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But Not For Me

But Not For Me - J.S. Cook 4 Stars

This story was set in the early 1930s and revolves around gangsters in New York. Nino is the head of a crime organization. He’s fought his way to get there and he’s good at being the boss. He’s smart and has no problem getting his hands dirty. While attending a party one night he sees a young man to whom he feels an instant attraction. Problem is he’s with Big Frank, a nasty fellow crime boss. He punches the beautiful young man in front of everyone and Nino feels the need to protect him. He basically takes the kid away from Nino under the threat of death but he just can’t leave him in the hands of that maniac.

Stanley is terrified of what will happen when he goes with Nino because surely Big Frank is going to make him pay. He’s also terrified of Nino. He knows the man has a reputation and thinks he’s being taken as a screw you to Big Frank. When Nino explains that he just “don’t like to see nobody treated that way” Stanley wants to believe him but he’s been terrorized and trapped for five years and trust isn’t something that comes easy to him. He thinks maybe Nino will expect the same sexual favors he’s been forced to give to Big Frank but Nino is adamant about just wanting to help him out.

Stanley starts to believe in miracles when Nino gives him a new wardrobe, a place to stay, job with his own office and secretary. Nino knows right away he wants Stanley but neither knows the other likes men. Plus, he learns of the things Big Frank did to Stanley and seduction seems so wrong. The two slowly start falling for each other but being a mob boss and Big Frank wanting his “property” back, creates lots of problems for a budding romance. Makes the fact that they are gay in a time when it is considered taboo seem like a small thing to work around. Not that there isn’t prejudice because there is.

The rest of Whit's review can be found at
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