Ross has done everything Adam has asked him to do, including giving the man a part in his new play. All he wants is for Adam to keep his mouth shut about Ross' real life, which contradicts his image as a straight playwright. Adam knows that Ross has to face his true self, though, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to make Ross see the truth. Will all of Adam's effort backfire, or will Ross take what he needs?
Also available in the paperback collection In Sunshine or In Shadow Short Stories Volume 1.
In Sunshine or in Shadow: Short Stories: Volume I
A print reader's delight. Thirteen short stories, five never before collected in print, written between 2007 and 2013. Sexy, sweet, and occasionally strange, these brief but emotionally powerful stories encapsulate everything readers of Male Male romance have come to love most about Josh Lanyon's work.
The collection includes the five Petit Mort stories written for JCP Books: "Slings and Arrows," "Other People's Weddings," "Sort of Stranger Than Fiction," "Critic's Choice" and "Just Desserts."
Arranged to flow thematically and stylistically are "Perfect Day," "A Limited Engagement," "In Sunshine or In Shadow," a lightly rewritten version of "The French Have a Word for It," "In a Dark Wood," "Until We Meet Once More," "Heart Trouble" and the new and exclusive "In Plain Sight."
I first read this short story as part of the author's short story collection In Sunshine or In Shadow Volume 1 and I enjoyed it then. I was gifted A Limited Engagement by a friend who didn't know I had already read it so I did a re-read and I think I loved it even more the second time around. Could Adam and Ross' story been better had it been longer? Of course but its not and I found it to be intriguing just as it is. Since this is a short story I'll make even less reference to plot/spoilers than I usually do but I will say this: if this was real life I can safely say I would not be to happy with either character and the actions they take but as it's fiction, I loved the whole "how far will they go when pushed to their limit" idea. So often in life we see things and say "I'd never do this" or "I'd definitely do that" but truth is we don't know how we would react when push comes to shove, we may know how we would think we would react but one never knows till they face a situation. There are very few authors that can pack such a strong punch into so few pages but Josh Lanyon has done just that. A Limited Engagement is an intriguing idea that will get you thinking and leave you entertained.
I heard the key in the lock, switched on the porch light, and opened the door.
The rain poured off the roof of the cabin in a shining fall of silver needles, bouncing and splashing off the redwood deck. Ross stood there, blue eyes blacker than the night, the amber porch light giving his skin a jaundiced cast.
“You're here,” he said in disbelief. The disbelief gave way instantly to the rage he'd been banking down for -- well, probably since the newspapers came out that morning. Even in the unwholesome porch light I could see his face flush dark and his eyes change.
I stepped back -- partly to let him in, because really what choice did I have? Even if I'd wanted to keep him out, it was his cabin. Partly because…it was Ross and I had no walls and no doors and no defenses against him.
He followed me inside, shaking his wet, black hair out of his eyes. He wasn't wearing gloves, and his hands were red from the cold. His Joseph Abboud overcoat dripped in a silent puddle around his expensively shod feet. “I am going to kill you,” he said carefully and quietly, and he launched himself at me.
I jumped back, my foot slipped on the little oriental throw rug, and I went down, crashing into the walnut side table, knocking it -- and the globe lamp atop it -- over. The lamp smashed on the wooden floor, shards of painted flowers scattering down the hallway.
Ross's cold hands locked around my throat. Big hands, powerful hands -- hands that could stroke and soothe and tease and tantalize -- tightened, choking me. I clawed at his wrists, squirming, wriggling, trying to break his hold.
'Til death do you part...
“R-R-ogh--” I tried to choke out his name as he squeezed.
The blood beat in my ears with the thunder of the rain on the roof. The lights swirled and dimmed, the black edges swept forward and washed me out with the drum of the rain on the roof.
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.
A Limited Engagement
In Sunshine or In Shadow: Short Stories Volume 1