Book Reviews

Start Me Up (Set in Stone) by Megan Slayer at Changeling Press

Genre Gay / Historical / Urban Fantasy / Recent (1970s) / Robots/Androids/AI / Magic / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 02-August-2019

Book Blurb

Chris Jordan swore when his partner died in January of 1979, he'd never find another lover. He didn't want another one. But six months later, he still yearns for the man he loved.

Chris finds a letter from Steve telling him to visit Start Me Up, an electronics store. What could his partner have planned? What he finds at the store blows his mind, but will he be able to accept the desires of his partner -- especially a seemingly robotic version of Steve?

Only time and patience will tell if these two lovers can find the passion they shared or if Steve's death meant the end of everything.

First edition published by Changeling Press, July 2016.

Book Review

While this story is set in the past, in 1979, a time when AIDS was at its height, what happens is pure fiction. Chris has lost his partner, Steve, to the “gay cancer” as it was called back then, and he is still in deep mourning six months after his death. Then he gets a letter to come to a certain store, and what he finds there changes his life.

The version of electronics the author uses in ‘Start Me Up’ is an unusual combination of technology and pure magic. As ever when supernatural things are involved, there are certain rules, and both Chris and the “robotic” version of Steve have to stick to them if they want to have the second chance they both crave. Figuring out those rules was fun, but the one thing I found hard to deal with was the knowledge that all of Chris and Steve’s friends did not have the same option of accessing this magic – and neither did all the men who fell victim to a disease that was as deadly as it was stigmatized in the early days.

The effect of having Steve “come back to life” on Chris was kind of interesting. He did not jump at the chance immediately, instead approached his change in circumstances with a healthy dose of skepticism. Ultimately, what determined the outcome for both men was their love for each other and that made my inner romantic very happy.

If you like stories with a touch of magic, if you think that two men who want to build a life together deserve a chance to do so, no matter what Fate may have decided, and if you’re looking for a slightly mysterious, entertaining, and very sweet read, then you will probably like this short story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Changeling Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 54 pages/16000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-August-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link