Previously published as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys anthology.
This short little gem has just the right balance of adorable, heat and angst to make for a perfect afternoon escape read. Martin accompanies his newly single sister to a Valentine resort getaway she had already bought and paid for before she got dumped, so Martin is along to keep her company and be a good drinking partner and listener. The two of them read as siblings from start to finish. Snark with a side of love so they were really good together and their banter gave me a good idea of Martin’s character in a short period of time.
Martin does not lead an exciting life. He’s a teacher in a quiet little town with a history of a couple of boyfriends, and not a single one-night stand. As he says, it was “Just another way in which I failed at being a gay stud”. After engaging in a little eye fucking with a delicious man in a Speedo by the pool, Martin resigns himself to a solo weekend with his sis and a continued lack of one night stand love. Circumstances being adorable, Martin manages to lock himself out of his room nekkid in the middle of the night. His sister is caught in a serious sleep buzz so she doesn’t hear him knocking. Sooooo, who comes walking down the hall? Delicious Speedo Man!
One thing leads to another and Martin finally gets his one night stand. Thing is, it was more than what he had hoped for, he honestly felt a connection to Rod (Delicious Speedo Man). Problem is, he gave Rod a bit of false info as to who he was and what he did for a living. The bit of misinformation was enough to keep Martin locked up in his lie, because for every moment he let it go on, it became too difficult to come clean. He also was pretty unclear as to how one night stands worked and listened to his sister instead of his own brain. Not that she was necessarily off the mark, she advised him to make himself more interesting, live vicariously through his new persona, because, why the hell not? That fits her personality, not his, so it’s no wonder the whole thing backfired on Martin like it did. Fast forward to real life and Martin is back at work and still has regret about not being able to pursue the connection with Rod. Instead he snuck out before morning and hasn’t seen Rod since.
This is a sweet RomCom of a story though, so the two do meet again under real life circumstances and it was a little awkward but Rod is a good guy and some honest communication moved the story along in an angst-free way. The author did a really good job of building both Martin and Rod for a shorter story. There was enough backstory and personality shown without just being told making it easy to get to know both of them. Plus, the chemistry they shared was damn hawt, the connection between them was obviously more than one night stand level heat so it really made me want an HEA for them. I was right there with Martin, I felt his regret as well as his nervousness and excitement when they met up again. And finally, I absolutely loved the role that Martin played in the bedroom with Rod. His sister told him to live it up outside of his ‘boring’ routine, I think Martin just needed to find the right partner to make that be a thing for him.
**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**
For more information on Locked Out, check it out over on Goodreads.