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Upgrading    by Simon Brooke order for
by Simon Brooke
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2004 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Andrew Collins is looking for an easy way to make big bucks. His day job is boring and he's tired of living from cheque to cheque. He thinks he's found the answer to his problems when he reads an article in the paper about a male escort service. Andrew rings the service, makes an appointment, and the fun begins.

His first client is Marion. This snooty, rich, older woman wants a young man as eye candy on her arm, as well as a companion who will be there at her beck and call. Andrew fits into his new lifestyle ... with a few bumps along the road. He is grateful for the trips that Marion takes him on, but the clothes she buys are not to his taste. And what happened to the extra cash he was anticipating? The odd friends that Marion keeps company with are hard enough to tolerate, and now Andrew is losing time at work, in his efforts to keep her happy. To throw another spanner in the works, Andrew has met someone he might truly fall for. Will she wait for him?

Simon Brooke writes from the male perspective about a boy growing into manhood, and maturing while dealing with some heartbreak. Though Andrew is a character that you can't really love, you will warm up to his boyish nature through the novel. And while Upgrading is a humorous story, it also sends the message that the grass might not be greener when you actually cross over to the other side of the fence.

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