Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Friends with Benefits
Author: Francis Gideon
Heroes: Devon Gangon/Jace Perez
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 90 Pages
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When stock boy Devon Gangon finds out he has to train a new employee at the grocery store where he works, Jace Perez is not what he expected. Jace is shy but talkative about all the right things, including Devon’s favourite punk band, Nine Volt Start. Over the course of a few weeks, they become closer and closer, and their stray touches finally build up to a tryst in the back room.
Nine Volt Start announces a reunion tour, and Devon thinks Jace is the perfect person to go with him. But Jace tells him he’d much rather keep his work and personal life separate and leaves Devon in the cold. With Jace drawing a line, Devon’s left wondering if spending his time idolizing a band and not doing anything with his art degree has been worthwhile. He’ll be twenty-nine in less than a month and hasn’t had a serious relationship in years.
Leaning on his brother and best friend for support, Devon realizes he either has to settle for random hook-ups with Jace or push for something more, even if it may hurt in the end.
Review: Devon is 29 and works with his brother at a grocery store as a stock boy. He has a degree in art, but isn’t using it – due to the market right now. He plays a lot of video games and loves a band named Nine Volt Start.
One day, Devon’s brother, Terry, asks Devon to help him train a new guy, Jace. Jace and Devon bond over the same band, and eventually have sex, but when Devon asks Jace to go to the concert with him, he says they can’t be friends outside of work.
Devon is crushed until he finds out why. Then he and Jace are able to be friends with benefits again.
This story did not work for me. I think one of the big principle things that failed for me was the fact that I didn’t ever empathize with any of the characters – except maybe Terry who was just trying to do a decent job.
Devon was just a kid with not much ambition who loves a band and who got bummed when the guy he liked treated him poorly. I never got to see him as anything more “deep” than that.
I never understood Jace or his “secret”. Why would [the secret] keep him from seeing Devon. And when they made up – nothing had changed with [the secret] so what made him do a 180?
I also missed the significance of the whole band thing. Other than being something for the two to bond over, it occupied a lot of page time without seeming to serve a higher purpose.
It’s possible the meaning was buried in here and I just didn’t see it, but this was a story that just didn’t seem to go anywhere.
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*