Catch A Falling Star

by Matt Burlingame

Catch a Falling Star - Matt Burlingame
Editions:Paperback - First Edition: $ 5.45
ISBN: 978-1544082127
Size: 5.00 x 8.00 in
Pages: 70
Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.49
ISBN: B06Y2KQHW4
Pages: 64

A therapist once told Martin Stevens that being gay was the only thing that saved him from being the most boring man alive. He spends his daytime working a dead-end job and his nights still pining after the ex-fiance who left him five years ago. When his older brother, Daniel, takes him to see a touring musical, a mishap sends superstar performer Alec Jameson flying off the stage right into Martin’s lap. It’s love at first sight. But can that love withstand the scrutiny of the press, a shock-jock radio personality bent on causing trouble, and the return of Martin’s overbearing ex-fiance?

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Excerpt:

Everything about Martin Stevens was average. He lived in an average house in an average town and worked an average job. He was an average height, an average weight and wore average clothes that he bought from a discount strip mall near his work. The only thing about him that wasn’t average was that he was gay, which his former psychiatrist once told him saved him from being the most boring man he had ever met.

Every day for Martin was mostly the same. He went to work, came home, watched television and read his book-of-the-month club book until he fell asleep.

On the day Martin turned 33 years old, his coworkers—none of whom really knew him—gave him a card with his name misspelled. His mother left her annual voice message that started out with a “happy birthday,” then quickly became a lecture about his “sinful lifestyle choice.” She then put his father on the phone, who again reminded him of what a disappointment he had turned out to be.

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The only glimmer of hope to bring a smile to Martin’s usually complacent face was his older brother, Daniel, who was taking him out that night.

When his brother arrived, he gave Martin a card with a nude man on the front making a joke about blowing out his birthday candle, and a bottle of aged whiskey. Since Daniel had hired a cab to take them to a destination he was still keeping secret, he demanded the two of them have a few shots before heading out.

The two brothers had always been close. Daniel was the first person Martin came out to, and he had always supported and protected him—even from their own father who had once threatened to “beat the gay outta him.”

“So did you get anything fun for your birthday?”

Martin shrugged and held up Daniel’s card, along with the one from work.

“Who’s Morton?”

Martin pointed to himself and gave a fake smile, then dropped the card from work into the trash bin.

“That’s it? What about your friends?”

“I don’t have any friends.”

Daniel swallowed his second shot and shook his head. “There’s gotta be someone you hang out with.”

Martin scoffed. “Just Jack and Karen.”

“Work friends?”

“My fish.”

Daniel chuckled. “Ah, little bro… what happened to you? You used to have a lot of friends. What about that girl you were friends with in school? Tracey?”

“Stacey. Haven’t seen her in years.”

“And all the people who came to those parties you and David had when you were together?”

“David’s friends.”

“But you always had people from school coming over.”

Martin took a shot, held it in his mouth while giving his brother a sideways look, then swallowed hard. “That was the yearbook committee and they only came over because they all had crushes on you. Once you graduated, I was kicked off. You were voted most popular. I was the one voted most likely to die alone and be eaten by his cats.”

Daniel couldn’t stop himself from laughing. “You were not!”

“I was! That’s why I have fish. Face it, my life has not exactly been a success story.”

“But you have a steady job, a nice house… fish. You should find a good guy and—”

Martin interrupted, “Adopt some kids, get a divorce, go to a support group.” He rolled his eyes.

“Okay, okay.” Daniel poured them a third shot. “One more before we go.” He raised his shot glass. “Here’s to my little bro on his birthday. May he meet the man of his dreams and have a long and happy life together.”

“Cold day in hell, Dan,” Martin said as their glasses clinked together.

Daniel’s phone beeped. “Ride’s here.”

“You never said where we were going.”

“Didn’t I? Huh.” Daniel headed toward the door.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Shee Reader on boymeetsboyreviews.com wrote:

Review by for Boy meets Boy Reviews
Rating 3.5 Hearts

Martin is Mr Average, and at pretty low ebb in his average life. On his birthday, his little brother Daniel takes him out for drinks and to see a show. Martin is entranced with one of the actors from the start, and by some miracle ends up catching said actor when he manages to take an accidental dive off the stage, right into Martin’s lap. It’s a little far fetched, but this is a romance novella after all!

At the interval while Martin and Daniel go for a drink, the theatre’s artistic director comes over and offers Martin his enthusiastic thanks. Martin was thoroughly embarrassed by the attention, but was glad he stayed to enjoy the second act. at curtain down, as they shuffled out, the flying actor, Alec, stopped Martin to thank him again, and invites him to lunch the next day.

Martin is sure its just a thank-you, Daniel is sure its a hot date and has Martin all dressed up and helps with the very average hair.

What follows is a sweet little courtship where Alec has to work hard to convince Martin of his interest. The ending comes quickly (it’s only a short book) but manages to throw in the evil ex who had damaged Martin’s self esteem and his new boy toy/husband, a bit of insta-love and some cute declarations. All in all, short, sweet, with a nice HEA.

Anita on Goodreads wrote:

Delightfully fluffy! Martin considers himself a very boring guy. The man he loved and was to marry dumped him, hurled a reprehensible insult at him, moved away and married someone else. That and the fact that he has few friends of his own, underscores Martin's beliefs that he is dull, destined to be alone. He goes to work, goes home and watches television. He meets Alec at a musical he attends with his brother, Daniel. Their relationship moves quickly and the insta-love is front and center but it is done well. Martin can't believe that someone like Alec, a well known actor, extremely handsome and accomplished would be interested in him. Now Daniel - he was a hoot. Really enjoyed his character and his support of his brother. The clothing thing was hysterical!! Good strong writing, emotional, lovely characters and just the bit of fluff I needed. Absolutely no heat but that's fine. It fit the circumstances. Will look for more by this author.


About the Author

Matt Burlingame is an award-winning journalist and playwright, living in Northern California. After 20 years of working for for various LGBT newspapers, websites, and even cohosting a late-night radio show, he has retired from his aspirations of being the gay Murphy Brown to pursue his love of fiction writing.His first book, the self-published dark comedy Sorry Charley, was released in 2012.

He has written and cowritten over ten critically acclaimed plays including Recovery Mode, Poughkeepsie Porn Co., Countess Dracula, and the controversial Paperclip Messiah. His plays have been produced nationally, most notably in New York, and St. Louis.

He has been a well known LGBT podcaster for over 10 years and produced and cohosted shows focusing on comedy writing, world events, comedy, theater, gay sex education and positive body image. With the support and encouragement of his gay cat, and lifelong friend Nephi, he has now immersed himself into the wonderful world of M/M romance.