Dreamspinner Press, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-935192-39-8
Contemporary Romance, 2008
The plot of Connie Bailey’s Miles to Go is really ridiculous and full of implausible moments. We have a cop who goes undercover on his own, just like they always do in movies, because he wants to prove to his homeboys in the force that Gay Men Can Do It Well Too or something. He infiltrates the drug ring of our British villain Gareth “Hairy” Carey only to fall for Hairy’s toy boy Billy Rose, a damaged rent boy. If you are getting this uneasy feeling that this story is shaping up to be something like a script of those atrocious softporn gay movies released on a monthly basis by TLA Entertainment Group, you are actually correct.
What makes this one more enjoyable than those horrible, horrible movies is, of course, the fact that this is a book rather than a movie so I don’t have to see those talent-free actors trying to emote on screen. Instead, I howl with laughter at the oh-so-ridiculous hammy scenes like this one:
Gareth’s smile would have made a crocodile nervous. “Not until I get what I came for, you beautiful brat,” he said.
“Get out of my room!” Billy shouted.
“I will,” Gareth assured him as he dropped his trousers. “As soon as I’ve fucked you silly. I might even take the time to fuck you back to your senses.”
“I’m not in the mood right now.” Billy looked defiantly into the eyes of the man stalking purposefully toward him. “If you touch me, I’ll kill you; I swear it.”
“Keep it up, baby; you know I like it when you talk tough,” Gareth said.
“Then you’re really going to love this,” Billy said.
Gareth ducked the punch the young man aimed at his head and wrapped his arms around Billy’s supple frame. Billy writhed like a demon in a pentagram, but the big man held him fast. Pivoting to the right, Gareth pitched them both onto the bed.
“Fuck you, you bastard,” Billy said, bucking under the other man’s weight.
Gareth chuckled as he gathered Billy’s wrists in one large hand. “Make me work for it, my darling devil.”
“Get off me, arsehole!” Billy barked as Carey settled against him.
Gareth pinned one of the young man’s thighs to the mattress with his knee and yanked the other leg over his shoulder. “You’re so fucking beautiful,” Gareth growled as he gazed down at Billy’s manicured crotch.
From “make a crocodile nervous” to “devil in a pentagram” to “manicured crotch”, the above excerpt is truly a thing of beauty to behold. And I haven’t even mentioned the skater gangs yet.
Miles to Go is a pretty bad book, yes, but I have to admit, it is so enjoyably entertaining in a spectacular showcase of camp kind of way. Therefore, I can’t in good conscience give this one a low grade, not when I often laughed so hard during the story that I actually started slamming my palm against the table at one point (it was the “manicured crotch”, I tell you).
And to be fair to the author, I don’t think this is her typical style. I have read one previous story by her, and that one is very different from this one, with the only similarity being the melodramatic speeches that plague all the characters in both stories. That one is a college-blues story while this one is more akin to a pulp gay thriller thing. I may have to read one more story by this author just to figure out what her style actually is.
Anyway, when it comes to Miles to Go, it’s up to you. If you think you can appreciate the horrific awfulness of this story the same way one can find entertainment in a spectacularly bad B-grade movie, hey, it’s your $6.99 – knock yourself out. This is definitely one of those stories where you will either take a look at this one and be horrified by how bad it is or you will put on your bad movie fan cap and laugh yourself silly at how bad it is. Know yourself, proceed accordingly.