A Caryn Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

What is family?  For the queer community, that has always been a fraught question, because redefining family as something other than shared history and DNA is something that too many of them have been unwillingly (and sometimes tragically) forced to do.  Friends are the family we choose – but letting go of the family of your childhood and choosing a new one is never going to be easy.  And that’s what this book is all about.

Isaac is a gay man who never came out to his family, though he is openly gay otherwise and has a close network of friends.  He knows his parents are homophobic, but hasn’t even told his sister, although she has her suspicions about him.  His parents are annoying, belittling, and exceedingly negative, and his relationship with them is distant and mainly involves showing up at their house for holidays to get another helping of guilt about why he hasn’t settled down to give them grandchildren.  It was mentioned that his childhood wasn’t much better.  He’s fairly close to his sister though, so was surprised when she showed up for Christmas dinner with a multiply pierced, heavily tatted, non-white man who kept hinting about past incarcerations.  He was even more surprised when that man started hitting on him!  After a very uncomfortable dinner, his sister came clean to him, admitted she brought Logan just to piss off their parents, and also told Isaac she assumed he was gay – and would be interested in Logan.  Which he was, once he found out that all the hints about a criminal past were also fabricated.

Over the course of the the following year, Isaac finds that Logan is exactly who he’s been looking for all his life.  Logan feels the same way.  Their main point of contention is that Isaac is not out to his family, and Logan doesn’t want to be a dirty secret.  Keeping Logan secret from his family is also increasingly uncomfortable for Isaac, but the fallout from coming out is more painful than either of them suspected….

The plot was predictable, as outlined in the blurb, so nothing I’ve mentioned above is a spoiler.  I really do like stories like this, but where there isn’t a lot of plot you end up with a lot of filler.  Which can be good, but here it started being a little repetitive.  The sex scenes got boring, which they inevitably do when there are too many.  And if I read one more time about licking the taste of coffee, or dessert, or wine, or other food out of Logan’s mouth to get to the taste of “uniquely him” or whatever, I was going to scream.  Mention it once and it’s a little sexy, but over and over and I start thinking of dental hygiene, which is the opposite of sexy 😦

Cover art by L.C. Chase is really well laid out, with a great looking model that is perfect for Logan.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 248 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 29th 2018)
Original Title Hard Truths
Edition Language English

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