Andrews, R.P. “For The Love of Samuel”, ADS, 2018.
An Erotic Romance
It is 2012 and Billy Veleber in a 51-year-old New Yorker and a gay male who is growing older and hating it. His ex, Mitch, a meth head is out of the picture, Then there was Gus, who is an aging gay male like Billy but who is no longer in the picture. Billy is given the chance to return to the days of his youth through magic and he jumps at the chance. Not if I would tell you how this comes about, I would spoil the read for you so just bear with me.
Billy gets the chance to become 21, through the magical dog tag of a long dead Civil War soldier, Samuel Evans. Now as a young man, he lives Manhattan and relocates to Fort Lauderdale where no one knows anything about him. It is there that he meets Dare who becomes the love of his life and together they pursue a “get rich quick” scheme that pulls them together but that also has the power to break them apart. There is a “small” problem in that Billy is not who he seems to be to Dare.
I am not a big reader of gay erotica (or erotica of any kind) but when I do read it, I usually rely on recommendations. This was not the case here as I was already familiar with R.P. Andrews’ writing having reviewed him in the past.
I have always thought that if erotica is to read true, there must be a story into which the sex scenes fit and that is what “Samuel” has. We gain some background about the Civil War. I read that Andrews is a Civil War buff and so I am sure that he did his research well in order to write this book. He learned that dog tags (an important part of this story) came into being with the Civil War and this gave him the chance to give some historical background to his story. Andrews discovered that Walt Whitman
had been a volunteer nurse at the Armory Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he cared for injured and dying Union soldiers during the war and he very nicely uses that as part of his story. We not only get hot erotica but a bit of gay history (although disguised).
There have been countless stories about the quest for youth and everlasting life making it difficult to find a new way to approach it and write about it. Here is where Andrew succeeds. He takes the facts that he has learned and converts them into fantasy and he gives us a very sexy story. It seems that there were certain dog tags that contained the life force of their long dead owners and when the tags were transferred to a new owner, the person returned to the age Samuel was when he lost his life.
When the story opens, we see that Billy is beset by bad luck. Gus who was his lover at that time had a stroke leaving him almost helpless and ending his wonderful career as a neurosurgeon. Billy’s work was lost to bankruptcy and Billy had to find a new job.
Desperate Billy heads to Chicago hoping to find a job and comfortable surroundings for Gus. He also has the idea of resurrecting his romance with Mitch who has become a victim of the meth epidemic happening among gay men. From there it was off to Florida and a new life as a new person.
We meet some very hot men who have some very hot sex but the reader must be ready to read fast because the novel is fast paced. I actually heard, and thoroughly enjoyed the audio version that made it all seem very real (and very sexy). However, it is not only the sex that keeps the story moving. Writer Andrews tells a good story in wonderful prose and we are very aware of how much he studied the Civil War to be able to write this.
There are a lot of characters and the story changes directions a few times keeping us alert. This is one of those books that will stay with me for quite a while.