Author: Scott Alexander Hess
Genre: Contemporary, Inter-racial
Length: Novel (199pgs)
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (25th December 2011)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4Hearts
Blurb: When Neal Tate, a just-out-of-rehab NYC party columnist, falls for Dewalt, a Harlem drug dealer he meets at a gay bathhouse, he discovers that navigating an honest relationship is a lot more difficult than chasing down the perfect pair of skinny jeans.
Neal finds support from his fashion-loving friends: Rovvy, a blond boy-toy married to Andres Palamos, the shady millionaire owner of Pop magazine where Neal works; Nick, “It-boy” style writer for the New York Times whose fab job and rich hubby are smothering his desires to design; and Annie, straight-girl art director at Pop who gives Neal’s life a smidge of balance.
The success of Neal’s “Bergdorf Boy” column and his growing love for Dewalt lead him to question his capacity for intimacy and his obsessive commitment to both the latest trend and anonymous sex, and to wonder if a monogamous gay marriage could be in the cards.
These Bergdorf boys hop from Madison Avenue shopping sprees to Fire Island photo shoots, dipping their manicured toes into the dizzy underside of the gay nightlife scene hunting for lust, love, and designer must-haves.
Review: This is a nice little story about Neal and his life and lifestyle; his friends and family and his new lover and how they both deal with each other’s lives. They come from very different backgrounds.
Neal was a party boy before it all got to be too much and he went into rehab. He is now trying to stay off the booze and drugs but one addiction he won’t give up is the sex. Dewalt meets Neal at a bath-house. They hit it off and begin a relationship; both men keeping secrets from the other. In this story we see the progression of their relationship, as well as Neal’s friends as they try to progress through the field of landmines that is life.
This is quite a well written story that is from Neal’s POV and seems to delve into the seedier side of life; bath-houses, sauna/steam rooms, orgies etc. of gay casual encounters, fidelity and the difficulties of gay marriage and Neal’s fear of just being himself and being truthful about his past.
Dewalt hasn’t quite let his past go as he has led Neal to believe, which is a problem for Neal as he still fights the temptation of drink and drugs. When both of these men meets the others friends, it shows Neal just how different they really are and Neal really does come across as a snob sometimes. Neal’s friends marriages are also not what they seem at first glance and it makes him think about the perils of marriage and the farce that some of them are.
I think that with this book it will be hit and miss with readers because although it is a romance it is not the traditional romance that we have become used to in the M/M genre. It is more down to earth, slightly more realistic about doubts and fears and the fact that not all relationships are like fairy-tales. I have to strongly recommend that you give this one a go, because to be honest with you it was really quite good.