Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Baxter Bryan, who goes by the name of Bryan in this story, is a nerd who created a drone butler named Alfred to get his new company started. As part of their marketing strategy, BaxCo is sponsoring the Rock and Roll half marathon in the Portland area and the over forty, out of shape tech guru has trained so he can participate. Embarrassed about his age and body shape, and a poster child for low self-esteem, he has to think twice when a cute older guy flirts with him and then runs with him for the completion of the race.
The other man is Cay Nissen, former band member of Always Forward, Never Straight, father of a precocious teen named Mac, bisexual, also in his forties, and strikingly taken with Bryan. The first part of the story moved along really well. Everything was set up nicely for this romance between older guys, something I love. Neither man shared their place of employment with the other, and though they talked about most things, work wasn’t one. Cay was embarrassed by his customer service job, and Bryan didn’t want to sound like he was bragging about being a CEO. And though they dated quite a few times, they usually ended up at Cay’s place because Bryan had a history of abuse with his ex and, before pushing himself to participate in the race, had spent years isolated and often simply staying in his apartment.
So what could happen to cause these two distress? <spoiler>Why their jobs, of course. And here’s where the story took a nosedive for me. Cay’s boss finds out who he’s seeing and fires him. Why? Well his company is Bryan’s competitor. But, not only does he fire him, he accuses him of what amounts to corporate espionage. Now, the author has already established that the guy does customer service in a cube farm and never completed high school. But instead of realizing how bogus the accusation is and acknowledging it, he goes to Bryan’s home and rants at him about his job, and how could he have used Cay to get information, etc. etc. etc. Really? This was so against the personality the author had built for Cay, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it myself. He was deliberately cruel to Bryan, even knowing Bryan’s fear of being bullied and physically hurt, and he totally ignored the fact that he knows nothing about the tech other than how to sell it, whereas Bryan uses his knowledge and abilities to create the drones. And this went on for a while.
And then Bryan decides to fight for his man because he loves him. And after Cay calmed down he realized he loves Bryan too. Really? So this was me through the whole second half: Really? WTF? Love? Ugh. No. </spoiler> Too bad because they seemed to be going somewhere and the initial setup was sweet.
I also need to note that there were several awkward scenes including one in which Cay held back on offering a kiss to his ex wife because he’d just given a blow job to Bryan and another in which Bryan, a blow job, thinks back about how he never showered the day before. What was the point to these two gross statements? They totally removed any residual enjoyment of the story and dropped my rating lower.
Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs.
Sales Links: Amazon Universal Link: mybook.to/AlwaysForward
Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by CeeTwo Publications
Original Title Always Forward! Never Straight
Edition Language English