What You See by C.J. Black

What You See What You See by C.J. Black

When the older man starts frequenting the restaurant where Adam works, he doesn’t know what to think. Kent is everything that defines success and wealth. What could he possibly want with a college kid like Adam?

Kent is going through a bad divorce, but he knows what he wants and who he wants. He makes his move, but following a brief yet intense lovemaking session, Adam’s insecurities make him walk away.

Kent, refusing to let Adam go, decides to find a way to make the younger man see his worth and their need to be together.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This is a short story, just 15 pages, and it includes two sex scenes. The premise is quickly set up and the characters briefly introduced before they have sex and establish the beginnings of a relationship. There’s not much to either man and their pseudo D/s sex scenes seem out of place without additional context. Yet it’s hot enough if you’re looking for something mostly sex based with a touch of D/s and don’t really care about the characters themselves.

The scene is set quickly with Adam as a waiter and Kent, a customer. Supposedly Kent comes in after closing – though why he can do that is never addressed – but this is an excuse for Kent and Adam to subtly flirt without the attention of others. Adam frequently overhears Kent’s heated arguments on the phone with his soon to be ex-wife but doesn’t let that dissuade the waiter from wanting the sexy older man. Finally one night Kent initiates sex and Adam is all too happy to follow.

There is very little depth to either man and they remain mere outlines. Adam comes across surly and argumentative since he is angry, irritated, annoyed and upset practically the entire book unless he’s having sex. Kent is given no context except as an older gay man going through a divorce that decides he wants a younger boy toy to boss around. Kent seems to choose Adam since he’s convenient and interested while Adam seems to decide what the hell and goes for the sex Kent offers. Despite weak attempts to show there are more feelings on both sides, this feels very much like the build up to a purely sexual relationship. Which is fine but just struck me as shallow.

While not a horrible book, it did keep me interested in read it. Part of this was due to the short length, any longer and my attention would have wandered. Unfortunately all the drama, tension, and even differences in race are pretty much ignored so it ends up as a sex filled somewhat bland offering. Not horrible but also not one I’d really recommend either.

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8 thoughts on “What You See by C.J. Black

  1. You really do have a very good eye for logic and characterization. Would you be interested in reading something I haven’t submitted and giving me some feedback. It’s a novella (40K words) which makes me nervous because it’s a little light on plot, and I trust you to give me some good feedback.

    • Thank you very much for the compliment :). I’d be happy to but I’m currently under some time constraints for the next month so I wouldn’t be able to get to it before that (most likely…I may have time but I’d hate to promise and not deliver). So if there’s a time limit I may not be able to help.
      Email me at penelopes.smut@gmail.com if you’d like to talk further 🙂

  2. Great review, Kassa! Oh, golly, this part would put me off: “Adam comes across surly and argumentative since he is angry, irritated, annoyed and upset practically the entire book unless he’s having sex.”
    I don’t know about this particular story since I haven’t read it first-hand, but in some stories I’ve run across irritable characters like this interacting with each other, and I think it’s meant to be “sparks flying” between two soon-to-be lovers who are in conflict on the surface to mask their sexual attraction. But it has to be done with a very light hand and a real sense of chemistry between the two or it just comes across as weird and not quite … there, yet.

    • Thanks for the comment Val. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be conflict or just show that the “s” equation of the D/s isn’t spineless? The story is just too short to really pull anything off that it’s trying to unfortunately.
      Here is a great example of why short stories are a real art and it’s hard to get them right.

  3. Kassa, you do beta reads? What could I possibly offer you to get you interested in doing some for me? (Not right away, of course! Lit Gal asked first, and we don’t want to max out your schedule.)

      • Thank you, Kassa! That is incredibly generous, especially considering your non-blogosphere schedule — and your blogging schedule for that matter! 🙂 I am really touched by your generosity. I’ve always thought you would make an excellent beta reader. I will definitely keep this in mind over the end of this year / beginning of next (and owe you big-time!).

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