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Monday, December 22, 2008

Title: VGL Male Seeks Same
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
BUY Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/VGLMale.html
Genre: GLBT romantic comedy
ISBN: 978-1-60272-430-3
Name of Reviewer: Emily Moore
Rating: Five Stars (out of five)

Reviewed by Emily Moore for Rainbow Reviews

Ethan has tried everything he can think of to find a significant other. He visited the bars where all the young, hip gay men were sure to be found only to be a wallflower and not interact with anyone. He moved to the heart of "Boystown" in Chicago to be surrounded by single gay men only to have the neighborhood gentrify and the gays move due north. He found a job as a publicist for free nights at the theater and to be surrounded by handsome actors but instead is isolated in his cube writing press releases and chatting up critics. As a result, Ethan is a single, 42 year old gay man trying to convince himself that the answer to the "riddle of how to escape a solitary existence" is out there waiting for him.
When Ethan overhears a conversation about a website that is for more than just "quick hook-ups", he thinks he has found his answer. After all, if it can work for the office receptionist, who Ethan secretly refers to as "Bubbles", it has to work for him. Right? Ethan creates a profile, pours himself into the answers, and finds a relatively decent photo only a few months old. He is totally and completely honest about himself. He's all set. There's only one problem. No one bites.

With his self-esteem taking yet another shot, Ethan decides to make a drastic move and start a bit of a social experiment. He replaces his photo with one found on the internet, a truly stunning man, and sits back and waits. And he watches the responses pour in, half of them telling him how gorgeous he is and the rest simply dirty propositions for sex, lots of sex. Not quite what he was looking for. But in the middle of all those messages is one that is very different. A message from Brian.

Brian is just what Ethan has been trying so hard to find. They have similar tastes, are looking for similar things from a relationship, and Brian is gorgeous. He is, in a word, perfect. But there is only one problem. Brian is messaging the "new" Ethan, the one that the "real" Ethan doesn't look anything like. As they start messaging back and forth, Ethan becomes more enamored with Brian and worries about what will happen when Brian discovers he is a liar.

VGL Male Seeks Same is a phenomenal story about the search for love and the one person we can connect with in every way. I absolutely adored the character of Ethan, his sharp witty humor and his emotions that are worn on his sleeve. As a person that has used internet dating, I connected with him immediately and Reed nailed the reactions and thoughts that come with such a unique way of meeting people.

Things of course are not as simple as they may seem for Ethan and, although I must admit that I guessed what was to come, it was truly a joy to read from beginning to end. The messages back and forth between Ethan and Brian are quite touching and make Ethan's angst over what to do about his deception that much more substantial. My heart was completely invested in Ethan's journey and I laughed and cried along with him. Overall this is a captivating story that had me on the edge of my seat to the very end. This is the second of Reed's stories that I have read and I am now officially a huge fan. As are many of his other stories, this is set in Chicago, my current hometown, and those familiar with the city will love the details throughout. It is obvious that Reed still loves the city. The humor throughout this story is exceptional yet doesn't disrupt the more serious themes. The ending is true perfection even if the last line is, "He really needed to pee." I cannot more highly recommend this story for all readers!


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The author blogs at http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. He is also the author of
Dead End Street: http://tinyurl.com/5mztwy
Orientation: http://tinyurl.com/5ntwyu
High Risk: http://tinyurl.com/39dror
Deadly Vision: http://tinyurl.com/3eygd4
In the Blood: http://tinyurl.com/5zwc8w
IM: http://tinyurl.com/32rsy4


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