Book Reviews

Herm I.T. by David Connor at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Age Gap / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 23-September-2020

Book Blurb

Robin Paley, a Vietnam vet, and Hendrix Higgins, a former teacher who witnessed a school shooting, become trapped together during a storm in March of 2001, when Hendrix, now a computer tech, arrives to fix Robin’s only source of contact with the outside world.

Discovering they have much in common, an afternoon of bonding leads to more. When Robin admits he’ll never contact Hendrix again, however, a heated argument ensues. Hendrix fights hard to move on, while Robin seems to want to stay stuck.

They angrily part ways, Hendrix telling Robin to call him if he ever wants to live again. When Robin finally reaches out, he fears it may be too late. Has Hendrix moved on?



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2015.


Book Review

As becomes obvious when reading the blurb, this is not a “fluffy” romance. This is a story about two men with very real issues, caused by traumatic events that impacted their lives in tangible and almost crippling ways. “Almost” being the key word here – each man on his own may have learned how to deal with life, but they are missing any real connection to their fellow human beings. Once they meet they still have a major struggle ahead, but the message of hope is clear. In the end, this story is yet another case of it being “never too late” for love, even in the toughest of circumstances. What a great message of hope!

Robin is a Vietnam vet and has spent the last thirty years hiding from the world. His only major contact is via chat rooms and he has become an avid watcher of internet porn. Leaving his cabin is almost unthinkable, and he almost never has to. When he needs help with his modem (yes, the story is set in 2001 – pre-wireless Internet), and has to interact with the repairman, he keeps comparing their exchanges with an internet chat; he mentally adds emoticons and chat comments constantly. It was a great way to remind me how far removed from reality is.

Hendrix has his own issues, being the survivor of a school shooting massacre. He can’t abide closed spaces, is no longer a teacher, and any sort of loud noise makes him dive for cover. Nevertheless, he and Robin get closer during the thunderstorm they are both hiding from. But with Robin’s fear of intimacy, it seems as if they can’t go anywhere. Not without both of them willing to make some changes to their lives.

If you like stories that explore the consequences of violence and war, if two men with very different issues coming together sounds like an interesting combination of characters, and if you’re looking for a read that starts out dark but ends on a note of hope, then you will probably like this novella.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 18155 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-September-2020
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link