“The depth of a soul is not measured by what appears on the surface.” — Author Unknown
Author: J.P. Barnaby
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 44 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Andy Finnegan is a six foot three brown-haired, blue-eyed, Mack f*cking truck. A former marine who spends his nights dancing for your entertainment, he has a dark side hiding beneath the beautiful veneer.
Sweet little Stefan is awestruck by the big, gorgeous dancer with the rock hard abs and the lonely eyes. Determined to see what lurks behind the perfect surface, he gets a little more than he bargained for.
Review: When you see the title of this book and read the blurb, it would be easy to assume that you would be reading a story about a brick shithouse of a Marine, who dances for his dinner and cats around town. In the beginning of the story that is exactly what you get. Then J.P. Barnaby begins to work her magic with the words, and a whole other side of Andy is brought to your attention.
When Andy was in the service, he was at his happiest. He had a lover, he had a purpose, and he felt useful. When he was getting ready to muster out of the Marines, his squad was hit by an I.E.D. and even though he came out of the accident uninjured, he did not come out unscathed. As a civilian, Andy leads a very simple life. He hooks up, he works out and he dances. His biggest goal right now is to break into porn so he can get paid to hook up. On the surface Andy seems to be living the high life.
When the time for his big break comes, two things happen that finally cause Andy to pull his head out of his ass. A man he served with and grew up with shows up at the club and is shocked to see how Andy is living his life. Then, while dancing he notices a man in the crowd who seems to be the answer to every prayer he didn’t even know he had.
Stefan is a smaller man but no less striking. A local college student, Stefan noticed Andy a while back and has been trying to catch his eye. When he does catch Andy’s eye, he feels like he won the lottery—until he finds out that he may have won a little more than he bargained for.
Andy has to come to terms with his past before he can ever hope to move on with his future. Stefan wants to be the man who does that for him, but it won’t be an easy journey.
As with J.P. Barnaby’s other books, her characters here are complex and maybe just a tad broken. My feelings for Andy were not very flattering at the beginning, but once I got to know him I couldn’t help but love him to death. To see a man that strong on the outside struggle on the inside the way Andy does would melt even the coldest of hearts.
I don’t feel we got to know Stefan very well, but it is a short story. What we do see of him, however, shows how clearly he sees Andy, and not just the face that Andy puts on for everyone else, but the REAL Andy.
This is a quick but lovely read, and I highly recommend this one. I also hope that we may get to see a little more of Andy and Stefan at a later date.