A Good Bargain is a hot short story with an overly idealistic ending. The premise is an older gay man recently divorced picks up a younger attractive man for an evening. Things naturally advance between the two and sparks fly. Following the sexy encounter the young man admits he actually knew the older man and a relationship is formed.
The story is really just an excuse for some hot sex and the resolution at the end is meant to satisfy romance fans who may want something more substantial than just steamy fluff erotica. This creates a dichotomy to the story that ultimately is the downfall. The original concept works with a gay man in his 40s just out of marriage and wanting to be with men again. David is not fully characterized simply due to the short space but given enough information the reader will appreciate. I’m not sure I bought the reasoning for getting married but it’s within reason so you can get past that.
The encounter is actually pretty hot and entertaining as this author knows how to write steamy sex scenes. This is one of the reasons (but not the only one) that I tend to gravitate to Juris’ writing because they always deliver fun, hot erotica. I wish the story had stayed with that intention with an older man venturing into gay sex once again and picking up an anonymous, hot young man for the evening.
Where the story goes wrong is when it tries to make the connection something meaningful, real, and beyond that particular night. I didn’t buy into Brandon’s explanation of why he was in the bar and the connection to David’s son. Then furthermore Brandon’s dialogue at this point is cheesy and slightly ridiculous. I just couldn’t suspend disbelief at this point to appreciate what the story is trying to do. The justifications don’t fit the tone of the story and there is appreciable development to Brandon to help. Without giving away too many spoilers the ending is romantic and gives a solid relationship but it’s jarring and doesn’t fit the story at all.
If this had stayed as a hot one night encounter I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As it is the short gives a nice look into the thought process of an older man venturing back into the dating world. However the idealistic ending kills this and ends the otherwise amusing story on a sour note.