Sunday, February 9, 2014

Romance in a Musical Family Amid Bullying

John C. Houser's The Music Box is an amazing romance on so many different levels.  For one thing, it's the touching story of two men who are settled in their careers as opposed to the buff, young twenty-somethings that a large proportion of gay romances feature.  Both are battling big problems in their careers--problems that must be settled soon or they might be unemployed.

One is a high school music teacher who is watching his program shrink because of budget cuts.  How can he make the program more viable to the students?  And should he agree to teach history as well in order to keep his job?

The other man manages the music store his musically-talented family owns.  His mother is a world-renowned soprano and his brother in a string quartet.  What they don't know since they are away touring is that the store is losing money and the building need therapeutic maintenance badly.  But where's the money to come from?  Should he start charging family members to keep the business going?

When both men see an extremely gifted teen being harassed by another boy, they rush to his aid, thereby causing their worlds to change.  What results is not only a satisfying romance but also a triumphal story of people reaching out to make someone else happy.

Houser is the kind of uncommon writer whom everyone should read.  I know I can't wait for his next book.

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