Guest Review: The Perils of Intimacy by Rick R. Reed

Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, but he’s wrong. Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings and facial hair. He was painfully skinny—and a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a lying, conniving thief.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone wrong with this fresh-faced twenty-something… but Jimmy knows. Can Mark see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

Reviewer: Annery

Jimmy Kilpatrick is 23, waiting tables at a cheap diner, and two years into recovery. Our Jimmy is a meth addict, is being the operative word. Everyday is a new day to choose not to use though the lure is always just around the corner. On a Monday morning, his past and a possible future come knocking in the form of 39 y.o. Marc Kelly. If you’re expecting some kind of Daddy story think again. This is so much better. It’s real.

This is my first dance with Rick Reed and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last. If you’re in the mood for a low key, sort-of second chance this little gem hits just the right notes.

Jimmy and Marc’s story, in the space of the book, takes place over the course of a week but they have history, a bit sordid, which Marc at first is slow to pick up on and which Jimmy would love to erase. It turns out that during his time as a tweaker, Jimmy would hook up via dating apps and steal from his tricks. Marc was one of them. (None of this is a spoiler. It’s all in the blurb.) It’s now two years later and the sores-riddled, dirty, scrawny, dread-locked Jimmy has emerged (thanks to recovery) from his chrysalis into an attractive, healthy, and outgoing young man and Marc is smitten. Meanwhile Jimmy is on tenterhooks wondering when/if Marc will remember or when/if he should tell him because Marc, or more accurately the memory or promise of Marc has been living, quiescently, in his soul since that ill-fated date.

This is absolutely a love story, but more importantly and more definitely a story about recovery, the hard earned self-love required to survive in a world that’s not always kind, particularly for those who color outside the box, and the people who make this journey possible, even when they’re not physically present. Jimmy’s day-to-day struggles with his sobriety and the harsh reality of the scorched earth devastation that is meth addiction in the gay community isn’t glossed over with rainbows & unicorns, but the author also imbues this story with hope and even a touch of mysticism, which didn’t read as treacle. Sweet. It’s also nice that Jimmy isn’t the only one with issues. Marc is an almost 40 year old gay man who’s dealing with aging in the gay community, questioning if his life of hook-ups (sometimes dangerous ones) have led him to a future of being old, alone, and lonely. They’re both looking for what we all want: someone we matter to, connection, and acceptance.

The more I think about it the more I love this story. I love that it’s about ordinary people dealing with real issues. No blindingly beautiful super humans, Masters of the Universe billionaires, or superheroes, just two guys trying to find a safe place to land. Also their larger issues aren’t solved by the glory of love or magic D. How refreshing. Whenever you’re in the mood for a quiet but moving romance about recognizable humans this will leave you satisfied.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review. So glad my story meant something to you!