Blurb: Tired of his life’s endless grind, family man Michael Maguire allows himself one night of deviation. Desperate for something different, he seeks a prostitute in notorious Brixton Park. But Michael, searching for a girl out of PRETTY WOMAN, instead finds blue-eyed, beautiful James Campbell. Tempted and stirred in ways he never imagined, Michael embarks on a sexual adventure with a rent boy from London’s infamous Bethnal Green. And what begins as a purely sexual exchange gradually transforms into something else, as James finds himself in desperate circumstances and Michael is moved to help. Drawn increasingly to James, Michael finds himself facing up to the iniquities in his daily life. And finally he must deal with a horror that threatens to explode Michael’s safe, conventional existence.
Review: Something Different was indeed something different for me. I rarely read M/M Erotica and haven’t read an M/M story that was novella/novel length before now but the blurb was interesting and I knew the author was eloquent so I was more than happy to take a look. I decided to have a quick read of the first 20% and make sure it was right for me before I added it to my ‘To Be Read’ pile, so I took a seat with a cuppa and my laptop.
And there I stayed, right up until the final paragraph.
There were several things that drew me in. As I say, I knew the author was eloquent and the writing in Something Different didn’t disappoint me on that score. It flowed well, keeping a rhythm that kept the story moving along at an exciting pace but still allowed a little time for reflection in between major scenes. Additionally, the novel is set in the UK. I have nothing against US writers or books in the slightest but as a British girl it’s great to fall into a book that is full of the areas I know and love and the terminology I’m so used to.
The story between Michael and James begins as one which revolves around sex but for a relatively short read, Reid manages to inject a great deal of drama into the novel and all told there are areas of it that go well below skin deep, touching on aspects such as abuse, violence and sexually transmitted diseases. Perhaps what makes the book work so well is the genuine affection that is allowed to develop between Michael and James: this in itself makes any sex scenes much more effective as the book develops.
All in all, this was both something different and something brilliant from a fine writer with a superb grasp of language and an excellent understanding of how to use humour, sadness, anger and romance to bring a book to life.