With all of this in mind, I jumped at the chance to read one of these stories when author Cassandra Carr offered a copy of “Take Me at the Ballgame” for review. A couple of caveats before I begin: I am not male, but I did try and read this one keeping in mind the above guidelines. I can't escape my gender (nor do I want to), so I'm not sure how well I succeeded in this endeavor.
“Take Me at the Ballgame” features forty-something year old JT Lovejoy, a divorced reporter who covers baseball. He has his eye on the sexy, young intern Sydney. The two have been flirting for months, and one evening after a game, JT decides to take a chance. Sydney responds most enthusiastically using her oral capabilities to make JT a very happy man.
This pattern of engaging in sexual activity after each home baseball game continues. Sometimes, JT reciprocates, sometimes not. Eventually, the two have intercourse. There is no real relationship between the two, although there is affection and a hint of emotion.
JT isn’t really sure what to make of the entire thing. Sydney is certainly too young for him, but doesn't seem to have any interest in a relationship. JT isn't looking for a relationship either, yet he certainly isn’t going to turn down what Sydney is offering.
This is a very short story that certainly focuses primarily on the sex. The language is cruder than that used in women’s erotic fiction, especially when describing JT’s thoughts – which is entirely what I would expect in a story geared for men.
I had reservations when I agreed to read and review this story. Would it hold any appeal? Would I be turned off by it? Ultimately, my concerns were unfounded. This is an erotic story featuring the male point of view. There is no happily ever after, but neither is the ending bad. It comes across as a happy for now (although that isn’t required for this line). But does my reaction mean anything? I can't really answer that question.
I very much think that “Take Me at the Ballgame” fits the bill according to Ellora’s Cave for Men submission guidelines. As I mentioned, the language seems more matter of fact, a bit cruder, and there is a marked emphasis on male sexual pleasure, especially of the oral variety. Yet, this doesn’t mean that women can’t enjoy the story. In some ways, it was nice to know that there would be no real emotional turmoil. JT does worry a bit about whether or not he is taking advantage of Sydney, and this does a lot to make him a sympathetic hero.
I am very interested to see how the Ellora’s Cave for Men imprint does. Judging by “Take Me at the Ballgame,” there is nothing inherently repellent to women in the stories. Yet, I think they will naturally appeal more to men. So, mission accomplished, yes?