Masters, T.J. “Taking the Gardener”, Dreamspinner Press, 2013.
Returning to Life
The gardener has traditionally played a part in gay fiction—he has been the object of desire in gay porn representing the hoped for unattainable straight man who eventually is obtained. There is something about his tanned skin, his shirtless body, etc that emits a very strong homoerotic fantasy.
Dom Eric Broderick lost his parents in an automobile accident and in the process of mourning them leaves London and retreats to Glebe House in Pittlesburne in Buckinghamshire. He spends time walking in the woods and visiting the village. He soon finds himself preoccupied with the gardener at the guesthouse where he is staying.
Tom Bestwick is responsible for the maintenance of the grounds of Glebe House; his fiancée is the owner. He also does odd jobs around the village as a handyman. He has not really ever ventured far from there and he has rugby and art to keep him busy. He does have one unfulfilled desire that Broderick can help with if he two ever discuss it.
One night while strolling Eric sees Tom watching a BDSM video of two men and thinks that a go with Tom would help him forget the troubles he is having and his grief over his parents. The two men come together but each has decisions to make.
Masters has created two exciting characters in Eric and Tom—two men who seem to know what they want but not how to attain it. While there is not much new here, the story reminds us of the way gay fiction and erotica was once written and it is fun to welcome that style back again.