A nice, albeit not deep diversion. It feels more like an episode than a short story, which technically, as part 1 of the Market Garden series, that’s what it’s more akin to, kind of like a spicy amuse bouche before the series meal.
Quid Pro Quo is 43 pages/10,000 words and is told via the POV of Jared, a rent boy at the high-class escort club Market Garden. Jared’s only been there half a year, and is not as experienced as his high demand colleague Tristan (who he finds very sexy), but his experience points ramp up when both his and Tristan’s dual services are bought by a Rolex-wearing American, a client who is willing to amp up the ante to see them get to know each other better. By the end of the session, Jared finds himself caught between his own heated attraction to Tristan and Tristan’s intense teasing to heighten their ultimate take-home pay for the night.
Voinov and Witt’s writing is smooth and it was easy to travel along on Jared & Tristan’s Excellent Adventure. At the end though, I just felt like it was a nice sexy read, but not something I felt very emotionally tied to, or felt compelled to continue further.
There is a continuation though for those interested. Jared and Tristan star in the second Market Garden installment Take It Off, and in the sixth installment Payoff.
I’m not a fan of serials though, or rather serial-like, since I don’t think of Market Garden as a serial since some of the installments are much longer and focus on other characters. Tristan & Jared’s storyline in total is 35,000 words over the three stories (or 147 pages, numbers via Riptide), and $2.99 each. So, in the end, it’s $9.00 for what I consider less than a novel-length story. I enjoy Voinov and Witt’s writing, but that price point is hard for me to surpass in my mind, and it’s why I normally steer away from installment stories. The price point, and the lack of emotional tie-in for this first installment means that I’ll probably just get off the train here and assume that T&J eventually find that sexy, pants-tossing HEA they deserve.
For those who like to get invested in a series, and don’t mind varying lengths of installments, then this first stop on the Market Garden tour may be up your alley.
(As an aside, I read this for M/M Team Bingo, as a title off the I Want to See this on Screen! list, and I think it's funny that so many are hoping to see a Market Garden TV show. HBO? Are you listening?)