Tag Archives: religious

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

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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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3.5 Stars for Denial, Deceit, Discovery by J. James (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #NonFiction @je1author

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Title: Denial, Deceit, Discovering
Author Name: J. James
Publication Date & Length: May 31, 2013 – 364 pgs

Synopsis

Denial, Deceit, Discovering is the heart-rending story based on true events in the life of Jack Ellis; a young Catholic man deep in denial of his own homosexuality. It tells the story of how his own denial and the denial of his loved ones forced him to conform to the straight world, resulting in his marriage to his high school sweetheart. After years of cruising gay porn sites, chatting online with endless guys and intimate encounters with close friends, Jack was pulled into a life of deceit with a string of sexual partners.

The story explains the pain and suffering of those around him as his secrets unfold and honesty rises up. The torture endured as Jack struggles to piece together the complex story of his own sexuality is truly moving. Escaping the shame, Jack flees to Bangkok with his gay lover where a much greater world of deceit and discovery awaits them both.

Denial, deceit, discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s story unfolds from a life of shame to one of hope and acceptance for homosexual men.

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ReviewThreeandHalfStars

First I have to say this is not erotica. Not at all. It might be a bit too vivid for some but as an avid erotica reader, I can tell you this isn’t it. However, that being said, It felt like real life for me. The times sexual situations are encountered, they are normally quite brief and simply describe what the character himself was going through and why he was in that particular situation.
I felt like at time the pacing was off as some parts I could read fast enough and other times I found myself wanting to skip ahead.
As important to him as his family’s approval (or disapproval) of his coming out, I also felt like the story could’ve been more focused between his wife and him (and the men in his life).Then again, I can absolutely say that I didn’t like his wife at all. I felt like she was incredibly selfish even before she found out he was gay. Their relationship really felt like both of them just settled because they’d been together for so long and it just was the next step to take. (Look at the wedding). Then again, I don’t think it was at all right for him to do as much for his wife as he did just because ‘it was all his fault’ because I feel like if she’d been a better wife or more attentive wife, she would’ve noticed something was going on with him long before she did.
I will say that for some gay men out there, they might find this resonates a lot more with them because of some of the trials he goes through. I felt sorry for him and his inability to see the people that would’ve supported him long before he finally found the courage to come out.Then again, the one friend (Nathan) that he thought he could count on being there for him wasn’t and the friend he worried most about (Michael) was most supportive.
This was a great book that needed a good dose of editing. The lack of capitalization bothered me immensely. As there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it as it would be ‘Uncle sam’ and ‘aunt Jess’.. Ryan wasn’t capitalized but Maria was. There was also quite a few grammar errors and a few spelling mistakes as well. However, the story had a decent flow so I tried to see past that all.
Also, and maybe this is a personal thing so I didn’t deduct stars for this, but to say that there is no ‘real’ bisexuality bothered me. Along with stating that women should have babies because men can’t. There were a few other blanket statements like that that really bothered me and I don’t think I’d be the only one bothered by such things. However, since it is simply my opinion, I’ll leave it at that.
Renee

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Spotlight: Denial, Deceit, Discovery by J. James (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #NonFiction @je1author

Book cover

Title: Denial, Deceit, Discovering
Author Name: J. James
Publication Date & Length: May 31, 2013 – 364 pgs

Synopsis

Denial, Deceit, Discovering is the heart-rending story based on true events in the life of Jack Ellis; a young Catholic man deep in denial of his own homosexuality. It tells the story of how his own denial and the denial of his loved ones forced him to conform to the straight world, resulting in his marriage to his high school sweetheart. After years of cruising gay porn sites, chatting online with endless guys and intimate encounters with close friends, Jack was pulled into a life of deceit with a string of sexual partners.

The story explains the pain and suffering of those around him as his secrets unfold and honesty rises up. The torture endured as Jack struggles to piece together the complex story of his own sexuality is truly moving. Escaping the shame, Jack flees to Bangkok with his gay lover where a much greater world of deceit and discovery awaits them both.

Denial, deceit, discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s story unfolds from a life of shame to one of hope and acceptance for homosexual men.

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3.5 Stars for Ancient House of Cards by Bryan T. Clark @bryantclarkx2 #MM #romance

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Title: Ancient House of Cards
Author Name: Bryan T. Clark
Publication Date & Length: Feb 21, 2014 – 196 pgs

Synopsis

Sebastian Morales is smart, gorgeous and has just turned 30. He is also one of the youngest Priests to be assigned to the sleepy little town of Morris Colorado, nestled just below the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Born in a remote village in Spain, Father Morales’ life had been perfectly scripted as he obtained his dreams. Now in America, he is at task with revitalizing an aging congregation. The job seems easy until he meets Ian Stephens. Ian is troubled, good looking, openly gay and trapped between his own dreams and the responsibility he feels for the care of his aging mother.

Escorting his mother to Sunday Mass one morning, Ian and Father Morales’ life intersect, changing both forever. Ian believes he has seen something in the Father’s eyes that morning, a spark, an intuition, or was he just fantasizing about the seductively alluring priest.

Ian is willing to risk it all in order to find the answer, in turn feeding his own sexual desires and causing boundaries to be questioned by everyone.

After an unforeseen yet unforgettable kiss between the two men, will an Ancient House of Cards be toppled when they are faced with confronting the moral dilemma that neither of them can escape?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I chose this book because I can’t resist stories with spiritual or religious themes. For the most part, I enjoyed it.

As with any story, my favorite part is always the characters. The people populating this story were interesting and diverse, and none of them felt flat to me. I liked reading about their various struggles, all of which were relatable. Their human failings made them more, not less, likable and intriguing.

I appreciated that the characters were not all standard, white Americans. There was quite a bit of diversity. And I did think it was fun that Ian’s best friend was named Niles and had a cat called Mr. French. Those were details I found particularly charming.

I did feel that the writing was uneven at times. There were some absolutely brilliant moments, including some of the details about the setting and some of the character interactions. At other times, however, the narrative seemed flat and the dialog a bit stiff. The whole thing could have benefited from a thorough going-over by an editor or a few skilled beta readers.

The end also left me feeling a bit deflated. That wasn’t because of where the main characters ended up but because it felt rushed. I had been hoping throughout that we might see a bit more depth regarding their spirituality, but it never quite got there. Then, at the end, there was an epilogue that sort of tidied things up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t terribly realistic, and not enough time passed for the particular scenario to have been realistic.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and I recommend it, but with the qualifier that it may not be what you’re looking for if you want a book with deeper spiritual themes.

I give it 3.5 stars.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

Bryan Thomas Clark is a boisterous extravert who is a proud member of the LGBT community. For the last 30 years, he has enjoyed a career in Law Enforcement. On the weekends is when his characters are born and grow into the people his readers will fall in love with. Behind his keyboard working on his next novel, he writes gay fiction with an emphasis on a moral dilemma and M/M romance.

On the rare occasions he isn’t writing, Bryan enjoys traveling, following his husband around the state of California to various equestrian competitions, lying by a body of water soaking up the sun, or watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband and dog on the couch.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan now resides in the Central Valley of California with his husband of twenty-eight years and their four legged loyal companion, Miss Celie.

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