The Crush was my second foray into the world of MM romance. While I waited on tenterhooks to find out if Exposure would be accepted by MLR Press for publication, I decided to write another story. It helped distract me from my impatience regarding that initial submission and since it had been so much fun to write Exposure, I really couldn’t wait to write another. At this point, Exposure was the longest story I’d ever written – novella length – and I knew I could do it again.
Here is the blurb:
Jack Claridge’s sister, Amy, has a big crush on her English professor, Michael Donovan. When Jack agrees to accompany her on an outing with the object of her affection, the last thing he expects is the professor’s reaction to him. One surreptitious hand-job later and Michael is hooked. But will Jack ‘use him and lose him’ or does Jack care for the professor more than he thinks? And what will he tell Amy?
This is no literary masterpiece but it is a fun piece of fantasy fiction that I’m very proud of. And it isn’t completely devoid of deeper themes and poignant moments. I’ll let the following Goodreads reviewer explain:
How many times have you been out with a friend or a sibling and looked cross the table at their date…realized how HOT that date was…how much you wished that person was YOUR date…then suddenly you catch their eye and something sparks. Oh my god what do you do? You look again…Yes…there it is…the “knowing” in that look…the “heat” in that stare…the growing knowledge that you are intensely, immediately, undeniably in lust with your sister’s date…her secret crush…your worst nightmare. How do you hide that you want to jump across that table, grab that person by the hand and run away with them? How do you face your sister when you actually do…when you steal her date?
Elizabeth Lister’s novel, The Crush, carries us right there. Amy asks her brother Jack to go along on her first “date” with Michael, one of Amy’s professors. Of course Michael is unaware that Amy harbors a secret crush on him. And Amy is unaware that Michael is gay…but Jack quickly realizes both that fact and that he is undeniably attracted to Michael, the object of Amy’s desires…her crush.
As this little story unfolds we watch with growing fascination, this triangle of sorts. We feel the heat of Jack and Michael’s infatuation with one another. We laugh as Jack fumbles to discover through the use of self-help books whether one really can fall in love “at first sight”. We watch with just a bit of horror and dismay as Jack tries to hold Michael at arms length…never allowing him to get too close for fear of getting rejected again. We discover, along with Amy, the deep woundedness that Jack has carried for years as he as watched his sister easily move from one relationship to another while he has remained alone. And slowly but surely we fall in love with these two men…these two lovely, lusty, hot men who cannot keep their hands off one another and cannot prevent their growing love for one another from pouring out for everyone to see. Including Amy…who still harbors a secret crush.
Be forewarned this little book is addictive…I read it in one sitting and was mesmerized, once again, by Lister’s deft handling of common themes. She delves into light BDSM with this book–but don’t let that scare you away…it is sweet and consensual and well…HOT! Yes, this nice little romance is one hot moment after another with a story that draws you in to it’s grasp and wraps itself around your heart.
~ Sammy Goode, Goodreads, 2012
I’d honestly forgotten how much I loved this little story.
After it was published, alongside the very positive reviews, were a few that mentioned they thought the character of Amy was much too immature and overly dramatic. I actually agreed with them and I put this book aside as something I wrote for fun and with which I made a few mistakes. I was embarrassed because I should have written Amy better.
But, now, rereading it, I’m very happy with most of the other elements of the story, including the light BDSM play between Jack and Michael that foreshadowed what would come in Beyond the Edge and The James Lucas Trilogy.