Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Lovely Journey of 500 Miles

Reading Challenge 2015
January - We Love Short Shorts!

500 Miles by Parker Williams
Rating: 5 stars

At 39 pages, Williams' 500 Miles is a hop, skip, and a jump into love and romance.  The story is told by a guy named Mark who grows up having a crush on his big brother's best friend, Jase.  While Mark's brother treats him like a typical big brother, Jase showers Mark with attention, and consequently, Mark 's feelings turn from liking to loving, especially when Jase says if Mark ever needs him, he'd walk 500 miles to be there for him.

When Jase and Mark's brother go off to war, Mark realizes how much he misses Jase.  They exchange letters and Jase sends Mark some tapes with music (including the song 500 Miles) and his musings about the service.  Then Mark learns that Jase is married, and heartbroken, Mark wonders how he'll be able to live without Jase.

Mark gets his chance to find out when Jase is wounded and returns to U. S. shores.

Fortunately, Williams ably carries off this very compact story that must be convincing in very few words.  Not only does the reader have to invest in Mark, which happens effortlessly, but more importantly still care about Jase who seems to callously throw away Mark's love and devotion with his sudden marriage.

This is the true beauty of the story: While Mark is angry and devastated by what he feels is Jase's desertion, Mark never loses his love of the man.  So when Jase actually needs Mark's help--something neither of them ever envisioned--Mark rushes in to his aid.

I would love to see the story expanded into a full-length novel since the characters here are so vivid and engaging.  Fortunately, since that may never happen, the short, short story works very well in its present state.

I would heartily recommend this story for anyone dipping a toe into the gay romance arena, who wants a feel-good, HEA read.


  1. Oh this sounds just lovely!

    Thank you so much for the review.

  2. I'm off to buy it now! Sounds wonderful.