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Black Leather Rose, by Jules Jones

This short m/m e-story published by Loose Id is my first exposure to Ms Jones’ writing and I have to say that I’m delighted. My only complaint is that instead of a full length book it’s a novella. Despite the length—or lack of it—the characterization and set up are truly excellent.

Usual disclaimer: this story has very little sex, and it’s not truly graphic, but it is still what we call “adult content.”

Here’s the blurb:

John just wants a little privacy. He finds it in a shared house with flatmates who are friendly without being intrusive; people who don’t pry into his personal things or his personal life. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the landlord is an attractive man who doesn’t assume that attraction means an automatic invitation.

He’s a dom with a bad history of relationships going sour because of his needs, so he’s in no hurry to expose his private desires. He’d rather just enjoy the view. Lucky for him, his landlord Charles has a liking for mysterious parcels, and he’s got the patience to wait to find the rose behind the thorns.

The bulk of the story is told from John’s point of view, with just a couple short passages told from Charles’ side. While a couple of other characters play secondary roles that move the story forward, this is definitely about the relationship.

There are no car chases, no murder mysteries, no external gimmicks to make this story anything but what it is: the lovely and hopeful beginning to a romantic relationship between two people who have just started to know each other.

I like the characterization, because it’s clean and done through showing rather than telling. The feelings and reactions of the characters are adult and very well conveyed through the written word. Black Leather Rose is definitely an adult story and not a child’s fairytale, even though there is very little actual sex in it.

My only complaint is that I really would like to see what happens next with these two…

8 out of 10

Black Leather Rose is only available as an ebook from Loose Id.