Bench Hands by Peter Melillo ~ Book Review by Lirtle

bench hands cover 1 Title: Bench Hands

Author: Peter Melillo

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 2.75 of 5 Stars


Bedker Beecher is a baker by night and a university student by day. When he arrives at work one evening to hear he has to train two apprentices from the Vocational School for the Hearing Impaired, he is taken aback. But his stress is lessened by the immediate attraction he feels towards one of the young men, Perry.

The other man, Rupert, is a different matter. He is homophobic and calls Bedker a ‘four-eyed Indian faggot’ in sign language to Perry. When he realizes Bedker understands sign language, Rupert storms out of the bakery in disgust.

Left alone in a silent bakery at night, Bedker and Perry give in to the passion growing between them. As things heat up between them, they expand their sexual repertoire by opening up to new, unconventional, and even forbidden possibilities. Will Rupert be able to handle his coworkers’ budding relationship? Or will his homophobia be the wedge between them that drives all three apart?

My View:

This started out rather well. We have a diverse cast of characters, both in background and current situations, including a couple of students who are deaf. It’s set in a bakery, the fun part of the bakery, in the back, where the magic happens.

This author is better at the descriptions, at setting the scene, than dialogue. At one point, more than three pages of dialogue in a row were presented with nary a word to indicate tone, flavor, attitude, there was nothing at all. Unfortunately, this means it was rather wooden in delivery and didn’t serve these characters very well. If you’re going to have a long conversation going on between your two main characters, please include some descriptions of emotion, indication of motivation, something to let us know how it’s supposed to sound and feel.

Back to the description side of things when not involving any dialogue, this is done rather well, especially when it came to the bakery, all of its equipment, the processes. It was all very interesting and could have made for a fantastic story. These good bits were all overshadowed, however, by the generally simple, obvious writing style and one-dimensional dialogue. I also haven’t known too many 20-yr old guys who speak like that.

I do very much like the diverse cast, as I mentioned above. The main character is Native American (though it was a bit confusing at first because “Indian” was used initially in describing him, both in prose and attitude from the other characters) and his two cohorts are students at the nearby school for the deaf. These two are part of a program to experience a variety of professional settings as a part of their education.

I did wonder more than once if this story was meant to be very tongue-in-cheek or was truly meant to be an erotic love story. I honestly couldn’t  decide in the end. Again, that dialogue. If this had gone through a good editor, a lot of these things would have been addressed. At least I would like to think so.

I’ve liked a number of stories I’ve read that have been published by JMS Books. This was not one of them. The scales tipped largely in favor of the not so good, in this case.

Even still, I do hope the author keeps writing and working on their craft. 🙂


Buy Links

JMS Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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