The World in His Eyes

The World in His Eyes - A.J.  Thomas

I've liked everything I've read by this author so far and was eagerly looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint, though there were a couple of head scratching moments, which I suspect has to do with the shorter length of the story.

First, I really liked that this had an interracial couple. The racism that Larry encounters is realistic, from the way guys fetishize him or assume he's a drug dealer to having to wait longer for drinks when he goes to a bar, and that annoying blind date he goes on where the guy kept patting himself on the back for how color blind he is. OMG, shut up. 

He's surprised when Brandon responds to his Grindr message, and even more surprised when Brandon treats him like a human being. Brandon finds a lot to be surprised about also, since initially he's given a not-so-glowing account of Larry by one of his friends who had hooked up with him once before. 

They meet for what's supposed to be a random hookup - and they talk. And they click. Their relationship isn't easy. Larry's a doctor (a resident) and Brandon's overworked at a job where he's under appreciated and judged because of who his father is. They have little time to get together and most of their talking is done by text (and we unfortunately don't get to see much of these exchanges). Larry also has a sick mom who he goes to visit as often as possible. 

I liked the secondary characters. They all had fully-shaped personalities, especially Larry's mom, who is a hoot and a very perceptive woman. Larry's ex-girlfriend is supportive of him and just wants him to be happy. We meet Brandon's and Larry's dads briefly, and despite them only having a few lines, they feel like real people too. 

There were a couple of things that kind of got dropped. Larry mentions he's never bottomed but wants to, and Brandon's eager to top him, but this never happens on page and is never mentioned again. There's also an altercation later between Brandon and his friend Danny which lands Brandon in jail facing disturbance of the peace charges. This is also never mentioned again, so we don't know the outcome of that. As for typos, there was the occasional misplaced or missing word as well. 

I'm hoping the author someday fleshes this out and releases a longer version of this story, because I think it would benefit from more pages to address some of the issues and help me connect a little more with Larry and Brandon as a couple.