College student Hans answers an ad for a part-time housekeeper for a married gay couple. He’s surprised that the seemingly well-to-do Thomas is interested in hiring the inexperienced Hans when they can apparently afford a professional cleaning service. That is, until he meets Thomas' Russian-born and extremely eccentric husband Boris. The most obvious of Boris' eccentricities is his disdain for clothing. But the money is good and naked Boris isn’t hard on the eyes. Thomas even seems to be okay with it, as long as Hans looks but doesn’t touch. However, as Hans spends more time with the two, and mutual attractions develop, the rules get more complicated.
“The Rules” is a story of a rather “accidental” menagé. Although told with a healthy dash of humor, it’s a path that could easily end in disaster, and very nearly does. The relationship evolves in a rather believable fashion, including a few very natural bumps in the road.
Hans, Thomas and Boris are three very different people, which may be why they seem to come together in a very natural way. They compliment each other. Boris seems at first to be a bit of a stereotype. A depressed Russian author is something of a cliché, but over the course of the story we get quite a bit of insight into the man’s past and what probably shaped a lot of his neuroses.
The story is told from Hans' point of view. The young and somewhat unworldly college student makes an interesting lens through which to view the long term relationship between Boris and Thomas. His outsider role also helps us to learn about the other two main characters in a very natural way.
While evolving sexual relations drive many of the main dramatic turns of the plot, the focus is mainly on the emotional impact each of these changes has on the characters. That sets this story a bit apart from most books featuring menagé relationships. This is also a complete stand-alone story, with no dangling loose ends at the end to make it into a series.
“The Rules” is available from Amazon.