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Monday, March 15, 2010

Rip Cord by Jeanne St. James

Rip Cord by Jeanne St. James
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Dandelion

Gil Davis hated high school. Ever the geek, he has no intention of attending his 10th year class reunion. The last thing he wants is to relive the taunting and teasing he received during his teenage years. However, there is one thing he missed from high school: the star Varsity football player. The one he had a crush on since the first day he laid his eyes on him.

The last thing he expects is the now pro football player to come back to their home town to attend a lame high school reunion. Known as the Bad Boy of the NFL, Ripley "Rip" Cord, not only shows up, but shows up without a date and an eye for Gil.

Set against the familiar angst of a ten-year high school reunion, nerdy Gil finds himself face to face with the teenage crush of his past: Ripley “Rip” Cord. Thanks to Gil’s best friend Katie, he’s turned himself into a pretty well-adjusted adult, even though his classmates don’t really remember him except to ask what’s become of his pocket protector. Katie’s the one who convinces him to go to his reunion – and good thing, because Rip is there too, on break from a stellar NFL career. To Gil’s surprise (and the reader’s), Rip wastes no time getting Gil alone. The rest of the short story is filled with Gil and Rip making love up against their old lockers and in their old locker room/shower.

The sex is hot and well-written, but the emotion and character motivation in this story are not as developed as I would have liked. I felt instead that the author relied on clich├ęd stereotypes rather than fully exploring her characters. Rip is still the hot, bad-boy jock he was in high school, complete with biker jacket and Harley parked outside. Gil is still the nerdy, insecure boy who can’t believe someone as good-looking as Rip would even notice him. Rip is the dominant partner, of course, and even tells Gil “You know, for me you will always be a bottom.” Gil agrees without question – even though he’d really like to try the alternative. The sex happens almost at once, so there’s little exploration of why Rip suddenly wants Gil, or why an NFL player would even go to his high school reunion in the first place.

These criticisms aside, I did like the idea of “sexcapade” taking place in the darkened halls of a high school, during a reunion. Both men do get a happy ending, and the male-male loving is hot. Readers looking for a quick erotic short story should find satisfaction in Rip Cord.

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