Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
On to Plan B. “Mario, who was the Prime Minister of England during the war?”
“How the hell do I know? I never went to England.”
I sat at the edge of the bed. “It was Winston Churchill, who was rumored to be lovers with Ivor Novello, the famous actor.”
“Will that be on the test?”
“I doubt it. They left that out of our textbook too.”
He put down the weights and sat next to me on the bed. “Harold, let’s stick to what will be on the test, okay?”
“Okay, but what do you think about that, Mario?
“I think it sucks.”
“’Cause I don’t like taking tests.”
“No, I mean about Winston Churchill and Ivor Novello?
He thought a moment. “I think history is full of lots of fruits. I mean, I knew that J. Edgar Hoover dressed like his mother, like the guy in that movie, Psycho—”
“Anthony Perkins. He was also gay.”
“Was he in World War II?”
“No, he played Norman Bates in the movie Psycho.”
“I thought we were talking about World War II.”
“We are.” I pretended not to notice that Mario’s massive shoulder was pressing against my not massive shoulder. “Okay, Mario, during World War II, who was the top military commander… for the US?”
“Alexander the Great. And I know, he was gay too, and it won’t be on the test.”
“Actually he was.”
“Harold, if the test was about who people in history slept with, I’d get a hundred.”
I smiled. “It was Eisenhower.”
Mario looked confused. “Was he gay?”
“I seriously doubt it.”
“Good, because I have a few questions about that.”
Finally, questions about man-to-man love. “Okay, Mario, let them roll.” Be still my erratically beating heart.
Mario sat hunched over his knees. “The US fought against England for our independence. Then we fought with them against the Germans in World War II.”
Oh bother, questions about World War II. “Right.”
“How come what?”
“How come we changed sides?”
I thought about that one. “I guess because times changed. Our two countries had so many cultural similarities that the US and England formed an alliance.”
Mario threw back his head and laughed. “Similarities? I don’t think so. You ever see rock stars from England?” He stood up and spread his arms to do flies. I wanted to sing The hills are alive….
“Mario, the US formed many alliances during World War II. For example, we formed an alliance with France too.”
“Good thing. I like their fries.”
“No, Mario, french fries don’t come from France.”
He stopped exercising. “Then where do they come from?”
“Right here in the good old US of A.”
“Then how come they don’t call them US fries?”
My head… and libido are spinning. “I haven’t the slightest idea.”
He put down the weights and ran a strong hand through his thick, black hair. “And another thing. In World War II we were fighting the Chinese—”
“You mean the Japanese.”
“Same thing. We were fighting the Japanese, but now they own half of our country. How’d that happen?”
“The Japanese designed and manufactured technology that we bought. Eventually they became wealthy enough to buy US businesses.”
He sat down next to me on the bed again. This time his shapely thigh pressed against my grateful, unshapely thigh. “That don’t—”
“… doesn’t make no—”
“… any sense, Harold. That would be like if you and I had a fight, and I kicked your ass then you bought my house and evicted me.”
“It could happen, Mario.” Did I just make a joke… with Mario?
Mario grinned like a bad baseball player with a blind umpire. “Oh yeah, tough guy? You think you can take me?” He reached for my neck.
I jumped up and ran… as cliché as it sounds… into my closet. I did this partially for cover, but mainly to shield the raging erection growing in my pants.
Please leave a comment below to be entered into a random drawing to win a copy of An Infatuation. The Giveaway will last two weeks, from May 27th to June 10th 2015.
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery), Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery), A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press novella), A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella).