TOBIN FOR HIRE
Russ is looking SMOOTH in his patterned shirt and bell-bottoms. Mayflower have dispensed with the blondes and paired him up with a brunette in a maid's uniform. As Russ DOES become initimate with a brown-haired maid in the book, this almost makes up for the unforgiveable inaccuracy of the Tobin In Trouble book cover. 8/10
TOBIN'S IN TORONTO AND GIVING IT HIS (MONTRE)ALL! Russ, along with his Aussie bosom pal, Buzz Malone, takes Canada by storm in this his ninth naughty escapade. Where there are beautiful women and wide open spaces Tobin's there and abreast of it all! So when Russ gets taken on by Hire-A-Guy anything is likely to happen - AND DOES! "...there stood the most voluptuous Fairy Queen I've ever clapped eyes on. She was gorgeous..." AND DOES! "...This was no ordinary wedding. This one was between a couple of fellas!..." AND DOES! "...two lovely birds in one household, each not only fond of it but downright KEEN on it! Unbelievable..." YES RUSS, UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE!
It's Christmas Eve in Toronto and Russ is staying at the King Edward Hotel (Notable for being where John & Yoko stayed immediately prior to their bed-in for peace in 1969. Other famous guests include Elvis Presley and Rudolph Valentino). He's been given a job by Greg Douglas' Hire-A-Guy agency (Greg is a pal of Buzz Malone) and Russ is about to commence his first day's work as Santa Claus. Christmas Day sees him at an ice-skating party thrown by Greg Douglas. A nasty skating accident sees him being "patched up" by Dominque De Neve. The rest of Christmas Day is spent "exchanging gifts" with Dominique and watching mucky films. Russ's prowess earns him a recommendation and before he knows it - he has an 8pm Boxing Day appointment with Lucille Koeller-Jurling! Before he can start though, his next job is as a Barman at a gay wedding, where even the guys can't keep their eyes of the HUNK that is Tobin. Unfortunately Russ gets in to trouble with a jealous boyfriend and ends up two hours late for Lucille. It matters not as he soon gets to do more than odd jobs for her, and even gets down to business with her maid - Brigitte. Meanwhile Buzz returns earlier than expected from his tennis tournament and invites Russ to Australia.....via TAHITI! Russ is not about to say no...
On Page 11 - Russ first sets eyes on his gorgeous Fairy Queen - Lily Long
It's Page 30 and Santa gets a lunch break - needless to say he takes his Fairy Queen into the back room and they take full advantage of the privacy...
On Page 37 Russ and Lily discover that, as well as an incredible sexual chemistry, they also share a mutual love of Vodka Tonics
Page 5. Russ immediately recaps on recent events to ease the reader into the swing of things.
When Russ is accused of being predjudiced and anti-gay (because he rejects the amorous advances of a gay man) he proclaims that "live and let live is my fervent belief". He explains that he has some gay buddies back home, but also has Jewish, Baptist, Hindu and Catholic friends - yet that doesn't mean he goes to church with them! Toronto was the centre of the Canadian gay rights movement in the mid 1970s so there was some clear support for the cause here even by just the casual inclusion of the concept of a gay wedding in the plot. Gay marriage wasn't legalised in Canada until 2005, so it's hard to conceive how brave it was to be talking about a gay marriage a full 30 years earlier. "My first gay wedding - not a bit different from a straight one". What is especially interesting is that it's not done in any kind of politically correct token manner. Some of the the gay characters are nice people and some of them turn out to be complete gits. Because that's just how life is right? Their sexuality is not what defines or constrains them within the plot. Writers take note!
After the thrills of Tobin In Trouble - Stan was up against it to make Russ's time in Toronto any more EXCITING. As a consequence it struggles to be any more than an average Tobin adventure but still - the gay angle is pretty funny and gives a new twist to Tobin's irresistable charm and Buzz features strongly - which is always a good thing! 7/10