“Return on Investment” by Aleksandr Voinov

I am possibly bias when I write about how much I love this story. Why, you say? Because I fucking love Voinov. Why, you say? Because he’s fucking brilliant. Wh-? Let’s talk about why.

In “Return of Investment”, Voinov plays with time. Not in a Dr. Who way, but he doesn’t always expressively state how long has passed between each scene. He loses a bit of comprehensibility with this method, but you can quickly overcome that. What he gains is this fantastic ability to place a single conversation throughout an entire day. He shows us only the most important parts of the conversation, in which he leaves out the uninteresting bits, and creates more meaningful situation for us as the reader. And let’s face it, time is relative anyway right?

I like Martin, our protagonist. He’s a lowly investor in a big-time company, so you’d think he’d be a shark in a tank full of bigger sharks, right? No. He’s actually kind of sweet, and confused. And he gets these inconvenient crushes, which additionally make him vulnerable and charming. They also help drive the plot in the story.

While staying true to who he is, Martin undergoes tremendous personal growth. About the time when I was ready to smack him around a bit and tell him to grow a pair, he did. His sensitivity and toughness were endearing to me in a big way.

The other main characters were interesting as well. Francis was a piece of work, and at one point I think he asked Marin his HIV status? I’m not sure what it’s like in the UK, but when I read that, I put my fist in my mouth and thought, “What the fuck?! Oh no he didn’t!” That could just be my United Statsian showing through. It happens more than I would like to admit.

I fell hard for Josh. I was in love with him after he mentioned that sex with him wasn’t easy, and I could relate to that completely. And then later he said why. I cried at two parts in this book, and that was one of them.

[I just got quiet and had to take a drink of cider from typing this. I’ll leave it at that.]

As usual, the sex in Voinov’s books was fun, exciting, and varied. I love the atypical romance in Voinov’s work. This isn’t like an MF that happens to be with two dudes – nope. I’m sorry, I don’t wanna spoil it for you, but this story doesn’t end in a wedding. This is like real life, kids. The good, the bad, the hilarious, and the sometimes tragic.

I’m going to be working my way through the rest of Voinov’s collection, and I have high hopes. If what I’ve read is any indication, then I’ve stumbled onto a veritable gold mine and will be busy for a while. See you in a few months. Cheers.





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