A Lie I Can Live With by Eden Winters
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: GLBT Contemporary
Length: 67 pages
With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service GetaDate.com matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.
Now and then you meet a secondary character in a story you love, and yearn to find out more of what happens to him, especially if he's in dire need of an HEA of his own. Otis Tucker, who was one of Barry's "this isn't Mr. Right!" dates in The Match Before Christmas, really deserves some happiness. Eden Winters has brought him to the forefront in A Lie I Can Live With.
Otis could be called an uber-nerd, but it's a good question whether he's withdrawn into a fantasy world of video games out of loneliness, or if he's lonely because he spends so much time with a controller in his hands. Fortunately, the baby steps he's taken to finding a social life led him to Barry, who spends two stories of his own (Match and Fanning the Flames) making things happen for other people. Otis and Barry have a business relationship that disqualifies them from a romance, but Barry's fix-it-ivity is just what Otis needs. A bigger dollop of self-confidence wouldn't hurt either, but it's that insecurity which makes Otis someone I can identify with.
Those who have read the first two stories might suspect that Barry steered Garret in the right direction just a little, and a good thing, because these two guys hit it off well from the start. Not in any diving into bed way, but slowly, as friends, something that neither one has as much experience with as you might think. Nothing is exactly what it looks like here, whether it's the reasons Garret seems standoffish or why Otis' pies don't taste quite right, but what it looks like and what it really is are both just what these two need to get together.
The readers get to share all of Otis' inner thoughts and can really relate; when is he going to decide I'm too much of a loser? Or I'm not as physically perfect as he is... Or OMG he wants me to WHAT? And again, nothing is quite what it seems, including that this is a holiday story, because it holds up well out of season.
The video game references are all over, close to once too often, and a TV show reference dragged a bit, but all in all, if that's how Garret's inner nerd-lovin' comes out, okay, as long as they're happy. And I’m happy, because Garret doesn't want Otis to change in order to find him loveable. A Lie I Can Live With will bring out the inner nerd-love in the rest of us too. 4.5 Marbles