Like many a young gay man before him, Michael escapes his midwestern town, comes to San Francisco, and reinvents himself. He joins a gym, works on his body and his skin, and eventually comes to think of himself as sexy. Loving music and dance, on a lark he tries out for a job as a stripper, and gets it. Using the stage name Matt Jaxx, he really enjoys his work, and becomes popular with both the crowd and the theater management. He eventually quits his day job and works full time as a stripper, both on stage and at private parties, although he’s careful not to cross a line he draws between stripping and prostitution.
Outside of work, Michael/Matt meets Jason, a man who seems to adore him, even though he knows what Matt does for a living. Michael’s world seems perfect, except for the one creepy fan who tries to get a little too close for comfort.
“Behind the Velvet Curtain” could be a fun little romp, but it’s unfortunately let down by a rather lackluster story line and some dreadful proofing. The story line runs toward its conclusion with nothing really getting in the way. Aside from the stalker plot, there’s no drama to this story at all. The relationship with Jason is perfect from the get-go, with never a misunderstanding or disagreement, and everything else goes our hero’s way.
The editing and proofing also lets the story down. In addition to an abundance of ordinary typos that could be overlooked, there’s one passage where the wrong word was used, repeatedly, leaving the reader totally confused for several sentences until figuring out that a homonym was being used in place of the correct word. All this serves to make the book less of a fun romp than it could have been.
“Behind the Velvet Curtain” is available from Amazon.