Book Reviews

He's Behind You (Treading the Boards 3) Rebecca Cohen

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Erotic Romance / Holiday / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 12-January-2020

Book Blurb

Craig Rosen thinks he’s pretty happy with his quiet geeky life working in a lab in London and playing Warhammer. But one of his colleagues has other ideas and drags Craig along to an audition at the amateur dramatic society, the Sarky Players, for their Christmas pantomime, Aladdin. Meeting Jason Carter makes Craig think that maybe he’s not as content as he thought.

Jason accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now with an ex-wife and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he meets Craig, and the cute younger man’s patience and gentleness make him the perfect guy to help Jason navigate his new life.

While there’s no denying the attraction between them, it’s not just Jason’s insecurities that might upset their best performance. Craig is convinced that someone as confident as Jason, a corporate lawyer who looks sexy in a suit, could never settle for a man like him. Together they will need to re-write the script to give themselves the happy ending they deserve.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2015.

Book Review

The Sarky Players in all their British amateur dramatic glory are back, and this time, it’s a Christmas panto they’re working on. And this version of Aladdin certainly follows the definition of a modern pantomime that “includes songs, slapstick comedy, and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humor with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale, fable or folk tale.” (Wikipedia) While the emphasis in this third book about the courageous amateurs who get onstage was more in the developing relationship between Craig and Jason, the little peeks I got into their practice sessions and backstage issues, were as delightful as ever.

Craig is what most people, including himself, would call a nerd. He is fiendishly intelligent, has a PhD, and works at the same medical lab as a postdoc researcher as Stuart (from book 2). He loves playing Warhammer and has quite the following when he goes to tournaments. Craig is also woefully insecure regarding personal relationships and constantly expects the worst. He can’t believe Jason could be happy with him, and even when all signs point to the fact that they’re well on their way to falling in love, Craig is convinced James is getting ready to dump him. He is also very grown up about the situation and has no problems talking about it, but it doesn’t change the fact that, deep down, he believes he is unlovable.

Jason is what you’d call a late bloomer. He got his high school girlfriend pregnant and married her; they had their daughter when he was seventeen, and a son a few years later. He doesn’t regret having the children, but he has finally acknowledged he is gay, come out, and is now looking to live his life as a gay man. He may be a hotshot corporate lawyer, but he has no idea how to make a relationship with a man work. I think he’s been waiting for someone to hand him the manual and has been imagining he’d “try things out” with and older, more experienced man. But when Craig comes along to the audition for the pantomime, Jason likes him and decides to get to know him better. It’s a good thing Jason is older and knows what he wants, never mind what he expected, because he can deal with all of Craig’s insecurities much better than a younger man might be.

It was a delight to watch these two men deal with things in an adult way. Yes, there were problems and there was drama and they needed to learn how to communicate, but I loved seeing them deal with everything in a normal, grown-up way. If you like romances set in today’s Britain, if a look behind the scenes of a British Christmas panto production sounds interesting, and if you’re looking for a read that will make you laugh as well as touch your heart, then you will probably like this novella. I certainly hope there’ll be another book in this series!





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 166 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-November-2019
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link