Author: Julie Lynn Hayes
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages/Word Count: 41 Pages
At a Glance: A story of a serendipitous meeting that might lead to something much better for Clete and Tal than the lives they are leaving behind.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: When you feel as though you’ve lost everything, you have everything to gain.
Crossroads: a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences…
Clete Deveraux is a little old Southern boy a long way from home, drifting the highways with his abusive boyfriend, Vern. Tal Clark is newly graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, but his plans for a carefree summer have just been derailed and he’s not sure what he’s going to do.
Things happen for a reason…
Clete and Tal’s lives intersect at a rest stop in central Missouri, but sometimes first impressions aren’t the best. And finding the right path isn’t always easy.
Clete and Tal have reached a crossroads… and now they have to decide which way they want to go. And who they want to go with.
Review: This author wrote one of my very favorite short stories, The Prince Wore Pink Stilettos, so when offered this novellette, I jumped at the chance to read it. Crossroads is much darker, but once again, I was drawn in by the story.
Tal has just graduated from the University of Missouri, and he’s on his way home to St. Louis, when he should have been going on a road trip with his girlfriend. But she has broken up with him, and he’s not sure what to do – especially given the reason she broke up with him.
Clete is on a road trip with his abusive, on-again/off-again “boyfriend” Vern, when things take a very bad turn for the worse. Clete is states away from the town he grew up in, but as a kid who grew up in the foster system, he has no family or safety net anyway. When he’s left behind after Vern informs him things are changing, he has no idea what to do.
Meanwhile, Tal stops at the rest stop where Clete has been left and while he is afraid what his girlfriend thinks about him is true, he freaks out when he sees Clete and realizes he’s attracted to him. He tries to get away, but his car has other ideas.
While trying to figure his way out of his car trouble, Tal takes stock of his life and his behavior. He really is a good guy and tries to make amends with Clete. He realizes some things about himself and also about Clete. Maybe they do have more in common than he thought, and maybe he needs to take a chance.
Some parts of this story really broke my heart. Clete has not had anything go easy in his life, and Vern is a first class asshole. I didn’t want to see Clete suffer anymore and was happy when Tal figured out he didn’t need to be a jerk. There are also some nice surprises that made me smile. This is really a lovely short story. I’d actually like to read more about these two. If I have any complaint, it’s that I wish the story were longer.
You can buy Crossroads here: