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Boyfriend Material
     

Boyfriend Material

2.0 1
by John Jeffrey
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jeffrey's breezy debut is a modest effort that follows four young, image-conscious New York gay men as they attempt to recalibrate their out-of-whack love lives while looking their best in the latest designer fashions. Carson St. John, editor-in-chief of trendy Throb magazine (the "gay guy's Cosmo"), has just returned from bedding a hustler in Los Angeles in time for brunch with his three best friends-entertainment lawyer Danny Kimura, aspiring gallery owner Nathan Williams and high school teacher Rob Cahill. Each friend has an urgent romantic dilemma. Rob is foolishly dating the father of one of his students; Danny initiates an affair with Leo, a client who happens to be lead singer of the hot boy-band "Four Deep"; and Nathan falls for a druggie thug/artist named Panther. Not to be outdone, Carson dumps his boyfriend, Rocco, for a married consultant hired to revamp the magazine's image. Each romantic misstep spells over-the-top drama, leaving Carson musing aloud about what it is that gay men really want in a potential partner. Jeffrey opts for implausible saccharine endings for the quartet, but it hardly matters since these characters are paper-thin and virtually indistinguishable. Jeffrey's rapid-fire one-liners, pop culture references and simplistic plot will go down easy as long as readers don't expect any literary nourishment. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The beautiful people, and aren't they just horrible. Throb is the hottest gay men's magazine in New York, and editor-in-chief Carson St. John knows what he wants to give his audience: fun, purposeless fluff packed full of hot guys. They love him for it; as a male escort tells Carson post-coitally, "You don't bring us down with a bunch of political crap or scare us to death with health news." Carson seems to work on his magazine about five minutes a day, when he's not image-tending (which includes getting colonics to temporarily lose weight) or hanging out with his Benetton-ad clique: teacher Rob Cahill, hotshot entertainment lawyer Danny Kimura, and Nathan Williams, scion of an elite black family and rising star in the art gallery world. They've all got romance issues, of course. The married consultant hired to give Throb a boost in circulation doesn't mind having a fling with Carson but won't leave his wife. Rob is dating the too-perfect father of one of his too-jaded students. Danny has made the mistake of sleeping with one of his clients, lead singer of the hit boy band Four Deep. Nathan has made the mistake of starting up with one of his gallery's artists, a gangster no-talent who calls himself Panther. First-novelist Jeffrey shuffles and deals out these plotlets in no particular order, confining his characters to the most obvious, pop-culture-drenched, shallow one-liners, packed on every a page. That's not to say it's all a bad thing. Far too many scenes rival the most tweaked-out soap opera for grandiose ridiculousness, but the primary storyline is no more than a wisp of an idea rarely even referred to. And thank goodness: Carson's killer idea for the magazine is . . . BoyfriendMaterial Trading Cards. Thinner than paint and often horrendously written, but at least it never pretends to be anything but what it is.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758201034
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
01/01/2004
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

Read an Excerpt

Boyfriend Material


By Jon Jeffrey

KENSINGTON BOOKS

Copyright © 2002 Jon Salem
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0758201028


All-American Jock with an Edge

Carson St. John was slightly drunk, a little bit stoned, and being ravished against the television cabinet by a male escort who charged two hundred fifty dollars an hour.

I'm the gay Charlie Sheen. Before the multiple rehab visits and Spin City comeback, of course.

His peers were downstairs, listening to a panel of pundits drone on about why this magazine succeeded, how that one failed, whether Tina Brown's Talk would've triumphed had September eleventh been just a bad dream.

But Carson had made a stealthy exit, taken the Regal Biltmore elevator to his eighth floor room, and waited breathlessly for Brian to arrive for sixty minutes of midday, no last names, anything you want sex.

Brian, aka SexyLAModel, looked better in person than he did in the two photos he'd e-mailed-one striking a GQ pose in a Brioni suit, the other striking a porn pose in nothing at all.

Carson had imagined him taller. Maybe he was five-foot-ten on his tip-toes? But the rest was truth in advertising. Masculine, handsome, one hundred seventy pounds, dirty blond buzzed hair, blue eyes, lean muscular body, great smile. Definitely what the AOL profile promised-all-American jock with an edge.

"Like what you see?" Those had been Brian's first words as he ripped off his tieand flung it to the floor with the kind of brazen carelessness that makes certain men's hearts go bang.

"I feel like an adolescent," Carson had whispered. It was true. In the last hour he'd taken two showers, raided the mini bar, smoked half a joint, and brushed his teeth four times.

Brian had moved closer as he undid the buttons of his denim shirt. "Are there some adolescent experiences that you want to act out again? I love to role play. Maybe I could be your gym coach."

I'm not paying two hundred fifty an hour to relive the worst years of my life. That's what I should be paying a therapist one hundred fifty an hour for.

But Carson hadn't said this out loud. Instead, in a very soap opera move-say, Deidre Hall as Marlena in a rare moment of unstoppable passion-he'd just pulled SexyLAModel toward him and began kissing like mad.

They were still going at it, steel tongue to steel tongue, bulging crotch against bulging crotch, when the stud for hire suddenly drew back and, radiating a rude animal sexuality, looked Carson right in the face to say, "One hour's not gonna be long enough."

Carson discarded Brian's denim Tommy Hilfiger button down and peeled off the man's undershirt. "It'll have to be." He wasn't blowing five hundred bucks on some escort. Even a hot tanned one with perfect teeth, buff chest, ripped abs, and big veins wrapped around his forearms. He would, however, blow the escort.

It took about a minute for both of them to get naked, representing about four dollars, Carson estimated. But a wise investment.

Brian lay there on the bed, gloriously nude, stroking the tool of his trade. Seven inches. Cut. Rock hard. "How bad do you want to suck this?"

Very.

Carson was just getting into it when the stab of guilt came. He tried to cast it away, to concentrate on the delectable task before him.

"Oh, yeah," Brian moaned. "Take it all."

This helped. Carson got off on verbal encouragement. But the guilt stuck there in his brain like the chorus to "Oops! ... I Did It Again." Years later and he was still singing it. Go Britney. Now he could even hear the sound of Rocco's voice.

If this relationship is going to survive, it needs to be casual. I'm not ready to be monogamous. I meet too many hot guys in my line of work.

Back home, Rocco was a DJ at Damage, the trendy dance club of the moment. That particular announcement had come somewhere between a hook up with the new bouncer and a sleepover with a dancer from Cabaret.

Naturally, Carson wanted to leave Los Angeles and return to New York with the secret knowledge of his own indiscretion. He would just forget the fact that money had exchanged hands. Cruising at a bar meant prolonged glances, body language interpretation, awkward small talk. If a meaningless encounter was the goal, hiring a male escort just seemed ... well ... efficient. Plus, you were assured a better-looking guy who took care of his body and was a proven dynamo in the sack.

They were rolling around on the bed when Carson's Motorola Timeport two-way smart pager beeped. It was Danny. The tone music of Madonna's classic "Holiday" gave him away.

Carson stretched toward the nightstand to reach the gadget. "This will only take a second. Amuse yourself down there." He gently pushed Brian's head to his crotch and read Danny's text message.

WHERE R U?

Carson smiled. He could just see him. Danny Kimura, entertainment lawyer, clad head to toe in regulation Prada, trapped in an endless negotiation meeting for his bread and butter client, the bubble gum pop boy band Four Deep. Laughing, Carson typed out a reply on the tiny keypad.

GETTING A BLOW JOB IN L.A.

"What's so funny?" Brian asked. He pulled a face and removed a pubic hair from his tongue.

"Nothing." Carson pushed the pager under the pillow. "Just a message from a friend of mine."

There was a sexy gleam in Brian's blue eyes as he climbed on top and kissed him hard on the mouth. "You know, I really want to fuck you."

Carson thought about Rocco. His boyfriend (granted, a loose term here) never took the high road, especially when Carson was out of town, at work, or, hell, even in the next room. It was noon in New York. Rocco was probably just waking up with some guy he'd met the night before. His idea of commitment was where he kept his treasured collection of vinyl twelve inches. Right now it was in Carson's apartment. Significant, yes, but still too soon to register at Pottery Barn and order invitations for the commitment ceremony.

Carson's eyes engaged for what seemed like a blissful eternity with the man on the clock. Then he felt a surge up from his loins. Sorry, Rocco.

He reached for the lubricant and a condom. Carson didn't have to close his eyes and pretend Brian was Chris O'Donnell with a really short haircut because the guy was a dead ringer.

And worth every penny.

Post action, Brian lay kicked back on the bed, cradling the back of his head with both hands, all the better to show off his impressive biceps. He glanced over to check the time. "I can stay, you know. My next appointment isn't for several hours."

Carson looked up. He was between Brian's legs, his chin on the man's belly button. "I can only afford one hour. I'm not David Geffen."

"Who's that?"

"Never mind."

A moment of silence. Slightly awkward but nothing to pop a Xanax over.

"So, did you enjoy it?"

Jesus. Carson would have the luck to hire an escort with self-esteem issues. "At one point I yelled out, 'You're the king of the world!'"

Brian grinned. "Yeah, I liked that."

An impulse raced up Carson's brain stem. "Do you by any chance keep a journal?"

"No, but I write poetry."

A terrible fear registered. Rocco had written a poem once, and Carson had been forced to listen to it one morning in bed. It'd been like waking up with Jewel. Not a good way to start the day.

"Poetry's a tough sell," Carson said diplomatically. "I was thinking more along the lines of a diary." He waved a hand through the air. "This Stud for Hire: A Week in the Life of a Male Escort."

Brian's eyes brightened with interest.

"It'd be perfect for Throb."

"I love that magazine."

Carson smiled. "Well, you just rammed the editor in chief."

Brian swung out of bed and started hunting down his clothes. "For real? That's cool. It's a fun mag, like a gay guy's Cosmo. You don't bring us down with a bunch of political crap or scare us to death with health news."

"I wish you'd been in last month's focus group."

"What's that?"

"Never mind." He watched him slip on his underwear. "So what do you think about the diary? You could have a byline and a photo spread."

Brian hesitated. "Too many people read that magazine. I'm only up front about what I do with a few other escorts."

As Brian put on his pants and buttoned his shirt, Carson considered splurging for an extra hour, then discarded the idea. "Your business would soar."

The guy didn't wait so much as a beat. "No, thanks. I'm not in this for the long haul. Just trying to make some cash until my acting and modeling career take off."

Good-looking, great in bed, and a cliché. A true multitalent. "Have I seen you in anything?"

"I had a big role in an industrial video once. I played a supervisor who sexually harassed a secretary."

"Kind of like an after school special for adults with boring jobs?"

"Yeah." He scooped up his tie and stepped in front of the mirror to knot it.

"What about modeling?"

"I was in a catalog for workout equipment." He struck a jogging pose. "This was me on the treadmill."

"At least give the diary some thought."

Brian admired his reflection, smoothing his buzzed hair with both hands. "You can put me in the magazine after I win my Tony Award."

He was so sweet to dream out loud. Carson wanted to hug him and gently break the news that you had to work on the New York stage to get one of those.

"Time's up."

Carson picked up an envelope and walked it over.

Brian accepted the cash without counting and kissed him. "How about something extra for parking?"

Carson produced another ten dollars. A thought distracted him. "At the risk of getting too personal, how do you maintain a relationship in your line of work?"

"I don't. But that's not unusual here. L.A. is filled with flakes. People never expect others to live up to their promises." Brian shrugged. "I've got a secret life going on, plus acting and modeling to pursue. I'd make a terrible boyfriend."

Carson's idea wheels started spinning. He practically pushed Brian out of the hotel room, then retrieved his pager from underneath the pillow, typed in a message, and sent it to Danny. It was the perfect topic for the next gay summit.

Q: WHAT DO U CONSIDER BOYFRIEND MATERIAL?

Girl, You're in My Heart

The answer was Leo Summer. Danny Kimura fought hard to control his lustful stare. He was, after all, legal counsel to the entire boy band, not erotomaniac to just one member. But every cell of Leo's white-hot, yes-I'm-a-star, even-the-way-I-sleep-is-cool heartthrobness demanded attention.

As did the situation at hand-a bruising negotiation to hammer out a deal regarding a Four Deep network special. With the group's manager sidelined by last minute tour details, Danny had been tapped to helm this meeting.

So far, so good. After bluffing the assembled Ivy League trio with an insane asking price, he sat ready to accept a huge sum to lock the guys in-much more than Four Deep was worth. Danny had forecasted this desperation with just the sort of cunning that had helped him leapfrog from clerk to junior associate to future partner at Ross, Orloff, & Dayan, an entertainment law firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo. His clients ruled the multiplexes, starred on television's number one sitcom, sat atop the Publishers Weekly list, hoofed it on Broadway, and, in Four Deep's case, dominated MTV's Total Request Live.

Danny had known that the early season ratings for the network in question would be dismal. The new entertainment chief had signed off on one of the crappiest fall lineups in recent memory. An updated version of BJ & the Bear (still with the less talented Landers sister) had actually made it onto the air. That's why he'd stalled this formal talk until after the numbers were in. After all, a pressured executive's naked yearning for a guaranteed sweeps period blockbuster could be a beautiful thing.

"Where do you plan to schedule us?"

The network reps stared back in amazement because the question-a very relevant one-had come from Leo. Guys in slickly packaged, highly choreographed boy bands weren't supposed to think. They were supposed to demand Krispy Kreme doughnuts and blame farts on each other.

"We're not sure," the official spokesman murmured, his gaze on Danny. "Probably a Friday or Saturday in mid-November."

Danny glanced at Leo. This young man was nobody's studio puppet. The story of him leaving school at fourteen to move to Orlando and trudge through the teen dream factory was now a paragraph of pop history. Maybe he didn't know his trigonometry, but Leo definitely knew his demographics.

"My audience doesn't stay home on Friday and Saturday nights," he said. "Your mother does."

The top suit's face turned pink. Then he laughed nervously. "You've got a point there, Leo."

Danny studied Chad, Greg, and Damian, the more disposable members of Four Deep, three guys who would most likely be working at a car wash if they didn't happen to be in a successful boy band. Had they noticed Leo's bold pronoun choice? Did they even know why they were here? Could they tell you who the vice president of the United States was? No, no, and hell no, respectively.

"Tuesday," Leo said with authority.

Danny watched the network reps take in the savvy pop star, reassessing their preconceived notions about the uneducated, model-perfect commodity who sang banal ditties and danced with robotic precision. They didn't know that Leo had fought the brass at his record label over the first single release from Four Deep's sophomore album, Twice Shy. The execs wanted to unleash the up tempo "I've Got a Secret (And It's Loving You)," but Leo had lobbied hard for the power ballad, "Girl, You're in My Heart." They reluctantly deferred to his wishes, and the song hit number one within six weeks. It was still perched there, not only on the pop chart, but on the adult contemporary and dance charts as well. For the latter, it had been Leo's idea to record new vocals with DJ/remixer Abraham B. for an edgier sound.

"Tuesday it is," the network man promised.

After that, it didn't take long for Danny to close the deal for megabucks, a turn of events made all the sweeter by the fact that the teen pop boom was officially on life support. Still, as long as twelve-year-old girls roamed the earth ...

They were in the elevator when Greg elbowed Danny to say, "Hey, man, I bet you can't guess how many times Damian jerked off yesterday."

He shot a disapproving glance to this beefy kid with the flop of red hair and the broad face. "You're right. I can't."

Chad extended his finger. "Pull it," he encouraged, laughing.

Continue...


Excerpted from Boyfriend Material by Jon Jeffrey Copyright © 2002 by Jon Salem
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Boyfriend Material 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like my stories to have characters that are a little more believable. I just couldn't figure out where the storyline was.