Birthday Presents by K. Roxanne Gunn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily
First Sergeant Giovanni Costa's only drinking problem is finding a steady source of something "harder" than water in the middle of the Iraqi desert. When hardass Second Lieutenant Thomas Haverford walks in on Costa trying to score a bottle of Jameson on his knees, Giovanni is sure he's in deep trouble. But what the Lieutenant wants isn't at all what Giovanni expects.
You never know what you can do until you try—or let go.
I read the blurb for Birthday Presents and was intrigued. I wanted to see what author K. Roxanne Gunn would do with these characters. Just as the blurb captured my attention, about three paragraphs in, so did Giovanni and Tommy. Ms. Gunn writes in a quick style that took a little rereading initially, but once I got a hold of her style, I didn’t want to put the book down. There’s so much more than heat in this story—and yeah, there’s a lot of heat.
Giovanni Costa has lots of problems. He’s self-depreciating, has a small issue with his liquor, and well, his means to getting booze is lacking. But I still liked him. I’d describe him best as misdirected. Maybe it’s the broken sadness about him, but I wanted to see this guy have a good day. I’m glad I kept reading. Tommy Haverford, LT, isn’t what he seems. Ok, so he comes off as a bit brusque. He’s a Lieutenant, he’s supposed to be brusque. That’s what drew me to him. He’s multi-dimensional and sexy to boot.
I won’t slip in any of the plot twists, but Ms. Gunn packs a punch in this story. Each time I thought she’d zig, the story zagged and vice versa. It was great. And I don’t want to forget the steamy scenes. Again, I won’t disclose too much, but I needed a fan. I found myself smiling more than once through the sex scenes as well. Heck, I found myself thinking about Tommy and Giovanni after the book closed.
If you want a book that’s short, but equal parts heat and heart, you need to read Birthday Presents. It’s a great read.