Author: Megan Slayer
Sure, everybody has their quirks, but Mike Larson’s album collection is in a league of its own. It also speaks of an obsession that tends to make a lot of people keep their distance. Which is fine by him, since the last guy he let get too close betrayed him. But, loneliness doesn’t really suit Mike, and what he’d like is to find someone he can truly relate to—not that such a man actually exists.
Though he’s never much cared for commitment before, Leon Sanders isn’t sure he can help himself when the gorgeous, self-conscious man in business casual walks into his record store on a mission. Haggling over hard-to-find albums gives Leon a thrill, but something about Mike makes him want more than just a one-night stand. But, letting down his guard has not served him well, and doing so now won’t be easy. But, somehow, he’s not going to let this chance at real happiness slip through his fingers without a fight.
While I have read quite a few short stories designed for quick gratification and a guaranteed happy ending, I ran into several difficulties with Mixing Mike. Mike and Leon are both interesting characters, but, even with the brevity of the story, the speed with which they progress from their initial meeting to referring to each other as “friend,” along with the casual, physical gestures that accompanied the designation, felt a little awkward. I find that one-night stands are fairly easy to accept, but the instant friendship here is a bit harder to believe, and caused me to question my understanding of the timeline involved. The confusion over the passage of time, as well as a shift in the subject of the action of a scene, and so forth, made it difficult to stay with the story from beginning to end.
Having said that, though, it is true that there are pros and cons with any series of this kind, and there were plenty of good things in Mixing Mike that can be built on as well. Ms. Slayer has written two characters who are complete opposites on the surface, but very much alike at heart. They are unique, and both are survivors adrift, but not yet drowning. It is a sweet story, in many ways, and Mike and Leon are certainly incredibly sexually compatible. They are at their best when they are together and unguarded, which is a strength used to advantage throughout. I also liked that, while neither man is so naïve as to swear to “forever” right away, they’re both committed to giving their relationship everything they’ve got. The simple fact that they are both discophiles is enough to make me want to read more all by itself.
Mixing Mike is a glimpse at a chance for two people, who never thought of love as a real option, to find it. As was true in Catching Cary, the other Zero, Ohio story I’ve read, it is short and easy to finish in one sitting. While there were a few rough patches, and some aspects would have benefitted from a little more revision, I enjoyed meeting the main characters a great deal. Mixing Mike does refer to characters in some of the other stories, but stands on its own very well. Although I have no idea if the series will ever be revisited and expanded in the future, I believe that Leon and Mike have plenty more to tell, and I’d like to hear more from them further down the line.
Mike Larson loves his vinyl records and keeps them in meticulous order. His job as an air traffic controller is great, but he’s lonely. The search for the last record on his Top 100 of the ‘80’s list is right within reach if he’s willing to step outside his comfort zone.
Leon Sanders doesn’t believe in love or a lasting relationship and why should he? When he turns on the charm at Vintage Vinyl, his music store, he makes the best sales. The guyliner, dyed black hair and flamboyant persona is a shy guy looking for his perfect complement. Something about the quiet man makes Leon want to give love a chance and mix it up with Mike.
Release Date: December 16, 2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Series: Zero, Ohio #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, m/m, novella
Book Source: Publisher
Mixing Mike (Zero, Ohio #3)
Reviews in the Series:
Catching Cary by Megan Slayer (Zero, Ohio #4)