Declan Reid is thirty-seven, well established in his job and next in line for a promotion. Then he’s transferred to Singapore after unwittingly sleep with a client, leaving him hurt and humiliated. Determined to prove to head office they made a mistake, he vows to keep his head down and work hard.
He hadn’t counted on Alvin, however: content with his job mopping floors, happy to remain in Singapore, and significantly younger than Declan. He’s the very last person Declan should be noticing, especially if he wants to get back on track with his ambitions, but the more he’s around Alvin the less appealing those ambitions begin to seem.
Book – Fitting In
Author – Sandra Bard
Star rating – ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 81
Cover – Cute
POV – 3rd person, single POV
Would I read it again – Yes
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, Gay
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
I really enjoyed this short. It was cute, fun and got right to the point.
Although the relationship develops quickly, it’s not an insta-love relationship. It’s more about a few meetings stirring up some emotions that the two MC’s decide to act on.
I really liked the detail – sights, smells and the history – of Singapore that was included. It’s not something that I know much about, but I didn’t feel like I was being spoon fed information, only given what I needed to know, when I needed it.
As a story, it has a nice progression, even for something so short. The characters are comfortable and likeable; I feel like I know them well and really got to understand their feelings for one another, even when they were a little unsure of that themselves. I loved the way they learned about each other and I especially liked that this is just the beginning. It’s not magically love, just because they like each other, because it doesn’t have to be. They’re trying it out and seeing how it goes – no expectations.
On the downside, it’s littered with extra words that make the reading a little awkward. There are a few contradictory things – like implying that it’s not a crime for them to be together, while saying in the same sentence that it’s illegal. I also found the description of Alvin to be a little stereotypical and just a touch insulting. It kind of came across like this was how all Asians should look. But, on the plus side, it was one small paragraph of description that did it and every other mention of Alvin was fine. Nothing stereotypical about him, after that.
I did fine Declan to be kind of ignorant though, worrying about what he’d tell his work mates about Alvin’s job and basically classifying him as the help, even if he was attracted to him. That, combined with the downsides I mentioned above, are what removed that final star, for me.
Overall, it was a great short story, with a sweet romance and just a touch of heat.