Reed, Rick R. “Chaser”, Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
What Really Matters
I was reminded today by an email that Rick Reed and I go back a long way. He was one of the first writers I reviewed when I started seriously reviewing LGBT books and movies some six years ago and if you follow my reviews, you know that I have reviewed many of his titles. It has been a while though so when he asked me to review his new book I was glad that he sent it because I was actually almost running on empty as the new batch of books I have been waiting for had not yet arrived so the timing was perfect. Aside from that, it is always a pleasure to read him. I am constantly amazed at his output and in that, he and I have a lot in common. We both seem to be constantly writing with the difference being that he writes novels and I write reviews.I am also always amazed by the diversity of subjects that he writes about and I was surprised to find a story of a chubby chaser as his new book.
Caden DeSarro likes his men with a “few extra pounds on them” and his world is turned upside down when he sees Kevin Dodge in the bathroom at the bar. Caden sees Kevin as physically perfect but he is so excited that nothing came out of his mouth the way he wanted and he missed his chance with the man of his dreams.
All was not lost and Caden runs into Kevin on the El and he thinks that fate is looking his way. He is invited to Kevin’s for what was probably meant to be little more than a quick sexual encounter but it became the relationship that he had always dreamed of. We, as gay men, know that things rarely work smoothly and when Caden comes back from a trip to care for his mother, Kevin has trimmed down and he no longer has the kind of body that turns Caden on. In fact, Kevin now looks like the kind of guy that Caden’s friend, Bobby, likes. As Caden hesitates about what to do, he leaves the door open for Bobby to walk in and…
Caden is an all around nice guy and good-looking to boot and this gave Kevin thought that perhaps Caden would not be interested in him. However the two guys actually like each other and if Caden had not been called home to care for his ill mother, everything would have been fine. But things changed when he returned and the physical Kevin that he loved had lost forty pounds and Caden was no longer sure how he felt about him (Such is the importance of physical appearance in a relationship). Now, of course, I am not going to tell you what happens so you will have to read the book and on that note I must say that you should want to read the book. Reed has consistently been a fine writer with a good story to tell. He shows us the difference between Caden and Bobby by showing us that Caden was not that concerned with the physical that many gay men put so much stock in and this is in contrast to Bobby who only likes “alpha” men. This has a lot to say about how the gay community regards beauty and Reed often chooses to write about men who do not fit the “norm” of what is expected.
Take interesting characters, a good plot that gives us something to think about and add a few really hot erotic sex scenes and we have a book that is hard to put down. Rick Reed does that and embellishes the story with beautiful prose and a touch of emotions. If you have never read Rick Reed you should and “Chaser” is a great place to start. If you are already a fan, this is one more way to make sure that you remain one.