Title: Buyout – A Love Story
Author: Dev Bentham
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 80 Pages
At a Glance: This was a great short story that could have either ended a bit sooner than it did, or could have been lengthened, allowing the reader to know more of Sean and Martim so that their passion and connection could grow organically and build over the course of a longer story.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.
When he’s sent to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure, Sean is once again in the position to put Martim out on the street. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease?
Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart, and their second chance at romance.
Review: Buyout is a short story that contained a fair amount of tension building. We first meet Sean as he discovers his boyfriend in bed with another man. This sets the stage for us to learn that he has a history of meeting attractive men who end up cheating on him. Martim was one of those men, but his reason for cheating was due to addiction and doing whatever he had to do to get his next fix.
The story puts Sean and Martim back together, this time with Sean delivering the news of foreclosure on the hotel Martim and his aunt have worked to develop. There is a question about a sizable amount of loan money which is unaccounted for, and Sean has to swoop in on behalf of his boss to deliver the bad news and assess the property’s worth for resale.
As the two men interact, their pasts come back and old hurts surface. But so do old feelings. And so we find ourselves watching how the two men work through their past as well as dealing with the current situation that has thrown them together. Ultimately, a lot happened in regards to the two men reuniting, revealing secrets, and resolving the issue with the property. The allusion to Martim’s illness is cryptic and kept me reading on to see what was wrong with him. I found myself wondering what the problem was and how that might affect the two of them getting back together. When we find out, it launches a whole new issue which throws the story in a different direction.
Up until that point, I was wrapped up in Sean and Martim coming back together. While there was very little heat on the pages, I didn’t mind because they each had things they regretted and both had to assess how much the other person had changed in the over-ten-years time frame that had passed since they last saw one another. The introduction of sexual connection and love threw me because I hadn’t seen the other stuff resolved enough to lead them to that point yet. Perhaps the intention was for the physical chemistry between them to be part of the process of reuniting, but given the length of the book, the story couldn’t tug at my heartstrings enough for me to get fully invested in their happy ending.
So, for me, this was a great short story that could have either ended a bit sooner than it did, showing us how the two characters dealt with their history in order to forge a future together—that part was very well done and took up most of the book—or, the story could have been lengthened, allowing the reader to know more of Sean and Martim so that their passion and connection could grow organically and build over the course of a longer story.
I would definitely pick this book up again if the author chose to extend the story and release it as a full-length novel. I think there would be some amazing storylines that could emerge if that were to happen.
You can buy Buyout – A Love Story here: