REVIEW: Ted of the d’Urbervilles, by Rob Rosen

Ted of the d'Urbervilles - Rob Rosen

Title: Ted of the d’Urbervilles

Author: Rob Rosen

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Comedy

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages: 195

Reviewer: Pat

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen.

Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted.

Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates.

At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase “Love is Love” — though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end.TEXT

The Review

If Charles Dickens had set out to write a contemporary rags to riches story, Rosen’s Ted could easily have been the result. At times funny and others heart-breaking, the story of a twenty-three-year-old orphan on a quest to find his birthright with a down-and-out same age drug addict companion sweeps readers away on a fantastic journey fraught with peril and heightened by love.

Ted, whose mother died of cancer and father committed suicide afterward, has been living on the streets of San Francisco for six years when he gets an email message on his free gmail account that he accesses at the public library. The message says that Ted’s nearest relative, Mortimer D’Ubervilles, has died and Ted needs to come to New York for the reading of the will.

So begins the strange journey in which Ted who has under ten dollars to his name heads his way across country. After being mothered by a female truck driver who hands him off to a gay trucker, Ted finds himself stuck in Denver. (Quick reader warning: If you are turned off by fisting, this isn’t the book for you.)

In Denver, Ted hooks up with straight homeless drug addict Benny, whose survival skills surpass Ted’s by miles and enable them to get to the East coast for the reading and a jarring change in fortunes. While Benny is survival smart, he’s equally drug dumb and goes through a rough detox when they jump a train. But by then he and Ted have bonded, and together they bouy each other up over the boggy patches.

There’s no reason for gay Ted and straight Benny to be anything other than fleeting acquaintances, but the way they mesh in the story comes across as true and real.

Rosen’s breezy style and jaunty pacing make what could have been a maudlin sludge through life’s underbelly into a gentle romp between modern survival and bonding between two intrinsically different men.

Warning: While this may sound like the ideal book for lovers of gay romance, those who might want to avoid reading about certain sexual practices will want to take my warning to heart: Fisting is a fact of life in this book as are an entire array of gay practices. Of course, if you’re offended by graphic depictions of sex, it’s easy to skip over those scenes without derailing the plot and spoiling the book. But it’s good to keep in mind this warning if you have any qualms.

The Reviewer

Pat Henshaw:

* Is a she, not a he.

* Writes MM romances.

* Has interviewed Arlo Guthrie, Big Bird, Fred Rogers, Liberace, and Vincent Price.

* Has lived and worked on all three US coasts and in the middle of the country, too.

* Has been a reviewer, costumer, librarian, and teacher.

* Has ridden an elephant, touched the pyramids, and stood at the edge of a volcano.

* Believes love is essential to everyone’s happiness.

* She wants you to remember: Every day is a good day for romance! 

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