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Published by Riptide Publishing on August 8th 2016
Genres: LGBTQI, M/M, Romance
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Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.
Randy Wright believes the best in others. He's immediately drawn to Francis, even though Francis is hardened and wary. When Francis is attacked by one of his johns, Randy and his family take him in and offer him temporary work. Randy always thought he was straight, but something about Francis has him yearning for more than just friendship, and realizing he might be bisexual.
Francis is attracted to Randy too, and Randy and his parents say they’ve always believed in gay rights. But talk is cheap. What are the odds that these Christian parents will remain open-minded when it's their own son in a relationship with another man?
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Book Review: 5 Stars
The premise of the book has drawn me to it like a moth to a flame immediately. And I have to say – I wasn’t disappointed! “Starting New” was an emotional, very real and tender book about a young man on the brink of adulthood, who has had a shitty upbringing and struggled to survive in turning tricks. The book directly starts with a very uncomfortable scene of Francis (one of the MC’s) and one of his johns having sex. There is nothing romantic or even remotely erotic about this scene. It was a real and raw situation, where you felt the despair of the young man. But the author managed to keep it on the uplifting side and not turn the MC into a self-pitying whiner.
The thought of the religious aspects of this story made me very hesitant since I’m as anti-religious as can be. I don’t believe in a God and I don’t want to be brainwashed into believing. And after Francis used these exact same words just a few pages into the book, I was very sure that there would be no issue for me. Frankly, “Starting New” balanced a very thin line of being about too much religious stuff, but it was good and fitting for the story.
In a few other reviews, I saw that there were a few complaints about the lack of sex between the two lovers – but for me, there was plenty of sexual tension and enough sizzling to last a book double it’s length. Even without actual sticking lot A into slot B… But I guess that is very depending on what you’re used to and what you anticipate. For me personally, it was just right.
All in all, “Starting New” was (unfortunately) only a quite short book and it was an amazing read for me. 5 stars and I can definitely recommend it to all fans of MM-books and romance in general – it showed that you don’t have to be gay to love a person of the same gender, your soul falls in love with another soul and not his or her genitals. LOOOOOOVVVVEEEED this message so hard!!!
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