Review: Kelly Jenson – Counting Down

countingAuthor: Kelly Jenson
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: It’s been a week since a Christmas Eve blizzard changed the course of Marcus Winnamore’s life. Plan A is now Plan B, and the first item on his new agenda is taking Henry Auttenberg on a date. They’ve been invited to a New Year’s Eve party, and Marc is counting down the hours until midnight… until he can kiss Henry in front of his colleagues and friends.

Things don’t quite work out to plan. Finding the elevator out of service, Marc and Henry check the stairs, only to choose the wrong door and become locked in the basement. Close quarters once again make for close conversation, and as they explore every avenue of escape, they also explore the deepening attraction between them. For Marc, this isn’t an experiment. Will he still feel that way when he has to admit to someone other than Henry that he’s gay?

Review: This is the follow up story to Counting Fence Posts, the story where Marc and Henry figure out they might be good together. In Fence Posts the two were stuck in a Christmas blizzard. They made it through and are on their first real date, this one on New Year’s Eve. At the party, thrown by a co-worker, Marc is going to kiss Henry at midnight, in front of everyone, to show that he’s gay, he’s out and he’s with Henry. Great plan, right? Well, except for the fact that he hasn’t let Henry in on that plan. “You’re going to use this party to announce us to the office, aren’t you? That we’re more than colleagues, and that you’re into kissing guys.” Henry is onto him.
Unfortunately for these two, the elevator is out and they end up stuck in the laundry room. While Henry is the epitome of prepared (he reads survival guides and carries a Leatherman), they don’t have much luck getting out. What they do have, however, is time to talk. Time to figure out why Henry is freaking out about being locked in a basement and time to talk about why Henry isn’t sure Marc is gay.
An odd thing that I loved about this is Marc’s reaction to giving a blow job. “…and the weird feeling became an overstretched feeling. His jaw ached and his cheeks hurt.” I appreciated the honesty! He’s a newbie to it and I thought that added such a great touch.
The story isn’t very long, 63 pages, and the focus is on Marc and Henry. It worked really well, especially the time they are focused on talking. Marc not having a plan is scary and Henry putting his faith in Marc is scary, but between the two they are going to face the world. Once they get out of the laundry room.

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