It’s Only Make Believe by Haven Fellows

It’s Only Make Believe by Havan Fellows
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Dyer’s whole life is nothing but a game of play pretend. When he attempts to drag Derrick into his make-believe world, it tips on its axis. Suddenly Dyer doesn’t want to play anymore.

Dyer Cambell could escape all his troubles with a starring role in a new gay dramedy. At least he thinks so. Unfortunately, the producers want to cast true to script actors. Simple enough, Dyer will make them believe he’s gay. Problem solved.

Enter his best friend’s brother.

Derrick Verns had no intention of being Dyer’s personal show and tell prop. But there is something about Dyer that is oddly compelling. Derrick wants to find out who the real Dyer is—the one that doesn’t play make believe all the time.

Dyer Cambell is one of two actors getting a final call-back for the lead part in a new play. The only problem is, it’s a GLBTQ play, and Dyer isn’t gay. Determined to not let this opportunity slip by him, he convinces his best friend, Harry, to get his brother, Derrick to help teach Dyer to act more gay. Derrick is gay, and has indulged in a few, very secret, fantasies about Dyer. When Dyer proposes Derrick move to LA for the six months the play will be on for, Derrick is torn. Part of him certainly wants to pretend to be Dyer’s partner, and heaven knows moving to LA for a while will help boost Derrick’s artist career, but it seems just a little too good to be true. It might only be make believe, but sometimes those lines between fantasy and reality can blur a little too much…

I really liked both Dyer and Derrick’s characters. Dyer is like a force of nature – almost impossible to stop once he has an idea and is rolling with it. Derrick is far more grounded, but I got the distinct impression he really loves Dyer’s flights of fantasy and outgoing nature. I wasn’t quite sold on some of the plot surrounding Dyer – particularly that of his repressing his sexuality. The premise the author set out was logical, but it was only briefly skimmed over and so I never quite fully believed in it. Perhaps if there had been some more detailed flash backs, or even a hint of interest from Dyer at the beginning I might have been more convinced, but for a story this short it’s also possible the author simply didn’t have the space to fully do justice to the depth of complexities of Dyer’s past and those consequences.

All up this is a wonderful, fun and lighthearted short story. I enjoyed Harry, Dyer and Derrick’s characters and their interaction. Despite the short length of the story I felt the author really explored their characters and made them stand out on the page, I didn’t feel at all short-changed as a reader. I also felt the plotline of the play – and the irony of a “straight” man potentially not getting the part an interesting twist – fresh and well handled. The romantic side of the story has a wonderful, complete ending that should leave readers with a smile on their faces just like it did to me.

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