Author: T.S. Morgan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 21 Pages
Rating: 2 Star
Blurb: To fulfill his grandfather’s final request, TJ Barclay travels to Scotland over Christmas to bury his ashes next to his lost love, so they can be together at last. While there, he meets Jamie, the orphaned grandson of the man his grandfather loved sixty years ago, before circumstances tore them apart. Concerned for Jamie, TJ can’t leave Scotland without knowing he’s all right. Neither man expected a love story from the past to ignite a new one in the present.
Review: I can only imagine how difficult it is to pen an effective short story. The hook has to be baited from the outset to draw the reader in, the middle then needing to be fleshed out to the point that we feel as if we know the characters and that there is motive for their actions, then it all needs to come to a believable conclusion in a minimum of words. T.S. Morgan’s Wait for Me succeeds at the outset, introducing TJ Barclay as he’s reading love letters written in the 1920s, letters that introduce a touching, if ill-fated, romance between his grandfather and another man. Where this story fails is in everything that happens after.
Littered with tropes and stereotypes that here come off as unflattering, Wait for Me evolves from its poignant beginning to tell TJ’s story, and the carrying out of his grandfather’s final wish to have his remains buried next to his star-crossed lover in Scotland. At the cemetery, TJ discovers that there is another grandson, Jamie McDaniels, whom TJ wants to meet. It makes absolute sense that he would want to do so, though this is the point in the story where, rather than them meeting and discussing the significant connection they share through their grandfathers’ secret, TJ, in essence, becomes Jamie’s stalker. We’re told this in a most deliberate way rather than shown, which is another issue with this story; that it’s crafted with little finesse.
I’m a fan of the gay-for-you/out-for-you/bi-for-you (however you want to label it) theme in M/M romance. I love the idea that two hearts can connect without there being rhyme or reason or precedent for it, but for it to be effective, the author needs to offer some proof that the relationship exists because the two people involved have a bond that goes beyond the frisson of electricity that sparks between them at a mere glance and a touch. Yes, the idea of that is romantic, but I don’t feel the reader should ever be asked to do the author’s job and use their imagination to fill in something as important as the exposition of the relationship in a story.
With TJ playing the role of Alpha Male, and Jamie filling in as the pixie-ish waif, these two men are mere caricatures declaring themselves straight, then the author furthers the cliché with the immediate and intense attraction they feel for each other. After their sitting and staring at each other for a matter of minutes, nothing more is offered to build a believable connection between them, and the resolution to their meeting ends with straight TJ having sex with straight Jamie without further delving into why it happened. Even a fantasy of them channeling their deceased grandfathers would have helped make this storyline more believable. There is also one scene, as long as I’m being honest here, that is borderline dub-con; which, if I’m also being blunt, makes TJ come off as a douchebag rather than the Alpha commanding lover I believe was Ms. Morgan’s intent.
With a tacked on 2 years later happily ever after for a couple I didn’t buy into to begin with, Wait for Me is a holiday story with a good premise that lacked in follow-through.
You can buy Wait for Me here: