Thursday, 28 May 2009

Review - Play it Again, Sam – Jenna Byrnes




Back of the Book

Sam Merit spends his afternoons watching Casablanca at the local theatre. Recently laid off from his job, he'd rather hide in a dark auditorium than face a daunting job search. With one eye on Bogart and the other on a handsome theater employee, he doesn't mind viewing the same film day after day.

Marc Phillips doesn't have great aspirations. Running the projection booth at an old fashioned, run-down theater makes him happy. When he meets Sam he discovers there might be more to life than movie screen fantasies, if he can open his heart to the possibilities.




The Review.

The Plot

Sam Merit is having the worst and the best of time. Having lost his job recently and finally meeting the very cute man that works at the theatre where he has recently taken up going every – to watch the same movie over and over, he is on an edgy high..

Marc Phillip is so set in his ways, he is literally taking baby steps to just to satisfy an itch. He needs and he  wants only the simple things and really don’t know how to aim for anything more.

Sam is determined and Marc is  scared and so the games begin – Sam is determined to not lose what he is just coming to know and Marc is petrifies of the unknown and will run given half a chance.


Clutching the cardboard container, he made his way to the back of the room, where the daytime employee stood by the open door. His was the one consistent face Sam counted on. Each day once the theatre emptied, the burly, dark-haired man walked down one aisle and up the next, straightening seats and picking up trash. He appeared to be Sam’s height but stockier, more beefy. Muscular. From what Sam had observed before and after the movie each day, he had a friendly demeanor—and a damned handsome face.
They’d never spoken, but Sam suddenly felt the urge. He dropped his trash into the big receptacle by the door. “My contribution.”
“Trying to put me out of work?” The employee raised his eyebrows, a grin playing on his lips.
Nice eyes. Sam gazed into deep brown irises and decided they were just a shade darker than the man’s shaggy, brown hair. Soulful eyes crinkled around the edges when he smiled. The tiny lines added to his charm.
Sam glanced at the small black nametag pinned to a red theatre vest. Marc. He smiled. “Sorry. I can go back and leave it in the seat if you prefer.”
“That’s what most people do.” Marc headed down the aisle. “Toss it on the floor or shove it into the seat next to them.” He reached the front of the theatre.
“I suppose so,” Sam said in a louder voice. “If that’s the case, I can tell you where to look today. A couple sat over there.” He pointed to the left side of the aisle. “A woman sat in the second row, and I sat in the middle. Of course, my area is clean.”
“It always is. I’ve watched you every day this week.”

Play it Again,Sam © Jamie Hill


Smut/Ick Factor

Yup, Yup, Yup – and the ones i like as well  -up against the wall, over the chair, on the bed and the list goes on. But more than just the action – there was a meeting of minds that showed the mature and immaturity of these two protags, that will eventually come into play to help them get through the rough times.



For people who have never read Ms. Byrnes work – Try this. PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM, covers so much of what i like about Ms. Byrnes style.

The character – I liked one and the other one,  i am hoping  will grow on me – I won’t say which one – you just have to read it.

I love the inferences to the Casablanca movie though out the book – very old school and it was a sweet backdrop for one of the hottest scene in the book.

This is a short read, but i would really love for Ms. Byrnes to revisit these two – so much possibility, to their story – they are not young men, they have seen some life as well as they know how to go after what they want. 

A very well structured plot – nothing was wasted. Minimal character development, concise language and a massive build up on the smut factor.

Anticipation was rampant through this book – and with little look, touches and even that air of naivety lends itself to making this one sweet read.

Some authors should not be let lose with work under a hundred pages – Ms. Byrnes is not one of them, i really feel this is one of her strongest assets as an author, she can put so much together in just a few pages it frightening.

A big plus for me was the stuck in an era feel to this book – and when you put the two protags together, it was a worthy match.

The bottom line – a short read that shows quite a bit of why this author has a constant place on my bookshelf. The few pages covers a point in two men’s life where you could say “cupid struck” and they had to do some work to make sure the arrow stay stuck. I liked it and it was another most welcome side of Ms. Byrnes that  old readers will appreciate and will have new readers adding another another to there list. 


I like this cover very much – It’s the seats and how the artist has over lay the entire thing over the photo of the guy. I like…


Ms. Byrnes did a wonderful job of creating a story in which two men have to learn to trust each other and find new paths to happiness.

Heather © You Gotta Read Reviews


The story is short, less than 40 pages, and also quite daring on the erotic side (two sex scenes and an almost solo under a shower), but I like the feeling of it, in particular Marc was a really romantic hero.

Elisa © Elisa Rolle


6 Speak To Me:

Cecile Smutty Hussy on 28 May 2009 at 18:25 said...

Nice review hon! Like the old school reference of Casablanca.
I am just getting on the m/m ban wagon... But mine come with at least one woman involved... so this one I guess would test the waters so to speak!
Hope you are having a great day!

Lily on 28 May 2009 at 22:14 said...

Very nice review. I've read other books by Ms Hill and enjoyed them very much. I'll be adding this to my buy list. Thanks!

Lily :)

Erotic Horizon on 28 May 2009 at 22:16 said...

Hey Cecile..

The Casablanca thing was the first thing that caught me...

I know about that bandwagon and if there is one author to push you into my world it's Samnatha Kane, her M/M stuff are HAWT ..


Erotic Horizon on 28 May 2009 at 22:17 said...

Hey Lily..

This read was good - you'll breeze through it. But what a rush..


Anonymous said...

Great review! This one is definitely on my TBR list,

Erotic Horizon on 29 May 2009 at 07:03 said...

Hey eyre32

Welcome, I am a big fan of Ms. Hill - you'll like this one..