What I Need - Theda Black What I liked:I bought this book because of a positive review of my friend, Rameau (check it here). I am not a fan of M/M romances or romances at all and if I try one of them I usually do it because it has been strongly recommended by a reviewer I trust. I am happy to tell you this one was not one of these disappointing misses. It is a relatively short novella (20,000 words) but its author managed to present a very good, well-rounded characterization of the main character, Jacob, and his love interest. I suppose the reason why I found it so palatable was exactly the fact that the focus here isn’t the M/M romance or the sex but the characterization. Let me add here that the author knows her job – definitely more is shown than told, although the whole novella is written in first person narrative voice, from Jacob’s point of view, so it is quite natural that plenty of things we hear from his mouth. Still if you like the style of diaries or memoirs it won't bother you so much.However those scenes which are the most vivid, explaining most of things about the main lead, are pure action, not description. We see Jacob at work, we see him chilling out in a bar or freaking out during one of his ‘flash back’ moments, we see him interacting with his parents and with Elijah, a young male prostitute. After a while you have to feel for him, especially after you find out more about the reason of his adult life problems.I have to admit that, for a short story the author managed to get a lot done.Let me also assure you that the author never tried to glamorize any negative trends she was describing like prostitution or problems with social life – for example she didn’t hesitate to show the downside of a hooker’s career and I appreciated that brutal honesty. Nowadays I feel sick and tired of books which try to sell me on an option (like BDSM or homosexuality or any other trend really) in a heavy-handed way, mentioning every page or two that it should be considered a normal, good and healthy lifestyle by any intelligent, sensible person(and if you happen to think otherwise you are just a dumb, mentally retarded, pitiful specimen of humanity worth of complete scorn) and everything must be condoned if it is done under such or other label (yes, I think here of Ms. T. Reisz series among others).Finally let me tell you that I did like that Elijah turned himself around on his own, showing he had brains and a lot of backbone, not just a pretty face and a luscious body. Way to go!What I didn’t like:I agree that it was too short and all my carping stemms from that fact. I had the feeling that the author had enough ideas for a fully-fledged novel and just couldn’t be bothered/ didn’t have enough time to develop them in a proper way. I agree with people saying that they wished they knew what happened next and the characters of Jacob and, most of all, Elijah could have been more fleshed-out. Still compared to other novellas I’ve read I felt Ms. Black achieved rather more than less.Final verdict:A surprisingly fresh M/M romance told in an interesting way. No easy ‘happy ending’ made it even more believable. Four stars even though it is just a novella (I prefer something longer)