Read by Neil S. Plakcy Online


Living in the awesome gay candy store called South Beach, Brian Cohen laments his inability to score a great job or a sexy boyfriend--until he lands at the website, where his hunky boss may want more from him than just his management skills....

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ISBN : 9781608200375
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 236 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago! Reviews

  • Mackenzie
    2019-05-01 23:15

    I read this story for the first time ages ago and always came back to it whenever I'm feeling down (basically, Neil Plakcy is one of three of my go-to authors for when I need something familiar and easy to entertain me). Yesterday I was down with the cold for the nth time this year and, well, I wanted to be entertained while I was making friends with the tissue box and bottle of cough syrup and this book was calling out to me. So, I decided to finally rate it and write a review for it.More than anything the reason why I love this book is the flawless way it was written. Everything from the choice of words and the brilliant characterizations (something Plakcy's always good at) to the pacing made for a gripping read that is, probably, even more engaging than the Mahu series (I'll explain why later). The pace, especially, meshed well with the plot so that the nine months it took to tell Brian Cohen's story flew by without giving the narration any stilted or awkward pauses. There was no moment of boredom in the story because the flow was incredibly natural.Even if the book is not so heavy on the romance (in truth, it's just the main character, Brian Cohen, desperately pining for his love interest, who happens to be his boss, 80% of the time after falling for him in love at first sight), it'd be hard to deny that there's plenty of exciting sexually charged scenes to fill up the book's erotica quota. Because just because Brian was pining for Nick The Boss, it doesn't mean he can't have highly sexy times with other men. In fact, although I usually dislike a book where a character comes across as a slut (which Plakcy's Kimo Kanapa'aka can be sometimes--and yet I still love Kimo dearly), I rather welcome the idea that Brian wasn't celibate during the whole time he was hopelessly in love with Nick. To me that shows empowerment. Brian wasn't some damsel-in-distress waiting for his knight in shining armor in her ivory tower; Brian is a modern gay man with a lot of options around him and he went for those options instead of making a fool out of himself in front of his boss.But of course the book is not about the sex or relationships (which is why most m/m romance fans would probably find this book tedious or disappointing), it's about character development. This book, to me, is more reminiscent to the Mahu series compared to Plakcy's other books because even though the length is much shorter, the formula is the same. It's a story about a guy who is of a certain age and going through a change in his life. It's also about how he copes with that change and the ups and downs of his life since the change. In Mahu, Kimo was outed as a gay cop and he had to deal with the repercussions. Here in, Brian is an out gay man who gets a new job and needs to maneuver himself in this new professional life. Different characters, different settings, but with the same premise, same brilliant execution. What's not to like?It's also a matter of world-building. Neil Plakcy has always managed to paint a picturesque view of the worlds his characters live in because although they don't live in Middle-Earth or Hogwarts, the places they inhabit is very specific to them. Brian's Miami seems to be an intimate view of what the city is to the author, either by way of thorough research or personal knowledge, and, as an extension, to the character himself. For someone who's never been to that place like me? Well, now I wish I could go there and see it for myself because Mr. Plakcy has certainly managed to sell this city for me through his story. Plakcy does for the cities he writes in his books what Frances Mayes does for Tuscany in Under The Tuscan Sun or John Berendt for Venice in The City of Falling Angels. The difference is, Plakcy does it through fiction (rather than memoir) and in a genre (m/m romance) that's not exactly widespread. It's really good to have writers like him around in this genre because there's a possibility for more mainstream recognition (or acceptance, maybe). So I realize I'm comparing this book a lot with Mahu but to be honest, if anyone is not familiar with that particular series, getting to know Mr. Plakcy's writing would be easier done through this book. The world that Brian lives in is more accessible to many, for one, as he's living in an environment that most of us readers can probably relate to. How many of us work in an office like Brian? How many of us have crazy co-workers like Brian does? How many of us have had a crush on a boss or a senior/mentor figure in our lives? I'm willing to bet that there are many of us who experienced these things. Compared to the experiences Kimo had, with murders, corpses and organized crime felonies, I would say it would be easier to relate to Brian than Kimo. And so if anyone wants to test the waters that is Neil Plakcy's writing, I would suggest to start with this book.One minor complaint that I have for this book is its title and cover. Actually more the cover than the title. With all due respect to everyone involved in the creation of that cover, I'm quite sad that this is the cover the book adopted; I couldn't possibly order this book and display it in my bookstore because the cover wouldn't pass censorship. It's too bad because I'd really love to have the book as a stock title in my bookstore... so I guess people in my country would just have to be content with buying it online and reading it through their e-readers.In short (just in case my long-winded review didn't make sense, which I'm sure it won't), it's a great book about a funny, lovable guy named Brian Cohen who's trying very hard not to fall in love with his boss but fails miserable. But he's quite happy, competent and very successful in his life at the end, so his helpless romantic situation shouldn't bother anyone too much. Read it and have fun.

  • Neil Plakcy
    2019-05-10 22:41

    This book holds a special place in my heart because it was the first gay romance I wrote. I had been picking up similar books from mainstream bookstores, and those were my first exposure to the genre. I adapted the romance trope of a subordinate in love with the boss for this, and also used it to explore the explosion of gay-centric websites, which were fairly new at the time. It was great fun to come up with Brian Cohen, who shared a lot of characteristics with me at the time, and his handsome, sexy boss Nick Petrangelis. (Notice the shared initials... NP).I hope that I represented South Beach at the time-- a wonderful little gay village where everybody could be free to be who they are. Since then, the Beach has changed, with an influx of chain stores and big name hotels and restaurants. But I hope the old Beach lives on in this book!

  • Elisa Rolle
    2019-05-11 03:32 is the name of the website where Brian, unemployed thirty something gay guy in Miami ends to work for, but it's also the summa of what the story is the "gay life" of a man who is at that moment in life when he has to take a decision, living forever like a globetrotter, without basis or purpose, or doing something with his life. The time is the late '90, I believe for two reasons: first, the Internet was still enough young that the adventure to launch a gay website could be still something new and original and second, maybe the out and proud movement was not so strong, and some of the events that take place in Brian's life were still possible and common. Brian is not a bad guy; he is average handsome, average clever, average funny... he is average, but a nice type of average. He is still self-conscious enough to not be too much bothered by that, he comes from a supporting family that gave him that security that allowed him to follow his mood: from small town near New York City, to living in New York City itself trying to find his way in the Broadway industry labyrinth, nor good actor enough, nor good director enough, nor good stage manager enough... and truth be told, not interested enough. From New York City he moved to Miami, always living on temporary jobs and mourning the lack of a steady boyfriend, but then bedding the first man he meets on a club without too much second thoughts. Brian tells to himself that he wants a good man, but the first thing he notices on a man is his look; true, he is nice enough to move over it if the man is interesting, but still I believe that he is not so convinced of what he is saying to himself, I don't think that Brian is really ready to set with a man, since, truth be told, he is not yet set with his life. Then he meets Nick, his new boss at the gay website Nick is launching. Nick is nice and full of idea, but he is quite disorganized; he needs someone who is able to do pretty much everything, someone who is able to adapt, and Brian, with his unspecialized skills is exactly the man: every little trouble Brian has a solution for, calling favors with friends, and bartering others. And at first Brian is doing all of this since he is fallen in love with Nick and he would do everything for him. But Nick has a boyfriend, Paavo, who is model material, for real, and Nick and Paavo seem the perfect gossip gay couple. Brian has no change to be noticed by Nick, and despite his previous experiences as not devoted worker, he is starting to be good at his job. Meanwhile, Brian is also trying to date, and he goes over all the stereotype of thirty something gay guys: the twink one, the closeted one, the married one, the perfect one but not for him, the lying one... the strange thing is that in all of them Brian finds something good, sex, conversation, common interests, but neither one of them is the ONE. When compared with Nick, the unreachable one, all of them lose the contest. More the book goes on and more I, the reader, is starting to wonder if, in the end, Brian will ever have a chance with Nick. Truth be told, more the time passed, and more I had the feeling that Nick was no more so important for Brian; yes, he is still the dream man, but at the beginning of the book, finding true love was the only purpose in life for Brian, and instead, more the story advanced, and more I had the feeling that it was not more his main path: Brian was finally growing. Gaylife is basically a romance, but the romance is not so obvious. More than a story of two, is a story all centered around Brian and his experiences with the love. The good thing of the man is that he is able to learn from all them and keep something for him without regret or remorse.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-06 23:44

    I’ve enjoyed reading the Mahu series by Neil Plakcy immensely, so was keen to read his latest book from MLR Press. While his other books focus more on the mystery and to a lesser degree Kimo’s coming out and love life, is firmly in the romance category.Brian is such an honest character, complete with flaws and the odd annoying personality trait. As for his hunky boss I read less about him than I perhaps would have liked, which is unusual I guess in a romance novel where the central plot revolves around the two love birds and their merry trip off into connubial bliss. +sex. What the book did remind me of was not dissimilar to a chick lit romance complete with a cast of interesting extras, much hieing around, a few disastrous attempts at love and a flatmate in a pear tree.While I did enjoy the novel, the sexy boss could have done with a little more development and there was a lot of detail about the comings and goings of Brian and the website. I am a bit of a geek, but there was almost too much internets even for me in there! It had a sweet and satisfying ending though and much smooching. Definitely an entertaining and sexy read with a difference. Check it out here at Neil Plakcy’s Website or via MLR Press Website and All Romance eBooks. AND that cover rawks!

  • Sylvia
    2019-05-20 03:25

    2.5 stars It started out very promising but after a while it just became very repetitive also i'm not a fan of the pining after someone else his manI found his crush on Nick very cute in the beginning but I didn't understand what he saw in him ( I liked Sal better)

  • Betryal
    2019-04-26 22:35

    Although I gave this book 4 stars it was based on the story being well written. Otherwise I seemed to trudge through it and it didn't grip my interest.

  • Janie
    2019-05-25 03:41

    I really liked this book and the storyline. The characters were good and each had so much personality. My complaints with the book was that it was too much of a slow burn for me and not enough sex with the main couple.

  • H Beeyit
    2019-04-30 20:24

    This really reads like m/m chicklit. I liked it (and I have a HELL of a time finding chicklit that works for me, so kudos to the author on that.) A satisfying read, perhaps especially for all that fantastic South Beach atmosphere.

  • FloJ
    2019-05-21 21:15

    I loved this. Only rated 2 flames and i think that is about right. It is a good story about life in general, gay or otherwise. It is full of optimism and evaluation of life, but interspersed with crises and so avoids being too soppy. I felt good a the end of it and somehow I think the MCs did too!

  • Stefanie139
    2019-05-21 20:22

    I really liked the style, and the story was above average of what I've read about m/m so far. There wasn't a lot of character growth, but accompagnying Brian was entertaining. I was disappointed in the end, though. It was a rushed resolution, and a bit unbelieveable for me.

  • Jenny
    2019-05-15 19:14

    I don't think it's a bad book, but, for me it was too slow build (and I'm ok with that) but then everything happens too suddenly and after that it just end. I didn't like that.