Last Chance by Josephine Myles
Review by Kathryn Scannell
Last Chance is another installment in Josephine Myles’ First Impressions series, but if you haven’t seen the first two stories, don’t let that deter you from sampling this one. It stands on its own quite nicely. If you have read the first two, then I think you’ll enjoy this next installment in Jez’ and Steve’s developing relationship.
Jez’ voice is very distinct, and very British. The story is chock full of little British touches, turns of phrase that sound strange and delightfully foreign to my American ear, but Myles has a deft touch for keeping the context clear so that the non-British reader won’t need a cheat sheet to understand them.
There are also wonderfully improbable images that are just perfect for the character: “I feasted on Steve like he was a pepperoni pizza and I was famished, doing my best to cram myself full of him and fill up all the empty places inside.”
Jez stands out clearly off the page as a very real character, full of depths. There are points where I found myself wanting to shake him for having indulged in so much drama earlier in his life, instead of trying to simply go around the roadblocks. Then I remind myself that at seventeen drama is a huge part of life, and it's very easy to see a real person taking that path. It’s also worth noting that I wouldn’t have wanted to shake sense into him if the author hadn’t already managed to make me care about him.
This wasn’t an easy story to read, in some ways. It has a lot of painful things in it – old rejections, aging parents, a death in the family – things we all have faced, or will probably face at some point. But it also has some wonderful positives – Jez moving beyond the pain of some of those teenage wounds, finding acceptance from parts of his family, and realizing he doesn’t have to be ashamed of who his is, or who he loves. So idespite some painful moments, it has a happy ending, with the promise of better days still to come.
Josephine Myles bio:
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She's beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
You can read her review of another story in this collection here: http://josephinemyles.com/
Kathryn Scannell makes her living doing database management, programming, and general IT support for an environmental consulting firm. She has a BA in German, a BS in Computer Science, and a head full of facts about odd things. She lives in NH with her wife Beth and their four cats. When not writing or reading, she participates in the Society for Creative Anachronism and a variety of role playing games.