Putting Out Fires by Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea
Matt Richards has never given much thought to Valentine’s Day, but when his lover of almost three years, Jared Thomas, hints that he feels unappreciated, Matt realizes he needs to do something. He’s determined to make this Valentine’s Day special, but nothing is going to turn out the way Matt plans.
Appreciation. We all want it and some never get it. Then there are those who try too hard.
This is one of those stories.
I liked Matt and Jared from the moment I opened the book. The men are real. I felt their frustrations and fears as if they were my own. There may be only a few pages to the story, but it's written in a very realistic fashion--like reading about friends I know. The writing is fluid, making for a quick but engaging read. Ms. Sexton drew me in from page one and didn't let up until the end.
The story is written in first person and though this normally isn't my cup of tea, in this case it works. I liked being able to get right into Matt's head and really see his confusion and thoughts. It made him more three dimensional. I would've liked to have see things through Jared's point of view, as his contribution to the story is important. But even without, I got a good sense of who he was and what he was about.
This story isn't as hot as some m/m stories and that's not a detractor. It's actually rather refreshing. The story focuses more on the emotions and the whys of a relationship, other than just the physicality.
If you want a story that's got tons of heart and is a slice of life, then you need to read Putting Out Fires. I give it four cherries.