Apples and Regret and Wasted Time
Storm Moon Press, May 27, 2011
Links: Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower. Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've left so much anger and hurt and desire unresolved. They try to negotiate a truce for one night—over Chinese takeaway leftovers and apples, and between the sheets.
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Assassin, Cop, No HEA
Reviewed by SharonS. and Janna:
This was an interesting and bittersweet read. It is written in the first person POV of an assassin who has just finished a job and ends up sneaking into an open window of an old lover. We are never given the names of the two men. This adds an extra layer to the hopelessness of their situation. They obviously care for one another, but because of their professions they can’t be together. They have angry sex at first then settle into the tender habits of what they had. This is well written and moving.
Now I will give my two cents about short stories. I personally think short stories belong in anthologies. I just can’t justify paying $1.99 for an 8 ½ page story. If the author had bundled maybe 3 of their short stories for this price, I would say it was well worth it. Since this is just my opinion I didn’t factor this into my rating of the story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3
In the case of this specific story I don't agree with Sharon about the story not being worth its money. This one is written so well that I would happily have paid even more for it. I think I'll reread this story many times in the future, to enjoy the skillful way it's written and narrated. There's a world of information behind each sentence, nearly behind each word.
As Sharon said, the story is told in first person POV from an assassin's perspective, which I found rather interesting and particularly well done. I don't think we learn the assassin's name, nor that of his lover, a cop. With the first sentences we're dropped in the middle of the action and only in bits and pieces we get a better picture of what's going on.
The encounter between the former lovers is such a beautiful display of the ‘showing' (instead of 'telling’) technique. Through their actions and activities we get presented many gradations of emotions and feelings, and we get to know their personalities and to understand their irreconcilable differences. And meanwhile the author succeeds in convincing me of their profound love for each other, while it's completely evident that a HEA is not a possibility. And how much I would've liked to see them find their happiness, it wouldn't have been an appropriate ending for Apples and Regret and Wasted Time.
I hadn't heard of this author before, but this story has impressed me enough to keep my eye open for other titles by her. I definitely want to read more of her work.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3