Monthly Archives: March 2015

THREE 4 Star Reviews for Snap Decision by TA Chase #MM #Romance #crime @Totally_Bound

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Title: Snap Decision (Delarosa Secrets #2)
Author Name: T.A. Chase
Length:  174pgs

Synopsis

Sometimes the only way to do your job—and discover love—is to trust your instincts.

D’Marcus ‘Snap’ Jefferson is a DEA agent who has worked hard to keep drugs from hitting the streets of Houston. So when Kenneth Santos walks in, claiming to have information about an upcoming drug shipment, Snap must make the choice whether to trust the stranger or not.

Kenneth Santos is a recovering addict and ex-con trying to clean up his act. Some mysterious informant has chosen him to act as the go-between with Agent Jefferson. It’s a precarious line Ken must walk because his life could be in danger if the cartels discover he’s working with Snap and the DEA.

Neither man expects to fall in love while playing such a dangerous game. Yet Snap always trusts his gut and it’s telling him that loving Ken could be the best decision he ever made.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of torture.

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Review

 FourStars

This was an interesting book. I really enjoyed the first one and even though you see some of the same characters, this one was not quite as good for me. I did like Ken, but it felt like he was always putting himself down. Once he had started to receive some attention from Snap, I expected the self-deprecation to diminish. However, it didn’t. That kind of grated on my patience, but I get why Chase would continue to bring it up.

Snap was an interesting character. I really liked him – you could feel how honest he was. And, despite his reservations about Ken, Snap’s character was so good that he was able to see what Ken was trying to do.

The mystery continues – I was intrigued to know who was the mysterious whistle blower…I have my suspicions, but really want to see what is in store of the rest of the characters.  I hope that we get to see Dalton in an upcoming book, because even though I hate him – I want to see what his character is all about. Also, I would like to continue this series because I really am hoping that Chase will write Victor’s story – he is the most interesting character for me.

Even though this book was only lukewarm for me, I really did like the way that T.A. Chase developed her characters. It was not a rush, per say, you got to know them, their motivations and emotions. Each character stood on their own, while learning to lean on each other.

AvidReader

FourStars

It was a good story of drug smuggling and the drug cartels.  The story had a nice twist on how Ken fit into the whole drug scene.

Ken and Snap were an interesting pair.  Ken was a recovering addict and Snap was the DEA agent.  I liked how Snap wasn’t worried if anyone found out about his feelings for Ken.  It was great how Snap was so trusting of Ken, even with his background.  Ken was awesome helping the agents.  Both of them seemed to be looking for a little more to happen in their relationship.

The story had a good ending to it.  I felt it was a good read and I enjoyed it, but it just didn’t have the “wow, it was amazing” feel for me.

Sherry

FourStars

When Ken walks into a DEA office with information he will only give to Agent D’Marcus “Snap” Jefferson, it becomes Snap’s responsibility to keep the former junkie safe.  But Ken’s identity is an enigma that proves to be almost as dangerous as his job as an informant.

 

This is the second book in the Delarosa Secrets series and while it should be read after Borderline, much of the backstory is filled in for new readers.  I love the way this story develops threads from the first book and leaves several things to be resolved in a future book.

 

I love the way the characters in these books are so multi-faceted.  The author hasn’t written good guys and bad guys; she writes complicated, deeply flawed human beings.  The attraction between Snap and Ken is instant and their chemistry is explosive.  The sex scenes are hot, but I’m still not sure I believe the straight-laced-boy-scout DEA officer would really risk so much for instant sexual gratification.

 

Anyone wanting a great suspense series with hot sex between men in uniform will enjoy Delarosa Secrets.

~Sarah

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AuthorBio

There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates me and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how I share those insights. I live in the Midwest with a wonderful partner of thirteen years. When not writing, I’m watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.

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4 Star Review for Mistress on Her Knees by Anastasia Vitsky @AnastasiaVitsky #FF #BDSM #spanking

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Title : Mistress on Her Knees

Author : Anastasia Vitsky

Publication Date and Length: March 1, 2015  95 pages

Synopsis

Thou shalt not covet thy host’s submissive

When a Domme loves a Domme, strange things can happen. When a Domme loves a Domme who is her former submissive and cheated with her best friend, all of the usual fun with handcuffs turns into something darker.

Graciela struggles to control her attraction to the headstrong, beautiful woman who broke her heart ten years ago. She offers temporary shelter to a fellow human in crisis, nothing more. But when Trinity buckles under Graciela’s righteous anger and begs for forgiveness, Graciela’s resolve wavers. Can she ever trust again? Does Trinity deserve a second chance, or is this yet another manipulation?goodreads add to

Review

FourStars

       I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Graciela and Trinity.  I didn’t know alot about what was going on with Mira and Hana in relation to Graciela and Trinity because I have only read desire in any language. The flashback chapters showing the start of their relationship showed the love and trust with BDSM.  I did feel that the punishment at the end of the book dealt by Graciela to Trinity was a little rough. I enjoyed the writing of the book and liked the flashback chapters that give you a timeline and history of the characters first meeting and some background Information.

~Tracy

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authorbio

I am a multi-published author of F/F DD fiction, an active blogger, and a coordinator of various events to bring together writing, reading, and kink communities. Look for events such as Christmas in July, Advent Calendar, and Spankee Doodle Dandy.

My current releases include The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus (12/8/12), Desire in Any Language (1/18/13), and Editorial Board (3/2/13) from Blushing Books.

My newest release, The Way Home (Kat and Natalie, Volume One), came out 3/6/2013 and reached #31 on Amazon’s Top 100 list for F/F fiction.

I love to hear from readers!

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3.5 Stars for The Bridge: Traitor (The Bridge #2) by Erik Shubach #FF @erikshchubach

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Title: The Bridge: Traitor (The Bridge #2)
Author Name: Erik Schubach
Publication Date & Length: January 23, 2015 – 206 pgs

Synopsis

Murder and mayhem ensue in the city when a Troll is murdered. There is discord in the supernatural world in Cincinnati when the Trolls find there is a traitor in their ranks and Evangeline Kane is the prime suspect.

A rift in the ranks of the city’s champions is formed that threatens to descend into rebellion.

On the run from the sentinels of the city, the Triumvirate, and the mortal police. Evangeline must fight against time to clear her name while protecting the gateways of two bridges.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This book is about a sexy troll–hey, wait, where are you going? Hear me out. Evangeline Kane is a sexy troll who, through no fault of her own, guards a bridge in Cincinnati.
Fans of Erik will recognize Kane as another charming and sarcastic heroine, tough as nails on the bridge (literally!), soft at heart when it comes to her lover, the Ice Queen.
The urban fantasy world-building is exquisite. Trolls and faeries and gargoyles and otherkin. Since this is the second book in a series, the world feels settled, and real. Reading the first book is not required. He fills in the gaps adeptly.
The book is a pleasant and funny read, typical Erik style.
My main quibble is that this is set in Cincinnati, just like the Hollows series, which brings up witchy comparisons. Is this a tribute? Is this an overlap? Are the bridges just that amazing?
C.E. Case

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4 Stars for To Stand Close by Faith Ashlin #MM #AlternateReality @Totally_Bound @Ashlin_Faith

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Title: To Stand Close
Author Name: Faith Ashlin
Publication Date : March 27, 2015

Synopsis

Can love grow and survive for two men on opposite sides of the deepest of chasm—slavery?

In this world one country has cut itself off, and is closed and mysterious to everyone else. What’s the secret it’s hiding? Magic? Monsters? No, just the cruel reality of slavery. But inside its borders life goes on as normal, and it competes with the rest of the world at sport just like everyone else, just to prove that it’s the best.

Nicky accepts that, and is happy in his own small, simple life as a gymnastics coach. He accepts it because he’s never known anything else, but he stays as far away from the brutality of slavery as he can, until he’s given a present he doesn’t want and isn’t allowed to refuse.

As for love? Well, he loves his sport, isn’t that enough?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of slavery.

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Review

FourStars

This is the strangest book I’ve read in a very long time.  The premise is of a closed rogue military state not too far from our own countries, where residents enjoy the same language, television and culture as we do.  Well, until we get to the slavery part.

This is so much more than a gay romance.  It is a story of friendship and devotion.  Tere were elements of Atwood and Orwell here, but the author doesn’t focus on social criticism.  Instead, she gives us Nicky, a very talented gymnastics coach who is preparing an elite team of women’s gymnasts for the world championships.

And she gives us Michael.  An American backpacker turned sex slave who is gifted to Nicky by his atheletes’ grateful mothers.

So.  Bizarre.  But really well written. The gymnasts and their training regimes are witten in such painstakingly vivid detail we can almost smell the chalk, sweat and leather.   Equally vivid is Nicky’s cramped, claustrophobic one bedroom flat.   In contrast, the exact details of the country outside Nicky’s flat and the gymnasium remains blurry and grey.

The relationship that develops between Nicky and Michael is awkward and uncomfortable.

The relatioship that develops between Nicky and Michael is awkward and uncomfortable.  The way Nicky tries to be a good slave owner gives us so much scope for social comentary.  But the men remain real, not symbols.

The central problem of the story is so much more complex than that in most romance writing.  If you own someone, how do you ever know if they really love you?  Is it right to give love to or desire love from a posession?

I’ve only given this book four stars because I would have liked to see more world building and the ideas presented could have been developed so much further in a longer story.  Perhaps a sequel or a prequel will have to assauge my curiosity.

Even if the premise sounds odd, I would recommend reading this book.  It was a very good read.

Sarah

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Excerpt

Nicky sighed, the sound and sentiment seeming to come from his gut, his very soul. He shook his head. He was tired, so tired of all the things he couldn’t control. “Look at you,” he said and sank into an armchair. “You’re young, good-looking, confident, intelligent, thoughtful, kind and so far out of my league as to be on another planet.”

“How can you say that? I’m only a bit younger than you, and you’re…beautiful.”

Nicky lifted his chin, his gaze focused on Michael. “I might only be a few years older, but sometimes I feel about a hundred. I’ve had shit happen to me for so long that I must be magnet for the stuff or I deserve it. I’m the gay kid with half a red face, the one that didn’t have the balls to make it as a gymnast. Even my own, sadder still parents didn’t want me, and my government is suspicious of me and treats me like scum. No wonder most people dismiss me as nothing. So from down here, I can’t even see the league you’re in.”

“None of that is true,” Michael said, shaking his head. “None of it.”

“It’s all true. That’s how everyone here sees me,” Nicky said. “I’ve been slapped down so hard and so often that it’s the position I’m forced into, and there’s fuck all I can do about it. But I deal with everything and say a silent, ‘screw you,’ to the world, just…”

He waved a hand around ineffectually. “Just don’t start being nice to me by saying you want sex. I don’t need your pity or anything else. I know who I am, what I am, the ways in which I’m strong, and I don’t want your sympathy.”

AuthorBio

When Faith was clearing out her attic many years ago, she found a book she’d written as a ten-year old. On rereading it she realized that it was the love story of two boys. Over the years her fascination with the image of beautiful young men, coiled together as they fell head over heels in love, became a passion for her.

Since that first innocent book – written in purple sparkly pen – she has written many stories, set in varied worlds but always with two men finding their way to happiness.

Nothing much has changed because now she can be found in a daydream, wandering around the supermarkets of London, or sitting in a meeting at work still dreaming up stories.

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ANOTHER 5 star review for Inheritance (Dominion #1) by Lissa Kasey #MM #Mystery #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy @parisbvamp

amazon-Inheritance

Title: Inheritance (Dominion #1)
Author Name: Lissa Kasey
Publication Date & Length: March 3, 2015 – 176 pgs

Synopsis

As the only male studying magic in a female-dominant society, Seiran Rou’s life is already on a precarious perch. Then he finds a dead co-worker on his doorstep, and Sei realizes someone is trying to set him up for the fall. It could be anyone—including his own mother, a powerful witch and leader of the Dominion, the ruling body of elemental magic.

Sei’s only saving graces are his on-again, off-again vampire boyfriend, Gabe, and the mysterious Jamie, who wants to help him for reasons Sei doesn’t understand. They may be all that stand between Sei and the Dominion’s demands to control his magic. One man’s devotion could be the key to save Sei’s life and pull him back from the brink of losing his humanity to the magic he possesses.

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Review

FiveStars

This book has it all. From the paranormal to sex, mystery, and plenty of twist, turns and action to keep you turning the pages.
It is very well written and I absolutely loved it! I would have to say this is one of the best books I have read.
I loved the face that no matter how hard Sei tried to push people away the ones that truly love him just wont go away. I hate that he felt the need to water himself down just to please other people but love that once he stopped after a few close calls he was able to just live his life the one he deserved with the people he loved and that loved him.
~Amber

Excerpt

Professor Wrig gestured to the stump. “Seiran, if you will demonstrate, please?”

Rose looked like she’d swallowed a lemon. “I can show them how it’s done, Professor,” she said.

“I’m sure you can, Miss Pewette. However, I already asked Mr. Rou.”

I took a deep breath and stepped up to the stump, wondering if I was allowed to actually focus with the earth this time. “Can I kneel?” I asked Wrig quietly.

“Whatever you feel is necessary.”

I knelt and waited for instructions.

Professor Wrig explained, “As Mr. Rou is showing you, he is putting himself in close contact with his element. He will be pulling power from the earth. Should he accidentally pull too much, he can give it back without causing damage to us or the surrounding area. He will take the time he needs to focus his power, and then he will place his hands to the stump. All witches with a measurable level will make something grow. A level one will produce moss or ivy. A level two will create flowers or even a small bud of a new tree. His level is set by what grows. Whenever you’re ready, Seiran.”

“Try not to kill any of us,” Rose sneered from behind me.

I sighed, closed my eyes, and left all their scattered whispering behind. It didn’t matter that Rose didn’t shut up or that Blond Hair looked at me like he was imagining what sex with me would be like. The earth and I knew each other well. I let it flow through me, like I was nothing more than a pebble in a lake to be shaped and guided by it. Each breath brought renewed life. I set my hands to the stump, remembering the last time, when I’d made wildflowers burst forth from the dead tree. This time I didn’t even look. The earth would grow what it wanted to with me as its conduit.

The power flowed through me in natural peaks and waves. The crowd gasped. The wood shifted and moved beneath my hands. I let the earth move as it wanted until the final wave subsided. Letting go, I opened my eyes and stared at a giant oak tree, leaves growing to a rich, vibrant green. No wildflowers this time. I smiled at the tree and patted its strong, new trunk, which split the old stump in half.

“Very good, Mr. Rou,” Professor Wrig told me. She offered me a hand up. I stood, dusted off my pants, and went to the back of the line. “Next,” she said.

And so began the testing.

AuthorBio

Lissa Kasey lives in St. Paul, MN, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, and collects Asian Ball Joint Dolls who look like her characters. She has three cats who enjoy waking her up an hour before her alarm every morning and sitting on her lap to help her write. She can often be found at Anime Conventions masquerading as random characters when she’s not writing about boy romance.

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3.5 and 3 Stars for Going to the Chapel: Don’t Ask by J.J. Massa #Erotica #MM

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Title: Going to the Chapel: Don’t ask
Author Name: J.J. Massa
Publication Date: March 25, 2015

Synopsis

Captain Zachary Smith had long suspected he was gay. Still, he could ignore that in the face of his career. He was a military man–a lifer. Everything was fine until a certain inscrutable FBI agent trampled all over Zack’s personal Don’t Ask policy.

Previously published by Torquere as part of the Going to the Chapel anthology.

Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This book just didn’t sit well for me.  I understand that premise, but it was not a smooth story.

I wish that both Zack and Falk were more developed, but understand that with the length of the book, it was not possible.  Also, their relationship is so choppy. You don’t really get a grasp on how they see each other.

I did get the emotion behind when Falk dismisses Zack and that was sad for me – especially since it was so impersonal.

This story had great potential; it just didn’t live up to it for me.

AvidReader

ThreeStar

When a Zack, a closeted Army JAG captain and Falk, an FBI agent, meet in the line of duty, sparks fly.  But a brief encounter on a trip away from home soon changes everything.

I love a man in uniform and two men are always better than one.  I really wanted to love this story, but it felt very rushed.

The two men have worked together professionally in the past, and each is secretly attracted to the other.

Unfortunately, the sex, and later romance, doesn’t really work for me.  I’m not sure rushed penetrative sex with limited foreplay ever makes any virgin feel great.  The first sexual encounter is clearly D/s, as is the second, but by the time the men reunite, Falk is asking Zack to make love to him.  The power dynamic between the two men doesn’t ever seem very clear.  I’m also not convinced that a couple of brisk encounters and a nasty brush-off would have left a man like Zack pining for Falk.

Finally, I’m not entirely sure why ‘Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell’ books are still being written in 2015. I do like the way Zack comes into himself, becoming braver and more self-confident as the book progresses.  But honestly, a wedding?  After forty pages?

Sarah

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Excerpt

Captain Zachary Smith bit back a groan when he saw the man seated in front of his colonel’s desk. It was his nemesis, his secret crush. His face serious and otherwise expressionless, he did his best to pretend that he was alone in the room, listening to a recording.

“Rest, Captain,” barked his commander, Colonel Marshall. Zack dropped his salute to clasp his hands behind his back, eyes fixed on an invisible point above the colonel’s head. “Mr. Thayer has need of your services once again,” the senior officer went on. Zack fought the urge to cringe or to look at the third man.

Federal Agent Falk Thayer lounged easily in his chair, seemingly unaffected by the scene playing out in front of him. He’d come in and announced his needs. The ranking officer had listened and offered him provision. Zack had an emotional price to pay, but Falk was apparently unmoved by it.

“Captain,” growled Colonel Marshall, “Federal Agent Thayer will require your cooperation regarding the Pavarato case.” The older man nodded toward a beige folder resting on the corner of his desk. “I expect you to assist fully with his investigation.”

“Yes, sir. Of course, sir,” Zack rapped back, focused entirely on his superior officer.

“That will be all, Captain.” The colonel nodded sharply. “You are excused. Make yourself available to Agent Thayer,” he ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Zack affirmed, turning sharply. Without even a quick look toward Falk Thayer, he left the room.

***

“Coffee, Penelope, would you please?” Zack asked as he passed his secretary’s desk.

Though she was an Army sergeant, Penelope Raines preferred not to stand on ceremony. They’d been instant friends since their first meeting, and he didn’t doubt that she knew most of his secrets. He’d told her half of them, and she’d likely guessed the rest. When others were present, they maintained a formal relationship; otherwise, they were relaxed with each other.

“Coming up, Z.” She aimed a commiserating smile his way, turning toward the break room.

He strode into his small office and kicked the door closed behind him. Groaning, he collapsed into his office chair, his face sinking into his crossed arms resting upon his desk.

Moments later, when the door creaked open, he didn’t look up. The scent of strong coffee tickled his nose telling him that Penelope hadn’t let him down.

“Just put it on the desk, Pen,” he said into his forearm. “Hey, d’me a f’vr?” he mumbled, lifting his head a fraction of an inch, “Gimme the Pavarato file ‘n lemme know when Ag’nt Thayer heads this way.” He dropped his head back into the crook of his arm, wondering when his luck would improve.

He heard the sound of the cup landing on his desk, but Penelope didn’t leave. He didn’t stir for a moment until, after several long seconds, still without looking up, he mumbled, “Pen? You need something else?”

“I was coming in anyway, Smith,” Agent Thayer’s smooth tenor answered, amusement thick in his voice.

Zack shot to his feet, nearly knocking over his chair. Automatically, he snapped to attention, groaning inside when he realized he’d done it. He heard the other man’s chuckle and reached for his coffee, nonchalantly taking it from the corner of his desk, hoping to hide his embarrassment.

“Now, what kind of a good soldier gets caught unaware like this?” Falk mused, causing a hot blush to sweep up and burn Zack’s cheeks.

“I, I, um, you…” he stammered, feeling like a fool. Sucking in a deep breath, he stood up straight. He was six feet and two inches tall, muscular and attractive, and he knew how to use it to his best advantage. Why wouldn’t it work on Agent Falk Thayer? “I wasn’t expecting you to just walk in,” he objected, carefully sipped at the strong brew.

“I didn’t ‘just walk in,’” the other man told him calmly. “I stopped at your secretary’s desk. She had your coffee.”

He nodded toward the liquid crutch cupped in Zack’s hands.

Zack couldn’t understand it. Falk Thayer had medium brown hair, medium brown eyes, and regular features. The other man was easily four inches shorter than he was. How he could be so unremarkable and so intimidating at the same time, Zack just didn’t know. But he was.

“Um, yeah,” Zack looked away and took another deliberate sip of coffee. “Well, what is it you want me to do?” he asked grudgingly.

AuthorBio

These things—author biographies—always give me trouble. Should I say I’m a single female over forty? Or would you rather know that I began writing professionally a bit over a decade ago? It’s safe to say I’m a dreamer. I love learning about people and exploring emotions. Every story is a journey, sometimes a wild ride, other times cray trip. Can you tell that I love to travel? I share my home with two cats and two birds. One of the cats is an aggressive young lady who moved in downstairs. My middle-aged guy isn’t sure if he wants to run from her or to her. I’ll let you know if a romance develops there. The birds are taking bets.

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3 stars for Inclination by Mia Kerick #MM #YA #Christian twitter.com/MiaKerick

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 Title: Inclincation
Author : Mia Kerick
Publication Date and Length: Feburary 25th 2015 , 206 pages
Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans.  Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.

Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?

 

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Review
ThreeStar
Inclination

by Mia Kerick

 

I picked this up because I loved the premise–a teenager learning to embrace both his sexuality and his faith. I really like reading about lgbtq people of faith. I was also excited to see that it had two other things I love: Boston and Italian families, both things that are familiar to me.

At first, I really enjoyed the story. I liked the main character right away. There were so many great facets, and the story dives right into his intense feelings of insecurity and anxiety. These are relatable for teens in a lot of ways.

Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed. The story is very black-and-white: there are clear “bad guys” and “good guys,” and clear lines about what “sin” is. I was frustrated so often with Anthony’s friend/love interest, David, because despite being one of the supposed “good guys,” he was even more self-righteous than the obviously bigoted Catholic kids. He was incredibly preachy, and a lot of his scenes were hard to read because they came off as moralizing rather than empathetic.

I was also frustrated by the constant theme of “sex is bad outside marriage” and a lot of heteronormativity, including the expectation (rather than the option) of marriage and family. I was so disappointed in the way the intimacy between the two boys was explored. Again, it only talked about one single view on sexual expression, and it sometimes read like an ad for abstinence.

I think there were some great themes in there–like bullying and forgiveness–but the message about sex outside marriage was actually far louder and spoiled a lot of the enjoyment for me. I really would have liked instead for more on the gay-bashing incident and the fallout from that. I think that was probably the place where I saw the best examples of what being a person of faith and being gay meant.
3 stars

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Teaser
Inclination
authorbio
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
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