‘If Love Were’ All by Victor J. Banis
Alone in the world Charlie is offered shelter from the rain
by Tom. Charlie soon discovers that Tom’s helping hand
wasn’t charitable, in exchange for food and shelter Charlie
keeps Tom’s trailer clean and his bed warm. Charlie’s
material needs are taken care but Tom neglects Charlie’s
emotional and sexual physical needs.
‘If Love Were All’ is beautifully written but it has a very
sad tone to it. Tom’s treatment of Charlie is cold and
distant and sadly Charlie accepts it. I read this story
hoping a light bulb would go off in Tom and he realizes what
he has in Charlie. I really liked ‘If Love Were All’ but it
did leave me wishing for a different outcome.
‘One Brick At A Time’ by J.P. Bowie
Dumped by his boyfriend six months earlier, things start to
look up for web designer Tony Visconti when he gets caught
stealing bricks from the empty lot next to his building.
Bricklayer Steve Taylor was not very upset with his would be
thief, in fact he was quite taken with Tony enough to ask
him to watch over his property for him. When Tony helps
Steve save his property from an even bigger theft, things
begin to heat up between the two men.
Great story! I liked ‘One Brick At A Time’ the best out of
the stories in this anthology. Tony is a pretty cool
character especially with how he handles his ex-boyfriend
and his new boy toy that he dumped Tony for. Steve and Tony
are perfectly matched and I felt they had a good
understanding of each other. Tony’s ex boyfriend Jeremy’s
boy toy Brad had some serious issues and Tony’s handling of
him was very well done. ‘One Brick At A Time’ was a very
‘The Thomas Coleman Full Nelson’ by Jardonn Smith
Friends all their lives Melvin and Thomas are blue-collar
working class adults. Nine years ago Melvin took a risk in
letting Thomas know how he felt about him but the outcome
was not as he had hoped. After that night their lives each
took a different path, Thomas marries and Melvin explores
the gay life. Both of their lives aren’t what they expected
and as years pass they finally make their way back to each
other and come together physically.
‘The Thomas Coleman Full Nelson’ is a harsh but compelling
story. It tells a story of love that’s most definitely is
not wine and roses but it’s still love. Melvin and Thomas
live with regrets, well mostly Thomas, he regrets not
experiencing what Melvin so willing offered him nine years
ago. Luckily for them their missed opportunity found it’s
way back to them again. ‘The Thomas Coleman Full Nelson’ is
brutal at times and may not be for everyone, but it fits
perfectly within this anthology. I was happy with how the
story concluded, it fit well with the plot of the story, and
a sweet fairy tale ending would not have worked.
‘Tow-Blow’ by William Maltese
William Maltese is a hustler. After a session with clients
he ends up stranded in Texas and meets a tow truck driver
who does a lot more than just tow his car. After a hot
lovemaking session that was all pleasure, William can’t seem
to get Denny off his mind, no matter how hard he tried and
the many, many men he tried to forget him with. Can a
hustler who is very good at his job find love with a
blue-collar tow truck driver?
‘Tow-Blow’ was truly entertaining. William Maltese, the
hustler is a man of words, talent and skill and Denny was no
slouch either. William Maltese the author definitely had fun
with this story, and that made it a fun read for me.
‘Tow-Blow’ was a great wrap up to very interesting and
Hard Working Men is an anthology that may not
be for someone looking for pure romance, but it’s a great
read for someone looking for people who find a connection
with each other. In some cases it’s a connection that lasts
and in others it’s a connection that leads to a lesson
learned. Every story in this anthology is well written and
engrossing, I enjoyed reading all of them.