Tag Archives: Coming Out

5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Mulligans by Charlie David #MM #ComingOut @CharlieDavid @Dreamspinners

CoverTitle: Mulligans
Author Name & Publisher: Charlie David (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 25, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.

The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years. But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.

1st Edition published by Palari Publishing LLp, 2010.

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Review

FiveStars

This is not a love story. This is what reality can look like in a situation like this. Honestly this story completely broke my heart.

Chase in my opinion does not have the best outlook on things. He is scared to come out to his best friend Tyler for fear of losing he only person that he feels like is family. He lost his dad at and his mom pretty much stopped living when this happened and he was alone. With deciding to spend the summer with Tyler and his family I think that Chase got a taste of the other side of what a family could be like and it was not all pretty like the outside package appeared.

Nathan is Tyler’s father and I believe that he is just existing. He is not really a part of his family even though he goes brought the motions. Once he learns that Chase is gay he starts questioning all the things that he has tried to suppress. And he starts to make major mistakes that affects everyone he loves.

This is a story about someone who has hidden himself for so long that when it finally came to light who he really was, it destroyed his family. But on the other hand, they all love each other as a family that even though they are hurt they come to accept that things change and along with that change they can still love each other as a family.

The one I feel sorry for in this book is Tyler and Chase. I feel sorry for Chase because he may have very well lost the one person he thinks of as family and I feel sorry for Tyler because he feels betrayed by not only his mom and dad but also someone he considers a brother.

I do not really see anyone truly winning in this book. What I think is this is more of a reality instead of a fairy tale and it is a perfect description of how messy life really is. It was a good book but like I said it broke my heart on so many different levels.

Tosha
FourStars
I had previously seen the movie, but I hadn’t been aware there was also a novelization. I was interested to see if there was any more detail because I always felt as though there was just a bit more I wanted to understand about the characters and their motivations. The book does contain some more, since we could actually see into their thoughts, but for the most part, it follows the movie. I particularly appreciated how much more depth Stacey in particular has, since I really liked her.

On the whole, I loved this. I think it’s particularly relatable for people who have come out later in life and especially after creating a life built on one’s own assumptions of themselves and what they should do. Nathan’s internal conflict about wanting to be the best father and husband he could despite his repressed identity is understandable and even to an extent admirable. What makes this so good is the realness of everyone’s feelings and how they deal with the aftermath of Nathan and Chase’s affair.

I had two issues with this. First, it’s really not timeless. This story is seven years old, and a lot has changed since then. Jarod mentions not knowing any out pro athletes, for example, which is no longer relevant in pretty much any sport. There are a few other similar details which make this feel slightly less relevant.

My second problem is that I saw Nathan both in the film and in the book as truly bisexual but never having been able to explore that. Are there gay men who fell in love with exactly one woman? Sure. But nearly all Nathan’s internal dialog, as well as a lot of his behavior, suggest that his orientation isn’t so binary. It bothered me a lot because I think the way the story was told lent itself so well to exploring something more. Instead, we’re left with Nathan riding off into his gay sunset with very little remaining thought to the deep and genuine love he’s had for Stacey.

Despite that, I still recommend reading this book. It’s not a romance, so it’s not for people looking for a sweet falling-in-love story with a happily ever after. It’s about complex and deep issues and how families handle the big things.

~AmyM

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3 Star Review for Switching Teams: What Coming Out Later in Life Taught Me about Love, Conquering Fear and Accepting Change by Dawn Elizabeth Waters #FF #ComingOut @WatersDawn

Cover

Title: Switching Teams: What Coming Out Later in Life Taught Me about Love, Conquering Fear and Accepting Change
Author Name & Publisher: Dawn Elizabeth Waters (Dog Ear Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: November 10, 2015 – 184 pgs

Synopsis

Dawn’s comfortable existence as a stay-at-home wife and mother of three disappeared as soon as she came out as a lesbian. Although it would be one of the most difficult experiences of her life, it would also be one of the most liberating- at long last the 39-year-old was comfortable in her own skin, even as she realized everyone around her was thrown into chaos. Life got even more interesting when she fell in love with her best friend of 10 years and discovered the feeling was mutual.

It was difficult to imagine what her life would look like after such a dramatic change, and at times she felt the weight of the emotional fallout on her shoulders. But change is as inevitable as Dawn’s need to be true to herself. “My coming out was the first step in reclaiming my life as it was supposed to have been,” she writes.

Switching Teams tells the story of Dawn’s newfound awakening and the reactions of friends and loved ones as they came to terms with her determination to live an authentic life, no matter what the cost. Throughout her fearless journey, Dawn experienced profound sadness and grief but also true peace and joy, thanks to the love of her life and unexpected support from those who mattered most.

Freelance writer Dawn Elizabeth Waters works as a real estate agent, writes a real estate blog, and co-owns an event photography business in Debary, Florida. She studied sports administration at Stetson University and was married for nearly 20 years before realizing she was a lesbian and getting a divorce.

Dawn, a Detroit native, supports LGBT causes and coaches youth sports, and is a lifelong Detroit Lions and Red Wings fan. She and her wife, Yvette, have four sons. She admires her wife, children and anyone who has stared fear in the face and survived in spite of it.

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Review

FourStars

This is a very poignant novel and Ms Waters has obviously poured out her heart in writing it. Obviously she is a brave and soulful woman, judging by this work.
I thought the allegories she used were extremely good and clearly defined what she was explaining. I also enjoyed her use of similes’ which made her  descriptions that much more emphatic.
However I did have problems identifying with her actual beliefs and coping mechanisms, as a lesbian, a mother and someone who also came out later in life I could not identify at all with her experiences. Personally I felt that at times it was rather preachy and just a little sanctimonious. Also as a Brit I was not accustomed to the dominant role played by therapists.
I do feel this novel may help many people and would encourage anyone who has doubts about coming out later in life and who holds Christian beliefs  to read it and judge it for themselves.
Chris

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4 Stars for The Right Words by Lane Hayes – #MM #Football @Dreamspinners @LaneHayes3

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Title: The Right Words (Right and Wrong #1)
Author Name: Lane Hayes
Publication Date & Length: December 12, 2014 – 204 pgs

Synopsis

Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.

Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.

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Review

FourStars
Luke and Michael made an unlikely team.  You have Luke who loves his job, to design and make beauty out of texture, color and space. Then you have Michael, who also makes something beautiful, but it’s with fluidity, grace and a ball.
I really liked how Luke was able to read people in this story.  He also had his close friend helping his gain more self confidence after a somewhat abusing relationship with someone that Luke had idolized, loved and ultimately been betrayed by.  I understood that aspect, but what I didn’t understand were the panic attacks.  It seemed that they were supposed to come at times where Luke was under enormous stress, but they kind of didn’t track that well for me.
Then, because this story is only Luke’s POV, it definitely left me wanting Michael’s side of things too.  I do feel it would have been more complete had I had both POV’s because Michael’s actions didn’t always match his words.
The fear that Michael has is real – I understand fear.  It drives people to do strange things.  However, I also understand love and when you don’t believe in love, your world shrinks down somewhat.  You’ve lost a part of this world that can make the impossible seem possible.
While I wanted to pummel Michael’s bad leg over and over again for his actions in the end, I do believe that everything worked out the way that it should have.
The story didn’t leave me with warm fuzzies, more like cautious optimism, however, I did enjoy it well enough.
AvidReader

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5 stars for Coming Out Catholic by Alex Dunkin @AlexDunkin #MM #YA #Catholic #ComingOut

comingoutcatholic1400

Title: Coming Out Catholic
Author Name & Publisher: Alex Dunkin (Torquere Press/Prizm Books)
Publication Date: May 27, 2015

Synopsis

Like all good Catholic boys I care what Jesus thinks. Jesus the man, and the faith. Following him make me happy. There’s just one issue… I think I’m gay. Well, it’s hard to be sure going to an all-boys school. It could be simply liking what I know and really, oh so very, liking what I see all day, guys. Being gay and Catholic can’t possible work together. Can it?

Coming Out Catholic follows a year in the life of a private Catholic school student as he comes to terms with his sexuality. Armed with sarcasm and his best friend Mark, he prepares to take on the school thug and the awkward social encounters plaguing his late teenage years.

Confronting himself and his family are just the beginning of his trials. He learns he must find solace with his sexual desires without surrendering any of his faith. He loves both too much but when the time comes he will have to know which one he has to give up or prepare to succumb to a life of denial.

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ReviewFiveStarsWhat a fantastic read. This hit every high point to make a perfect adolescent journey of self-discovery.

The main character (who is never given a name, lending itself well to the “every boy” feel) is the right combination of largely likable, sometimes irritating, and now and again downright exasperating. He’s so easy to root for as he works through his challenges.

I loved the cast of supporting characters. It was fantastic how in a story set at an all-boys school and featuring a gay main character, even the girls/women were well-rounded. None fell into the too-common tropes. And I absolutely loved Mark, who is the ideal best friend. I really want to read more about him, as I think his own coming to terms with himself and his sexuality would make a much-needed read.

If nothing else, this was worth it for the huge surprise at the end, which I won’t spoil. I was utterly delighted! The payoff, and the lessons learned, were worth the wait.

Everything about this was wonderful. From nail-biting moments at each new coming out to cringing over various dating misadventures to holding my sides while I laughed myself silly, this was quite a ride. Every teen—regardless of orientation—should read this book. Simply marvelous.

~Amy

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5 and 4 Stars for The Right Words by Lane Hayes – #MM #Football @Dreamspinners @LaneHayes3

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Title: The Right Words (Right and Wrong #1)
Author Name: Lane Hayes
Publication Date & Length: December 12, 2014 – 204 pgs

Synopsis

Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.

Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.

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Review

FiveStars

This was my first Lane Hayes story and I absolutely loved it. It was such a good love story.
I felt like Michael was very realistic as he tried to deal with his wants and his career and family all at the same time even though they pulled him in different directions at time.
Luke’s life was a mess, but I liked that about him. There was excellent chemistry between them and I really liked reading their story.
Can’t wait to find out what happens in Brandon’s story!
Renee
FourStars
I enjoyed this book. The contrast between Luke, the LA interior designer and Michael, a closeted football star works well. The ocean-side setting is beautiful and some of the scenes between the two men are very touching.

Having said that, this is my least favourite of the three books in the series so far. Some of the magic of the two later books is missing here. I did come to love the men, but I found Michael’s quiet brooding and Luke’s somewhat sulky narration a little off-putting at times.

I’m also not sure the LA setting works very well for a football player. Football isn’t really an American sport and though Hayes tries to explain Michael’s global celebrity and the bigotry in football culture, she isn’t able to show us because Michael isn’t in Europe or Latin America, he’s in LA where they call it soccer.

But this is still a Lane Hayes story – and she writes beautifully. When her romantic leads do manage to connect, this story is wonderfully poignant. Her men are a little damaged, but they are beautiful and resilient.

It isn’t essential to read the three books in order, but if you love the other two books as much as I do, you will enjoy glimpses of Brandon and Alex before their stories start.

Sarah

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AuthorBio

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel, Better Than Good, was a 2013 Rainbow Awards Finalist and her third in the Better Than Stories, Better Than Friends, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. Lane loves red wine, chocolate and travel, in no particular order (on second thought, maybe wine first). She resides in Southern California with her amazing husband and a regal old yellow Lab in an almost empty nest.

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4 stars for Endless Days of Summer by Stacy O’Steen @torn_treasure @supposedcrimes #Asexual #FF #contemporary

front cover 1000x625

Title: Endless Days of Summer
Author Name: Stacy O’Steen
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2015 — 285 pages

Synopsis

Struggling to cope with the reality of her decision to live away from home, Penelope Van Buren is thrust into college life head first with nothing to break her fall. It’s a whirlwind once her dorm mate convinces her to leave the room. Penelope finds friends in LGBTQA club but when the questions start flowing through Penelope’s mind she realizes she’s been wrong about so many things.

Seeing the world around her with new eyes, she analyzes an old relationship that may turn out to be even more than she thought it would be. In the end, Penelope needs to do what would make her happy. The problem is she can’t seem to figure out what that is.

Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence

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Review

 FourStars

A totally enthralling novel, a real page turner. Full of mother/daughter angst, finding your sexuality apprehension, and, trepidation to others perceived perceptions.
Different from other novels in the way the author characterizes Penelope’s growing maturity and self understanding. This is clearly seen as the novel progresses.
Written in almost a documentary/drama way, anyone on the verge of coming out or having difficulty in their sexual orientation, would really find this novel of interest. The way asexuality is handled is very refreshing and informative.
My only criticism  would be the way the relationship between Penelope and her Mother appears biased towards Penelope’s feelings.
This is an emotional love story, full of realism, but with a real feel good factor.
~Chris

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In the hours between corralling her circus of animals and feeding her husband, Stacy breathes life into the characters running rampant in her mind. Born in the south with a proclivity for travel and the nerd life, Stacy rests her head in the clouds and daydreams of equality. When not writing or working, she loves to craft, and spends many a night curled up with her hot glue gun. An avid Chipotle fan, she hopes to eat at one in every state and country lucky enough to have one.

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5 Star Review for Living in Sin by Anastasia Vitsky #F/F #Family #Coming out @AnastasiaVitsky

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Title: Living in Sin

Author: Anastasia Vitsky

Publication Date: March 25th 2015

Synopsis

Come out to your family, or we’re through!

Sick of playing “roommate” for the sake of her girlfriend’s religious, tight-knit family, Audra issues an ultimatum: Tell your family, or I move out. After all, Audra’s family supports her and loves Ciara as a second daughter. Why would Ciara’s family be any different? Audra’s tired of hiding the reality of their lives. She puts Ciara first, so why can’t Ciara do the same?

Caught between her family and her girlfriend, Ciara resents being forced to choose. She tries to keep the peace by accepting her aunt’s endless blind dates and comforting her mother who care for Ciara’s dying grandmother. How can Ciara shatter her family by forcing the truth on them? How can she face life without Audra if she does not?

Agonized and at her wit’s end, Ciara receives an unexpected spirit visit that asks her hard questions. Does love require self-sacrifice? How much can she give up without losing herself?

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Review

FiveStars

I’ve read a number of Ms. Vitsky’s books, and each time, I think I couldn’t possibly love it more than the last one, only to be proven wrong.

This is a gentle, tender story about the ways our own raw places can unintentionally wound the people we love most. Ciara’s fear of rejection by her family is palpable. Even though the story is in first person from her POV, Audra’s emotions are also tangible. What I liked, though, was that it never dipped into emotional drama just for the sake of forcing a reaction. The feelings were realistic.

One of my favorite things Ms. Vitsky does in her work is examining the interplay of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. These are deeply human and deeply spiritual themes, and she’s excellent at viewing different angles. In this story, part of what makes it so good is when the characters’ hidden reasons for their actions rise to the surface and they have the chance to understand each other. I was actually surprised by the ending, but I thought it was a perfect fit.

If you want a very quick read that will warm your heart while making you think, this is perfect.

~Amy

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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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