Goodbye Scrooge by Jaime Samms
When beautiful, perfect basket ball hero Eric hits on grad student Marcus, it’s more than just another flirtation. Marcus realizes it’s time to take a good look at the difficult relationship he’s had with his unpredictable and bitter professor Julian for the past four years. He has to make a decision. Sure he’s ready to move on, he plans to give Julian one last Christmas gift; an unforgettable night, before he leaves.
He never expected to be the person who can’t get the passion they find on that last go round out of his head. His decision isn’t going to be as simple as he’d hoped. Maybe perfect isn’t everything after all.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodbye Scrooge is a quick holiday novella about an unlikely couple. Julian is an ornery professor that’s been abusing his status for years. Marcus is Julian’s student and he has no real problems letting the angry professor take what he wants. When an attractive peer decides to make a play for Marcus, both Marcus and Julian are surprised by their reactions. Marcus must decide which man is really the perfect one for him.
The story is told in first person, past tense from Marcus’ point of view. Even so, I didn’t really understand any of the men involved. Marcus is a student on the cusp of graduation. He’s enjoyed a sexual relationship with Julian for four years, despite its inappropriateness. Marcus has dated other people while having on and off again sex whenever Julian wants but it’s not until attractive, nearly perfect Eric makes a play for Marcus that he finally realizes what he wants. Marcus seems odd, since he claims to have been sleeping with others while sleeping with Julian. Yet his concern that Julian is upset about Eric wanting Marcus doesn’t make sense.
In fact Marcus’ attraction to Julian, Julian’s crotchety, grumpy behavior, and Eric’s near perfection all seem like too much like flat cardboard ideas without the necessary complexity to really bring them alive. Part of that is the story is so short, just enough to introduce the three men, have several sex scenes and a happy ending. That’s not bad but it does mean that none of the characters really stretch or develop given their limitations.
In the end this is an easy to read story about a couple that finds happiness despite some auspicious beginnings. I’m not sure I understand why the couple is together nor particularly like any of the men but I like the diversity. It’s a twist to see someone grumpy, morally questionable, and very scared and loathing find a small bit of peace and happiness, even if wildly undeserving.