Last Request by Arlene Webb
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (33 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster
Joan not only knows how to keep them, she hoards information. After all, blurting truths could prolong her life and that’s not something she’s willing to allow.
As a renowned journalist, exposing lies is Wesley’s job, but being honest extends to revealing his own agenda as well. He admits on the application he’s been asked to write a story kicking up any dirt he can on Madam Evangeline’s dating service.
Joan has a reputation to uphold. Labeled a promiscuous monster, authorities shouldn’t be surprised her offer to finally tell them where the skeletons are comes at a price. One date, one night, one final fling.
Wesley doesn’t need one date, one night, a simple fling. Women eyeball him all the time. He knows some hookup service can’t find him his heart’s desire, a sweetheart to cherish for a long and committed lifespan, but he won’t make it a slam-dunk for them by saying otherwise.
If secrets stay buried and desire is feared instead of embraced, electricity will flow and not in a good way.
What would you ask for if you were being put to death tomorrow and had one last request? Joan Bennett decided to forgo the customary last meal and asked, instead, for an unprecedented conjugal visit.
I can say, without a doubt, this is the most unusual and unexpected story I've ever read. Set twenty years in the future, Joan is a convicted killer on the fast track to the electric chair. She emails the head of a dating service, asking for a hook up of one night before she's put to death. Unknown to her, Wesley Jenkins had been assigned to investigate that same dating service and had placed a similar request. Fireworks explode when the investigative reporter discovers his date is the convicted murderer he'd covered two years prior.
Ms. Webb has a very unusual and sophisticated writing style. I had to read a little slower than I usually do to catch all the details and piece together the story, but once I got used to it, I enjoyed the surprises and turns she took. This particular tale was perfect in the short story format, any longer and it would have lost some of its pizzazz.
I will say the happily ever after was a bit of a stretch, and may have been a little easier to accept in a longer story with more development, but in a fairy tale mindset, it was a satisfying end. If you're looking for a short, unusual love story, Last Request is a fun one to pick up.