Author Name: Lilah Suzanne
Publication Date & Length: April 2, 2015 – 250pgs
As writer of the popular “Ask Eros” advice column, Simon Beck has an answer to every relationship question his readers can throw at him. When it comes to his own life, the answers are a little more elusive—until computer troubles introduce him to the newest and cutest member of his company’s IT support team. Simon may be charmed by Benji’s sweet and unassuming manner, but will he find the answer to the one relationship question he has never been able to solve: how to know when he’s met Mr. Right?
Simon and Benji
This is a wonderful book! It is the very simple story of the beginning of a relationship. It is the story of Simon, an advice columnist at a women’s magazine in New York. It is also the story of Benji, an IT technician at the magazine.
At the start of the story, Simon is slowly extricating himself from an unhealthy relationship. His friends are marrying and settling down and he feels lonely.
Benji is the consumate geek. He references science fiction films, wears character t-shirts and has collections.
This book is so well observed. As the central characters developed, I moved from thinking that I’d known people exactly like them to wondering uncomfortably if Suzanne was actually writing about me and my relationships. The relationship between the two characters was real. It was possibly the third character (though Walt the pit bull might have something to say about that).
This wasn’t an urgent, passionate rush for bed followed by declarations of undying love. Instead, and unfortunately unusually, it records the slow, sometimes awkward getting to know a new lover. It observes the equally awkward and sometimes frustrating meshing of lives and homes that follows. Above all, it manages to capture very accurately the silly moments, the unfailing support offered by true partners, and the playful interludes that make everything else in life worth doing.
So often, romance is serious and passionate involving exaggerated misunderstandings and artificial barriers. This is just real. The story is funny and sweet and almost painfully well observed. I loved it.
“How about you? Did you always want to be a writer?”
“Yeah. I think I did.” He finally gives up on work completely and closes the laptop. “I mean. I guess what I write about is kind of pointless, but I wanted to be a poet once upon a time, so I guess it could be even more pointless,” he jokes.
Benji’s eyebrows knot. “It’s not. Why would it be pointless?”
Simon gives a humorless laugh. “I mean, I write a sex column for women. Not exactly moving prose or hard-hitting journalism.”
Benji scoots over little on the desk, sitting with his legs so close to where Simon is sitting low in his chair that he can smell Benji’s crisp laundry detergent and citrusy soap. He suddenly has to fight the urge to move a fraction to the left, press his nose to the inside seam of Benji’s jeans and breathe him in.
“You listen to people. You remind them that they’re valuable and worthy of love and respect. How is that not important?” Simon is struck speechless, chest tight and breath caught.
Then Benji claps him on the shoulder and hops off the desk. “Come on. Let’s go have lunch.”
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the online fan community.