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REVIEW: My Gigolo: The Care and Feeding of a Male Prostitute...

Dear Ms. Burkhart:

You wrote the Dear Author reviewers a very cute little note when you sent your book and I have a secret obsession with male prostitute stories, so I thought I’d try this one. I’m glad I did. It was a gentle, sweet story and you have a gift for writing great characters and funny dialogue.

My Gigolo by Molly BurkhartGabe (female) is in her late 20s but has a No Commitments policy. But she also doesn’t do casual sex. So she’s completely alone. She also moved 2 hours away from her only family, her sister, Mike (yes the names confused the heck out of me every time I sat down to read). Mike is worried about her baby sister, so she buys a male prostitute for Gabe for her birthday. “Blade” (Jack) Savage shows up on Gabe’s doorstep. Gabe politely refuses. When he won’t go away (his two hours are bought and paid for, after all), she sets him to making cookies with her. He eventually seduces her, surprises himself by asking to spend the night, and then leaves the next morning.

She basically forgets about the encounter. But he doesn’t. It makes him realize he doesn’t actually have much of a life. He cancels all his client appointments, starts school again for his master’s degree…and calls back Mike to get Gabe’s number. Mike gives it to him because she think he can probably get through to her, or at least open her up enough so she can have a “real” relationship with another person. Gabe accepts Jack’s return to her life because he represents no commitment. No one tells her that he quit, even though he tells everyone else. Because they’re all too afraid that she’ll turn rabbit and run if she finds out he’s committed to her.

So it’s kind of a reverse story: she’s all about no commitment (although she’s not a ‘ho about it like all the man-hos in historical romance), he’s very much into her and wants a commitment but is afraid of frightening her off. So that was refreshing. What was a little off is that we only found out WHY Gabe was so pathological about commitment right at the very very end of the story, when Jack did. Having a little hint as a reader before that would have been nice. In my opinion.

The characters were brilliantly drawn. There’s Gabe and Mike and Jack and various friends of each that were all distinct, interesting characters who were all invested in making the relationship work, which is endearing. Everyone just wants Jack and Gabe to be happy. The dialogue is natural and amusing:

"Gabe, this is the best sandwich in the history of the world."

Of course, with his mouth full, he doubted she understood a word. He didn't care. His stomach roared to life, and he dug in with a will.

She watched with a crooked grin, picking at her much smaller concoction and offering him chips and a tall glass of iced tea.

"Thank you for mowing. I don't mind doing it myself, but it's nice to not have it hanging over my head during trial time."

He nodded, his mouth too full to comment.

"And it was kinda fun to watch the Old Biddy Patrol drool."

Grinning, he nodded again and tried to swallow.

"Can you eat faster without choking?"

He raised an eyebrow.

"Because those wet jeans and all of that sweat is turning me on so bad I can barely think straight."

He coughed and put down his sandwich, reaching for his tea. Swallowing hard, he cleared his mouth enough to swig down half the glass and wash away the lump. Gasping from the near-choking and eyes watering from immediate brain freeze, he tried to grin.

"I can eat later."

Although as the characters banter with each other there’s a little too much of the “They laughed uproariously until tears ran from their eyes” type of thing that new writers think is “comedy.” But there’s little enough of it and the comedy is solid in other places that it’s easy to ignore.

The sex…is mostly closed-door, actually. Not all of it, but it’s not at all the point of the story, probably precisely because Jack is a prostitute. And the book is mostly female-centered. All the angst and heartache and change is on Gabe’s side, not on Jack’s. He does all his changing early on.

But it’s a fun, light read during which I laughed out and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Grade: B

Best regards,
-Joan/Sarah F.

Book Link | Kindle | nook |  Sony|   Samhain

Sarah F. is a literary critic, a college professor, and an avid reader of romance -- and is thrilled that these are no longer mutually exclusive. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction. Sarah is a contributor to the academic blog about romance, Teach Me Tonight, the winner of the 2008-2009 RWA Academic Research Grant, and the founder and President of the International Association of the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR). Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think. Sarah teaches at Fayetteville State University, NC.

13 Comments

  1. SusiSunshine
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:00:06

    Wonderful review. I love books that just make you laugh and smile. And this Gigolo storyline is highly intriguing. Sounds like a great read.

  2. lucy
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:00:27

    I also love books with male prostitutes but they are kinda rare (man-ho doesn’t count).

    When I bought the ebook, the website said that it had explicit sex. Maybe it was a joke? Anyways, I’m relieved there’s nothing explicit.

  3. lazaraspaste
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:13:48

    I, too, love a good male-prostitute story. I’ve been trying to get my hands on Laura Leon’s book, Fallen From Grace, for a while now.

    But this looks like a good and immediate alternative. :)

  4. LoriK
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 16:33:53

    Mike is worried about her baby sister, so she buys a male prostitute for Gabe for her birthday.

    Dang. My sister never sends me anything but sarcastic cards and the occasional cookie bouquet. Maybe I need to look into getting a new sibling.

  5. Carolyn
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:31:38

    @lazaraspaste:

    I bought my copy of Falling From Grace used at Amazon for under $5.00 plus shipping. Well worth it. :-)

    Regarding this book – I wonder if anyone had a problem with the way Jack made his living?

  6. Joan/SarahF
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 20:09:03

    @Carolyn: As it was mostly past tense, people didn’t seem to mind. Now, that may be an issue for some people who might mind even though it was past tense. It was well-used by the story — Gabe would not have been interested in him without considering him a prostitute, so it was necessary to the very existence of the romance, so I enjoyed that aspect of it.

    @lazaraspaste: I have a copy of Fallen From Grace. If you’re very nice to me, I’ll lend it to you at PCA (if you remind me). It’s well worth it. VERY good story. I think Leone could make a mint if she had an epub republish it for her now, especially with its reputation.

  7. Joan/SarahF
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 20:09:52

    @lucy: There’s sex, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not all sex all the time. There’s a little here and there, but really, it’s NOT an erotic romance at all.

  8. peggy h
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 22:25:16

    The joys and dangers of e-shopping! Liked the insightful review (Thanks, Joan/SarahF!), saw the Kindle edition was just $4.40, and now it’s in my iPhone.

    This is the fourth book I’ve downloaded in the last couple of hours, after reading reviews online! I need to learn to pace myself!

  9. Bella F.
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 23:23:26

    this sounds outside my usual read, but I found your review so interesting I’m gonna check it out :)

  10. Daz
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 00:34:57

    peggy h – LOL, I know what you mean. I can get a little carried away too. Now I put everything into my Amazon wish list and the wish list is getting out of control. Haven’t bought a new books in weeks.

  11. Janine
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 16:22:20

    You wrote the Dear Author reviewers a very cute little note when you sent your book

    I’m really glad you reviewed this one, Sarah, because I remember her note and how thoughtful and charming it was. There are ways to write a review request and ways not to. I wish every one we got was as good as that one.

  12. Molly Burkhart
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 16:09:05

    @Janine: Thank you (all of you) for that, and I want you to know that I meant every word.

    And thank you, Sarah, for reviewing. It means the world to me!

  13. Randi
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 15:51:17

    Damn! Another review that sounds delightful but is in e-format only. *cries*

    I’ve always wondered how male prostitutes handle their business. I mean, women can fake it, but men..not so much. So..what happens when they get hired by a client that doesn’t do it for them?

    Joan/SarahF: What’s the synopsis of Fallen From Grace?

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