Review: Anything But Everything & Five More Gay Erotic Stories by J. Phillip Elwes

Anything But Everything & Five More Gay Erotic Stories is six short stories about men lusting for and loving other men.

Here you will read about college fraternity bothers, a mechanic, police detectives, a former boxing champ, a famous photographer and others in such varied locales as San Francisco, a Colorado ranch, a ski resort and a small town in Oklahoma.

Two of these stories were previously published on a gay website and in anthologies.

Erotica done right.

Yep, that is exactly what this is, erotica done right. I could stop right here, because that really does say it all, but I didn’t because then my fellow unicorns would know what a slacker I am. Besides I really want to talk about these stories. These aren’t stories of hearts and flowers but that doesn’t mean they aren’t romantic. They are masculinized romance and have the unapologetic edge that making them more deliciously filthy than your typical MM love story. What makes these better though, is that they also have fully fleshed out characters and an actual story to go with the sex.

The author really nails the friends to lovers theme and those stories were by far my favorites. These are short stories, so you can’t assume you are going to get much backstory so when the author says they are best friends he needs to put something out there to make me feel it too. And Elwes really does. He puts just the right anecdotal glimpses in there and I can really believe that these guys are that close. Knowing and feeling that makes the sexy times just that much sexier. Because, while the sex is HAWT, the sex with the connection is HAWT x infinity.

While the average I have for these is 4 hearts, I threw in an extra half a heart for the sheer enjoyability of it all!

Brother North Star – 4 Hearts

Frustrated friends to lovers story about Mitch and Nathan, frat brothers who have been best friends since they met. Mitch has been pining for Nathan since the initiation ceremony at the frat house and the attraction is most definitely mutual. Poor Mitch can’t understand why Nathan isn’t willing to fool around, when his dick is just as interested as Mitch’s. What you think is just cock tease torture turns out to be incredibly sweet and romantic and I went “awwwww” at THE moment. The UST is high in this one and the payoff is well worth it at the end. Add the fact that the two look very much alike in every way and the visual is VERY appealing.

So, UST, hot look-alike frat boys, friends to lovers, romance and an HEA – yes please Brother North Star, you win!

Glass Pond – 3 Hearts

Big city web designer Tom Rally comes back home to small town Oklahoma after he and his boyfriend of 20 years split up. Riding his horse one day he comes across Kevin Adler, 20 years or so his junior skinny dipping. The lust pours both ways and Tom is aroused and curious while Kevin is aroused and a little cautious. It turns out Kevin has seen Tom working out in his backyard naked on numerous occasions and the two come to a jokingly awkward agreement that Kevin owes Tom moments of Kevin being naked in front of Tom to “even things up”. Actually, the awkward was what I really liked about this story. It really leant an added air of tension to their meetings that was sexy as hell. It was just a little too short though to get fully invested and that was too bad because I liked what little I knew about both of them. It felt more like a taste of what could be. They did end with saying they would see each other more, so I would say it ended with a cautious HFN. But, both walked away happy which given the time and circumstances that are here read realistically.

Stakeout – 4.5 Hearts

Partners on a stakeout, Mac and Andrews are best friends and with the story being told from Andrew's point of view, we know he’s been lusting after Mac for a long time. Mac throws enough little clues out there that it’s pretty safe to assume he feels the same. But, they are subtle enough, and Mac is a bit of a joker, so they could be laughed off easily instead of acted on. Thankfully Mac takes the reins as he is one horny bastard and asks Andrews how many times he jacks off a day and that hot conversation opens the door.

When thinking about their time in the car and the jack off conversation, Andrews has to take his boner to the bathroom to deal with it and asks his reflection, “How do you tell your partner you’re jerking off night and day thinking about them?” And doesn’t that simple question lead to some good times? The bathroom interlude was hot as all hell, especially the condom part and if cops and friends to lovers is your thing, this story was written especially for you. Note – a little smoochin’ would have bumped this story up another notch for me.

Hat Trick – 5 Hearts

Well, if this wasn’t every gay young man’s fantasy growing up, it is definitely in the top 5. Remember what I said in Stakeout about how well the author writes friends to lovers and connections? That continues on in spades for this one.

Country boys Pete, Charlie, George and our narrator (whose name I couldn’t find, it’s told from his POV and I didn’t even really notice until the end and I started writing this). A quick look-see back through and I didn’t catch it, but to be fair, I got distracted by the hat again :D. Anyhow, these guys are heading to an abandoned cabin by a lake for some get away time and skinny dipping. Our narrator and Pete have been best friends forever and the anecdote that describes how their relationship has already moved beyond friendship is 5-heart worthy alone. Seriously, then tension, the admissions, the affection and the lust were good, damn good. Damn, damn good. When the guys are driven into the cabin by a thunderstorm, naked and sporting the inevitable young man boners, you can pretty much guess where this is heading and you will NOT be disappointed.

What follows is funny, sexy, slightly awkward (in a good way) and really pretty sweet. Is it pretty convenient that all these guys are into it? Probably. Do I care? NO!

The First of the Month – 4 Hearts

This one started out a little funky. And by funky, I mean, post workout, sweaty jock funky. So, I had a brief “ewwwww” moment, but quickly got past it as the story progressed. These guys are athletes and a sweaty jock or two is part of their every day, plus Jason really dug on it, so embrace your kink and roll with it. I really liked how this one was told, from present day, to a shared memory, to a flashback and then back to present day. It sounds like it may be a little confusing for a short story, but the author is really good at telling a non-linear tale without losing the reader along the way. The office scene was quick, but damn steamy and I was a big fan. I also appreciated the sweet factor in this one a lot. When a deliciously filthy and sexy story can give you a “D’awwwww” moment as well, you’ve got a winner.

Anything But Everything – 3.5 Hearts

This one was . . . the most unique of the offerings here. The way Ted and Jack meet and connect is definitely different and while their “meet-cute” may not be everybody’s idea of a romantic interlude it sure did work for these two cats. It’s a good thing they found each other, Ted is an erotic photographer and Jack is perpetually horny, so they are perfect together. The meeting on the bridge was actually quite sweet even though I couldn’t help but feel bad for Liam. He needs his own short story of love and lust too! While the meeting on the bridge was sweet, the sex in Jack’s room was HOT and I highly approve of this couple staying together.

*a copy of this book was provided for an honest review*


  1. It's official, I'm giving up reading your reviews! (don't want to go down the bankrupt route)

    1. NO Lorraine - Don't GO!!!!

      I promise it's worth every hard earned $, I wouldn't steer you wrong my friend!

  2. Unicorns! Ann! Unicorns! I laughed. I cried. Seriously, thank you very much for the thoughtful, entertaining review. I appreciate it very much. And rest assured: in my next collection, Red Beard aka Liam in ANYTHING BUT EVERYTHING finds his man one snowy November evening while in Paris with Jack and Ted for a photo retrospective. XOXOXO

    1. YAY! I'm glad you liked my words about your words.

      Just saying though, your words are WAY more entertaining and stimulating.

      And, more Red Beard/Liam??? I am sold. I can't wait to read his story.

      I really had a great time reading this and may have done a LOT of highlighting. Thank you again for sharing it with us and I'm looking forward to reading the next one very much.

      XOXOXOX - back at ya!

  3. Now another anthology to add to my massive pile. Thanks Ann. :P

  4. Add it SRAL, add it HARD!