With Screwing the System
, Josephine Myles became an auto-buy for me. Really. Based on her previous work and the original short story of the same name in the Goodreads M/M group anthology Love is Always Write
, I pre-ordered this book (something I’ve never done before) and it is just so cool to not be disappointed.System
has some of the most popular themes in MMR right now: May-December, toppy top, adorable mouthy bottom, light BDSM. Mostly, though it has what Ms. Myles does best: real stories of men falling in love with some conflict and well-draw characters. Yes, there is hot sex and lovemaking but the sex and BDSM scenes do not fill pages substituting for plot.
Alasdair Grant is the owner of a successful janitorial services company. In the fifteen years since his partner died, he’s played without getting serious with anyone since. Cosmo Rawlings, is an unemployed musician, keeping his benefits going by pretending to be a sincere job seeker all the while intentionally freaking interviewers out by letting them think he’s heavily involved in BDSM. This way, he can continue to make music while being unencumbered by the inconvenience of a job. But when the interview with Alasdair goes well his ruse has the opposite of it’s usual effect. Cosmo is forced to come clean and Alasdair invites him to play.
I’m not going to spoil the story except to say that the blurb is a little misleading. I liked how the Sunshine Scheme incorporated something dear to the author without being preachy. Even the minor characters flesh out palpably. I also like how, as always in a Myles story, the characters and setting are clearly English: Waitrose, builder’s strength tea, and the homage to Ian Drury? Brilliant.
There are some changes from the original short story and while she left me worrying for a bit I embrace them. Whether her characters are a glass blower, travel writer, or perpetually on the dole, a Josephine Myles story is not to be missed.