Title: It’s Simple, Simon
Author: Lee Brazil
Publisher: Breathless Press
Pages: 67 pages
Characters: Simon and Chase
POV: Third Person
SubGenre: GLBT: contemporary erotic romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Simon Carter has achieved unimaginable success and he owes it all to a man from his past whose scorn set fire to his ambition.
“It’s Simple, Simon. You lack ambition.”
Chase Garvin’s jibe had sent Simon Carter on unexpected paths and brought him unimaginable success. No longer a penniless musician, the highly paid investment banker is going home for the first time in years. He plans to rest, relax, and spend a little time rubbing his ex-lover’s nose in his success. A visit to the Renaissance Fair brings this not-quite-so-simple- Simon nose to nose with his past and somehow revenge doesn’t seem quite so attractive.
Chase Garvin, Denver, Colorado’s very own Pie Man, is still incredibly handsome. What’s more, the more mature Chase is very appreciative of Simon’s talents.
When the old attraction flares between them, Simon and the Pie Man get caught up in tasting the wares, and neither counts the pennies.
It’s Simple, Simon by Lee Brazil is premised on a clever idea of using the nursery rhyme, in this case Simple Simon, as motivation for a story. This is part of a Naughty Nursery Rhymes collection through Breathless Press and the first m/m in the collection.
The first two chapters introduce the reader to Simon and then Chase. Simon comes off as a bitter man who wants to exact revenge on Chasse, the man who pushed him away many years ago. He’s the kind of guy you think, what a brat. But then you meet Chase.
Chase is well-established in Denver owning several pastry shops. When he sees Simon, he makes a number of assumptions about his ex, assumptions which kind of justify Simon’s hurt feelings from all those years ago.
As soon as the two spend their first day together, old flames are fanned and each wonders whether they made a huge mistake. Simon wondering if seeking revenge was truly what he wanted and Chase wondering if his reasons for breaking things off with Simon had actually been valid.
The two men enjoy a physical reunion filled with passionate sex. But this reunion wasn’t just about sex for either of them. Each quickly realized they had made mistakes in the past which broke them apart and were continuing to make mistakes in the present which threatened to keep them apart.
When secrets are revealed, tension hits, but even when the initial round of tension is resolved, a new, even more stressful turn of events takes place and it kept me on the edge of my seat until the end.
I was drawn into this story from the first page. Mr. Brazil’s has a talent at establishing full, rich characters with depth and flavor. As I experienced their journey in alternating POVs (Simon’s then Chase’s) I was able to enjoy the angst and uncertainty they spiraled closer and closer together. As each page turned, my desire to see these two work out increased until I was tearing through the last portion of the story.
As with any short story, this one being about 65 pages, I had to suspend belief here. But overall, the journey was exquisite. It was a lovely balance of yearning and confidence, independence and compromise, love and hate. Through their experiences, we come to appreciate how love doesn’t always come easy, but if it’s right, the challenges are worth it in the end. Mr. Brazil also deftly portrays the message that compromise doesn’t mean changing who you are for someone else, but making choices so you can be who you are and allow someone else to be who they are, even if the obstacles seem impossible to overcome.
In keeping with the level of heat and emotionality of the Truth of Dare series (a must read if you haven’t yet), Mr. Brazil has knocked another one out of the park.
Reviewed By: Doug