Author: Sue Brown
Genre: Contemporary/Coming of Age
Length: Novel (232 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 17th, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Danny is young, gay, and homeless. He lives in the park, preferring to avoid attention, but when thugs confront a stranger, Danny rushes to his rescue. He and the would-be victim, Harry, form a cautious friendship that deepens months later, when Harry persuades Danny to visit his home. Daring to believe he has found happiness, Danny finds his world turned upside down yet again when tragedy strikes.
Until he runs out of options, Danny won’t trust anyone. Finally he has to accept the offer of a home, and Danny becomes David, but adjusting to a new life isn’t easy. When he meets the mysterious Jack, it stirs up feelings he thought were long gone. Can David dare to allow himself to love? Or will the truth bring his new world tumbling down around him?
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3751Royalties from this book are going to The Albert Kennedy Trust, a UK charity supporting homeless LGBT teenagers.
Review: The story starts off in present time, with David facing his fears of telling his long time partner the truth about his past. Having been thrown out by his parents at the startling age of 16 for being gay, life has been a hard road for David. Homeless, he was forced to subject himself to damaging abuse at the hands of other men. He was stabbed and his poor body has rattled with sickness brought on by his surroundings.
Everyone he’s ever loved has left him. First his parents, then Steve and now Harry. He’s understandably cautious when Mary and Sylvia offer him a flat, rent free. Having lost her son to a gay bashing, Mary has spent the last several years opening her heart and home to young gay/trans kids to give them options aside from living on the street or in shelters. Her daughter Sylvia introduces her to David, after his most recent hospital visit with yet another bought of pneumonia.
Mary insists that David pull his own weight, and that includes helping out at the homeless shelter he himself used to frequent. It’s here that he meets Jack. A force of nature is what Jack is. And David recognizes him immediately as someone from his past. After eight years together, David finally opens up to Jack. Once Jack has gotten over the shock of the secrets David has held locked inside these past eight years, will it make their bond stronger? Or will it tear them apart, Leaving David lost and alone, just as he’s always feared?
Brown has written an emotionally raw story of young, gay, homeless teen. The realism of this story drew me in from the start. I found myself tearing up a couple of times as I learned more about David’s journey, that started as Danny. How he was used and abused and tossed aside like garbage. Made to believe he was worthless and ugly. Then, how the love of two strangers and an inexperienced young man saved his life and taught him that he truly was worthy and loveable.
The ending was a bit abrupt, almost rushed. I wanted more resolution there, but I did get my HEA so I’m happy overall.