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People who think gay men are shallow, superficial, and hypersexual will doubtless be thrilled by this series debut, starring rich, buffed Michael Stark and his plain-James best friend Robert Willsop. Poor Robert, who ekes out a meager living writing ad copy for feminine hygiene products, is condemned to watch as a string of luscious hardbodies parades through Michael’s bedroom, while any chance he has for an evening of delightful, anonymous sex vanishes as quickly as his watch and wallet, stolen by one prospective paramour after Robert downs one too many. But even slut-and-a-half Michael is willing to give up his wandering ways when he meets gorgeous Max Crawford. Witty, attentive, and ultra-moneyed, Max seems too good to be true. And he is. On the eve of their wedding, he decamps, leaving Michael at the altar of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Homosexual—amid a profusion of flowers and a bevy of Bette Davis impersonators who’d hoped to serve as bridesmaids—and taking Michael’s Matisse instead. Michael traces Max to Provincetown and sets out for there (with a brief stopover in Newport to see Mom) seeking revenge. Whether Robert joins him out of loyalty or in hopes of finally getting laid isn’t clear; what is clear is that, once Max turns up dead, both boys are in water even hotter than at the spa.

Why Stukas chooses to play it straight when none of his characters does is anyone’s guess, but his camp-free, irony-free, wit-free approach is just plain dull.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2001
ISBN: 0-7582-0038-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001