“Once you know what you want, you can make the rest happen.” – Aleksandr Voinov
Title: If It Drives (A Market Garden Tale)
Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 221 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: If it flies, drives, or fornicates, it’s cheaper to rent it.
After driving James Harcourt, his wealthy banker boss, around for a year and a half, Cal isn’t surprised by much anymore. Not even James’s regular trips to Market Garden, London’s most elite gay brothel.
But when James leaves the Garden alone one night and turns to Cal instead, Cal’s floored. After crushing on his boss for ages, it’s his wet dream come true . . . until the awkward morning after. Cal still has a job to do, but he wants to offer more. Yet James doesn’t take him up on it; he keeps Cal at arm’s length and continues his chauffeured jaunts to Market Garden.
As Cal learns what James needs from the rentboys, he tries to fill that need himself. But there’s more to James’s penchant for rentboys than Cal realises, and it may be one role that Cal can’t fill without overstepping his duty.
Review: If It Drives is the seventh in the Market Garden series co-authored by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov. They have all been wildly popular for good reason. These are a series of stories, some barely fifty pages long, some over two-hundred, about rent boys and their johns set in the Market Garden section of London. This one was particularly good. It wasn’t one I had been looking forward to. I believe the authors and all the fans reading this know exactly which one I AM looking forward to! This one had a sweetness and a vulnerability that I liked.
Callum has been chauffeuring James for about 18 months now. He got the job through his uncle’s limo company, and he is glad to have it with the economy the way it is. He has secretly been crushing on his sexy, rich and very gay boss for most of his employment.
Cal has driven James to meetings with high powered bankers and foreign dignitaries. He has driven him to parties for the rich and famous. The only place he has driven James which has bothered him is on James’s approximately monthly trips to the Market Garden to pick out his companionship for the night. Cal waits for James to make his selection, drives them back to James’s house, and then makes them coffee and sees the rent boy home in the morning. James has no idea that this drives Cal insane.
After one trip to the Market Garden, James comes out alone. The tension in him has been building, and he seems extremely disappointed to have not found what he was looking for. It seems none of the boys that meet his requirements were available that night. He invites Cal in for a drink, which turns into an overnight stay and an awkward morning after.
Cal wants to figure out how to continue being James’s driver but also pursue a sexual and romantic relationship with him. As he so clearly found out, James seems to be as attracted to him as he is to James. When Cal tries to put together the clues to figure out what it is that James needs from a lover, he turns to the one place he knows will be able to help him. The Market Garden.
The owner of the Market Garden knows who James is right away and suggests that Cal meet with Nick, one of the former rent boys that James spent time with frequently. Nick has left the business for true love and a committed relationship and is surprised by Cal’s call, but agrees to meet with him.
The difficulty of the situation is to determine where the line must be drawn to separate Cal’s job from his role as James’s lover. Nick is able to help Cal to learn what he needs to do to meet James’s sexual needs, but James and Cal must navigate the separation of the two roles. Watching them dance back and forth over that line is cruel pleasure for the reader,
The vulnerability James shows in opening up to Cal about his needs and letting Cal in is really touching. Cal’s determination to be all that his lover needs no matter how hard it is to learn what he must know is so sweet. He really wants their relationship to work, and so does James. Watching the drama play out is entertaining and romantic. Witt & Voinov have written another winner in If It Drives. I hope there are more in the series, one in particular…