Half a Man

Half a Man - Scarlet Blackwell A Hearts On Fire Review

3.75 HEARTS--"Half a Man" by Scarlet Blackwell is a novella set in England after the end of WWI. The damaged soldiers and influenza scare help set the tone for this romance between a wheelchair bound ex-solider, Robert, and a rent boy/book shop worker, Jack.

This is an interesting take on the "Pretty Woman" theme, you know...a prostitute with a heart of gold has a dashing wealthy man swoop in to ease their troubles with a fat cock and an even fatter wallet.

The twist is:

1) it's set in 1919 - different world and mindset (the author did a good job capturing the essence)
2) Robert is paralyzed from the waist down and battles impotence issues. The urge is there (hence the hiring of Jack)

The novella starts off strong, it delves into an area that is real, sex with a physically disabled partner and how to achieve pleasure. I loved the fact that Robert's physical ailments were not miraculously solved. The ending was HEA leaning more to HFN to me but I was happy.

This is a Scarlet Blackwell book which means expect some version of rollercoaster emotions and twists. And they were given...not as hyped as I know she can go. The miasma of Robert's feelings of inadequacy was always present. And Jack's hesitancy with starting their relationship (he's a prostitute and how could he be with a handicapped fully) was natural.

Their dialogue read stiff and formal a lot but I'll chock it up to the time period. I'm deducting for the back and forth weeping, unsure declarations. I wanted to shake both Jack and Robert at one point, to just get it together. They obviously cared for one another. There are bouts of jealousy, harsh words and other lovers. Was it insta-love-ish? Yeah but it worked for the two.

I think I am more in love with the fantasy of them being together then the actuality of them making it work. Robert was sneakily demanding but Jack might be the man for him.

Entertaining read with enough history to keep it interesting.