Just a short post for today…
So I recently discovered the mad genius of the man who had earned the title of “The Stephen King of Gay Horror” (which is the best catch-phrase EVER, if you ask me).
I stumbled upon Rick R. Reed’s website eons ago, and while I was intrigued by some of his book titles, I abstained because…I don’t like to read Stephen King (He’s a genius writer; I just don’t like horror much. Don’t throw tomatoes at me!). So the comparison, while brilliant from a marketing perspective, made me squeamish as a reader. Anyhoo, I was finally encouraged to take the plunge, and I’m so glad I did.
Reed’s latest, TRICKS, is not horror. It’s a love story. But like all horror writers, Reed writes with the goal of freaking the reader out and TRICKS is no exception. And it’s awesome!
It’s a gripping story of two young men who appear, at first blush, to have absolutely no common ground on which to build a workable relationship. But when Arliss, a poorly-educated male stripper from the wrong side of the tracks, meets Sean who is an older yuppie type and just happened to wander into Tricks one night when he was nursing a broken heart — an unlikely attraction happens.
And here’s the best part: about a third of the way into the book, things age going well for the couple. A little TOO well. Which tells me I’m either reading a shitty author that doesn’t know how to use conflict, or a wicked-nasty shoe is about to drop. I wasn’t reading a shitty author.
So things go south when Arliss gets approached by a porn producer, and *gasp* Sean has a problem with it. Not only that, turns out the porn producers have shady intentions. So will Arliss and Sean be able to work our their difference of opinion? What will Arliss do when he figures out what he’s gotten himself into? Can Sean help Arliss? Will he even want to?
I gotta say, this book has scored squarely in my top five favorite stories of all time thanks to the “holy shit” factor of the ending. It socked me in the gut and kept me reading, because even when I was pretty sure I had figured out the punch-line I was naive enough to think “Nah, that wouldn’t be it.” And despite the fact that it was a ROMANCE so I knew a happy ending was supposed to be coming, I honestly had my doubts about whether or not those two crazy kids were gonna be able to get their shit together. I couldn’t begin to see how. I mean, we’re talking a stripper and a white-collar nerd, not two burly police detectives who know their way around a sparring mat and a Glock.
So how does it all shake out? I encourage you to find out. The book is available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback, and if you ACT NOW, Reed is giving away a free signed copy on his blog. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning, so strike while the iron is hot!