Perronne, Michael Holloway. “Men Can Do Romance: A Novella”, Chances Are Press, 2013.
Back to New Orleans
One of the first books I reviewed was by Michael Holloway Perronne, “A Time Before Me” which was set in my hometown, New Orleans. Since then I have been following Peronne and not just because he sets his stories in New Orleans but because he is such a good writer. Now we return to New Orleans and meet Elliot, an insurance actuary, who is not sure of his path in life. He had a crush on Troy when both were teens so when Troy comes back to New Orleans after having served in the Marines, Elliot is forced into deciding if it is possible for two men to find romance with each other.
Elliot has always wanted to find that one man with whom to build a life. Several friends and family members have tried to fix him up but to no avail and he feels that this was just not meant to be. Troy just happened to be his best friend’s brother and Elliot has lusted for him since he was in high school but never knew if Troy was gay or not. So when Troy came home and told people that he was gay, there seems to be hope.
Troy was faced with finding a way to tell his parents and friends about his sexuality. He sees how at ease Elliot is with who he is and feels that he also wants to be like that. He, like Elliot, has had a crush on him but was unsure how to deal with it.
New Orleans is as much a character in the book as are Elliot and Troy and if you have ever been there you know how the sultriness and decadence of the city influences people. The characters are typical French Quarter types—from Miss Althea, the boss at a drag cabaret to others who propel the plot forward.
What makes this story special is reading how Elliot and Troy develop a romance without having sex right away. They are friends first and love comes later. I love that they were such nice and considerate guys. And yes, men can do romance and Michael Perronne really knows how to write about it.