Reviewed by Chris
SERIES: London Lads #4
AUTHOR: Clare London
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 63 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2017
A London Lads Story
Ever wanted to spy secretly on other people’s lives?
Ken doesn’t have a choice: his student summer job is manning the CCTV screens for the new central London shopping mall. But instead of spotting criminals or vandals, he becomes fascinated by a cute waiter from the local bistro who sneaks out to the backyard for his break—and plays sexy to the camera.
Is he an old friend, or just an anonymous exhibitionist? Should Ken be excited by this naughty peepshow, or will people think he’s a voyeuristic pervert? Poor Ken’s confused and thrilled in turn. It’s like living in one of the movies he’s studying at university. He knows the man can’t see him, yet Ken feels a connection of some kind. It all encourages Ken to continue with his guilt-ridden Waiter Watch.
Ken bears the suspense as long as he can, until a chance meeting and an abortive blind date provide the explanation to the secret assignations. But will this guide Ken to a real-life chance of romance?
Ken might not have the most boring job ever…but it probably comes in somewhere in the top 5. Spending his nights stuck looking at CCTV monitor screens over the most uninteresting bits of a shopping mall, he has a lot of time and so very little to do. That is until he catches a hot waiter doing some very non-waiter-y things behind a trash can.
While I was a little worried that this story would come off as a total creeper-fest, I do think it did a decent job of being self-aware enough to acknowledge the kinda dubious nature of perving out on a total stranger thru a security camera. That Ken is not all that comfortable having done so helps tone-down the creep factor, and made it an easier read for me.
Mostly this was just an ok story. I don’t think we got deep enough into the characters for me to really buy any type of grand romance between them…but since this is really only the story of how they started to date, I can kinda live with that. Had the characters been declaring undying love by the end of these 60 or so pages I would have never bought it, but as is, it works for me.
I do wish that we had gotten either more of them in the present, or more about their history together, because while there are certainly hints, they as characters don’t really jump off the page. Ken, as the main pov, has better grounding…but even he comes across as underdeveloped. I was never quite sure how old he was or what he studied in school. The British school system confuses the fuck out of me anyways, so I am never quite sure how old anyone is or were at certain points in the past. And the other MC doesn’t get much page time at all. Well, other than his performances.
This story wasn’t bad, but by the end of it I was left feeling not nearly as satisfied as I wanted to be. And having come off another short story that hit it out of the park in nearly the same amount of pages, I was kinda disappointed that this one was unable to deliver another small gem.