Pictures and Memories by Lauren E Mitchell

Pictures and Memories by Lauren E Mitchell
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Tim is finally enjoying his gap year at the age of thirty-three, starting out in Asia with plans to go from there to Europe. But his itinerary didn’t account for Jaye, fresh out of high school and on his own gap year. Jaye turns Tim’s visit to New Delhi into something he never expected, something he must all too soon leave behind.

Tim is finally travelling. It’s taken him a number of years to save for it, but he’s thrilled when he finally has enough to make it worthwhile. At thirty-three he’s a bit old to be calling it his gap year, but that’s actually what it is for him. He’s in New Delhi when the Festival of Colours begins, and he meets Jaye when a handful of purple is thrown in his face. Jaye is eighteen and also on his gap year. And together they’re going to have a great adventure.

This is a fun and quick read. I enjoyed reading about the Festival of Colours and enjoyed both Jaye and Tim, but also Jaye’s two Indian friends. Seeing everything new through Tim’s point of view was a great way for the author to be descriptive without information-dumping too badly. I enjoyed learning bits and pieces of Indian culture, but a large portion of the middle of the book was steamily filled up with Tim and Jaye having sex and enjoying one another. I found the sex to be hot and descriptive, but very romantic and emotional as well. Personally, I didn’t find anything the least offensive or extreme and would think that most modern romance readers won’t find anything too outrageous with this M/M romance.

I found the ending a little unrealistic – but it was so happy and so romantic and deeply satisfying I was quite happy to disengage my brain, ignore logic and just enjoy it. Readers who hate cliché’s or stories where Fate steps in and magically fixes everything might be disappointed, but readers who can just relax and enjoy the happy ending should find this satisfying. Tim and Jaye so clearly love each other – even with their age difference – that it was a pleasure to read about them coming together and starting a lovely, sensual relationship.

A fun book with interesting cultural tidbits and a good bit of traveling fun. This is a steamy M/M that I really enjoyed.

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