Title: Perfect Day
Author: Josh Lanyon
Cover Artist: KB Smith
Publisher: Just Joshin’ Publications
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short Story (21 pages/under 8k words)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
One Sentence Review: Just lovely.
Wyatt loves Graham. But Graham is still in love with Jase. Still, things could be worse. They could be camping.
Josh Lanyon is supposed to be on sabbatical, but apparently someone forgot to tell him because he’s slipped this little gem out when I didn’t expect him to. Now I realize that Perfect Day is a short – not my favorite format, I’ll admit upfront (usually not enough space to do a story justice, in my opinion) – but as he did with one of my favorite reads by him, In Sunshine and In Shadow (reviewed here as part of his Collected Novellas Volume 1), he crammed in a novel’s-worth of story into just a few pages and it works beautifully. No guns, no dead peeps, no mystery, just a simple – yet complex – little romantic tale. I liked it the first time through, I loved it the second.
Wyatt and Graham have been dating for two months. Even though he knew better, Wyatt has fallen in love, but Graham is still in love with and grieving for his deceased partner, Jase. Now Wyatt has done the unforgivable – saying out loud what his feelings are – and it looks like that’s the end of their relationship. Or is it?
This story takes place over the course of less than a day, and in that day (and 21 pages) Lanyon manages to cram in tons of character development, a full (albeit short) plot, backstory and world-building, and the conveyance so many emotions: unrequited love, grief, heartache, anger, survivor’s guilt, joy, realizations, hope. Tears and laughter were present, both on the protags’ part and mine.
Our two heroes are as fully-fleshed as possible for the length of the story – even more so than some novels – and Jase is pretty much a third protag for as much as he is mentioned and described. I immediately cared for the characters and what was going to happen. Luckily there is no explicit smexxin as it would have just taken precious space away from the stuff that matters here – the character and plot devo.
Don’t let the short format scare you away – if that was a possibility. You won’t be sorry.