Dana reviews Charlie, Rentboy (Working Boys, Book 1) by JP Barnaby (Published by Wilde City Press, September 9th 2013, 65 pages)
Why I read this: I read this for several reasons. I had Charlie, Rentboy on my wishlist for awhile, and jumped at the chance to review when I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. I was drawn to the book by it’s blurb, and that it took place in Chicago.
Synopsis: Got two hundred and fifty dollars for an hour of fun? Then say hello to Charlie, a hot little rentboy working his way through an engineering degree on his back. He’s got shaggy blond hair that’s great to hang on to while you fuck him from behind, and sweet innocent blue eyes that look very enticing when he gazes up at you with your cock in his mouth. That is, until he’s hired by innocent rich boy John Middleton, head of Middleton Communication. John is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But when John and Charlie get together for an explosive weekend of sex, everything goes to hell.
My thoughts: I was immediately drawn into the story by Charlie’s wit and sarcasm, while introducing himself to the story, explaining his career choice, and the people around him. He’s a rentboy paying for college on his back so to speak and he loves it until he meets John (which he thinks is a fake name like his own.) John is in the closet so he has considerable less experience than Charlie and is shy about sex. He wants the “boyfriend” treatment from Charlie and my guess is because he doesn’t think it will happen in the future.
I’m a sucker for the hooker with a heart of gold stories ever since I watched Pretty Woman years ago. Charlie falls under that category with the tenderness he shows John, and his gentleness. He starts to fall for his own boyfriend routine, feeling domesticated by brushing his teeth with the other man and taking selfies at the ball game.
Though Charlie is out as a gay man, no one knows what he does to pay the bills and when the two are caught on film by the media everything goes south. I felt for the two main characters as they are forced into a fake relationship after the photo makes the newspapers, though I had hoped it would have come of it’s own accord. They both display vulnerabilities that make them likeable and you want them to find their happily ever after.
The story is on the short side, but there is a sweet romance brewing if they can get past the scandal and learn to reach out to each other. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a short but sweet read with not a lot of angst.
8/10 pots of gold