The Flawed Boys anthology by Martin Delacroix contains three short stories: Slacker, Dream Boy and The Little Prince. Each story is standalone, but they have a unifying theme of men with emotional or physical flaws seeking love.
Slacker is the unusual story of Robert, a young man with a past full of emotional abuse and personal failure. The story is simple–young man meets older, more established man and falls in love. The departure comes with the term of endearment that Robert calls Cecil.
Robert’s voice tells the story of Slacker. Robert has a self-deprecating voice that sometimes rings with pain and other times sounds like he might be on the verge of happiness.
Dream Boys is the second story in Flawed Boys and deals with the residue of sexual abuse. The two main characters in Dream Boys are Keith Reinhardt and Riley Davenport. Again, the relationship is between an older man and a younger man. Riley’s sexy exterior hides a traumatized spirit; a young man running from demons in his past. Keith, on the other hand, is lonely and looking for someone to care. Delacroix slowly reveals Riley’s secrets and Keith’s attempts to develop a loving relationship in the wake of a painful trauma. Dream Boys is a sweet story of patience and love.
Delacroix ends the anthology with The Little Prince, the tale of Will and Eric. This short story follows the theme of the anthology by presenting individuals in less than flattering light. In this instance, it’s a rich young man and a poor one. Eric is rich with material wealth, but his emotional life is sorely lacking. Will tells the story of The Little Prince; through his eyes Eric appears handsome and well-favored. But Eric is lonely and timid when it comes to reaching out to others. The summer they spend together changes both of them.
In the end, Flawed Boys is about hope and possibilities and reaching out for the one thing that everybody wants–love. This is an entertaining anthology that holds together as a unit, as well as separately in each story. Delacroix knows how to paint rich images with his writing. Flawed Boys gets 4 stars.
Review originally appeared on Blackraven’s Reviews
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Image courtesy of Noble Romance Publishing