Title: Jake’s Regret
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 58 Pages
At a Glance: As with most short stories, the limited number of words hampered the author’s ability to fully develop the characters and the setting, but as a sweet read, this is a nice one.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: 2nd Edition
Former wide receiver Jake Fields broke up with his lover and teammate, quarterback Damian Grant, by leaving a note. Eleven years later, Damian attends Jake’s father’s funeral.
Damian is hoping for a renewed relationship with Jake, but when a woman from Jake’s hometown sees them together, a still closeted Jake panics, leaving a note for Damian once more.
When Jake’s small town turns against him, life goes from bad to worse. Jake realizes it’s time to stop running from who he is and try to win Damián’s forgiveness. But if Damian has had enough, this may be Jake’s ultimate regret.
Review: Jake’s Regret by Shawn Lane is a touching short story about two men who are looking for a second chance. As with most short stories, the limited number of words hampered the author’s ability to fully develop the characters and the setting, but she did manage to do a wonderful job of giving the reader a snapshot of the regrets we all face as we look back on our lives and reflect on the choices we’ve made.
The story starts on an odd note, with Damian returning to Jake’s hometown to pay respects at the passing of Jake’s father—despite the fact Jake’s father was a known bigot and had made Jake’s life miserable. And, Damian is black. What follows is a series of connections, missteps, and reconciliations that allow the reader to watch two men struggle to see if a connection still exists between them, even after so much time has passed.
While the speed of their physical attraction was no surprise, and the sex evocative and gratifying, the author did a better job of making one particular character more likable than the other. That’s not to say that the flawed character didn’t have his reasons for behaving the way he did, but the challenge of any author painting character flaws is to balance the negative with a deeper sense of the good person within. Ms. Lane does a good job of this, presenting history and internal dialogue to show his disappointment in himself.
As with any short story, the ending wraps up a bit too quickly, and you have to suspend your disbelief a bit since the full development of emotions and plot hasn’t spanned over two-hundred pages or so, but as a sweet read, one to give you some heated moments and also to pause for thought at whether you would make the same choices, this is a nice one.
You can buy Jake’s Regret here: