Gale Stanley’s newest series, The Gentleman’s Club, gets off to a solid start with Point of Beginning, a story about self-acceptance. Jackson Monroe is beginning to think he’s gay. Actually, he’s pretty sure of it. It would definitely explain his affinity for gay porn and the massive crush he has on his co-worker, Alexander James, a man who happens to be faithfully committed to his girlfriend, or so Jack believes. Through Jack’s self-deprecating thoughts and general awkwardness, Gale Stanley is able to interject some serious humor into the story without breaking any of the intense sexual tension she so expertly creates.
When a mutual friend of the two men invites Jack to be his guest at The Gentlemen’s Club, an exclusive, members-only club for society’s high-class men, Jack sees his first hint that maybe, just maybe, Alex is not as straight as an arrow: Alex works as a stripper at the club. But Jack doesn’t get the hint. Instead, later that night he finds himself negotiating a fantasy scene with the owner of the club that involves a re-creation of Jack’s office, an Alex look-alike, and plenty of sex. Jack’s discomfort during the negotiation provides another endearing exchange that, while darkly humorous, also shines light on the desperate state Jack finds himself in as he struggles with his own sexual orientation while pining after a man who, to Jack, represents the heterosexual norm in which he can no longer include himself.
With both Alex and Jack holding back so much while wishing so sincerely that they could just be with the one they love, the opportunity for their shared wish to come true arises, and the result is nothing short of the sexual equivalent of a fireworks display. But is one steamy night in each other’s arms enough to erase years of self-doubt and rejection? Are Jack and Alex able to put that part of their lives behind them for the sake of the one they love? Point of Beginning addresses these serious questions head-on, using humor to ease the sting without blunting the emotional impact of this tender story of self-acceptance.
Review by Staff Contributor