REVIEW: Eight Acts – A.L. Lester

Eight Acts - A.L. Lester

Genre: Romance, British Historical, 1960’s

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Baker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.

Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music, and general culture, whilst Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.

Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man — funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.

What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?

The Review

It’s London in 1967, and the Sexual Offenses Act has just been updated to decriminalize homosexuality. But the reality of decriminalization doesn’t necessarily make it safe for gay men.

Percy Wright and Les Barker are friends and have decided to take temporary teaching jobs in London for the summer. They decide to share a flat near Oxford. Les is younger than Percy and likes to meet new people for his own reasons, while Percy really tries to be more cautious. Percy is trapped into going to a concert that Les has already made arrangements for, to meet Les’ date Phil and his friend Adrian Framlingham.

As the evening wears on, Percy has an idea how things will go – Les and Phil leave together and Adrian and Percy are left on their own. Returning to Adrian’s flat, things begin to develop, and little by little a connection grows between the two men.

Percy still has concerns about Les’ “hook-ups,” and Les finds himself in trouble. Percy becomes very worried about Les and when Les finally returns to the flat, Percy is beside himself and calls on Adrian for help. Adrian is a life saver, sticking by Percy’s side and helps with Les’ trauma.

AL Lester brings us a wonderful, romantic short spin-off story from “Taking Stock” where Percy and Adrian first come into the picture. She makes Adrian and Percy such interesting characters in their own story. There’s also a fair share of drama with Les, bring out the rings concern and caring instincts from everyone involved. I also liked the portrayal of two strong women in the story: Dr. Beverley Richards, and Les’ mother Lucy Barker.

I liked that this wasn’t insta-love. Percy and Adrian make a great connection, but it’s not without doubt. A lot goes on between Percy and Adrian as they navigate their history and their feelings grow.

I have to wonder if Lester will give Leslie Barker his own tale. I really liked this short, romantic, love story, and hope to see more shorts from AL Lester!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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