled people even be gay?”
The man in question is Joshua, a teacher’s assistant at the school where Michael is an electrician’s helper. Joshua has spastic cerebral palsy and some days are just bad days. My heart went out to him because things that we take for granted – opening the door with a key, getting things out of your pocket, those are big deals for Joshua. Being ridiculed for his difficultis, well, it’s not the first time it’s ever happened. Joshua’s day started bad, went worse and by the end he’s on the ground. Michael’s offer of help is awkward, yes, “No offense meant, but you really don’t look so great.” but it is an offer of help.
And as these two become friends, we get to see more of what makes Michael tick, his esteem issues and his secret but even better, we get to see how strong Joshua is, even with his own self esteem issues going on. First and foremost, they care about the others well-being and I liked that immensely. Joshua riding his bike to Michael’s to make sure he was okay was a great moment, wheezing and riding through humiliating comments. But Joshua getting a lesson in prejudging people outside that same apartment was even better, because it showed he’s just human.
It’s the progression of their relationship from friends to physical that gives Michael the chance to show his true worth, because Joshua has baggage and Michael has to deal.
I enjoyed this story very much, both the writing style which portrayed both men in a realistic light and the relationship between the two. I smiled my head off at the ending, because that summed up the story for me. Recommended.