A lovely and compelling historical story of faith, hope and love …
Author: L Dean Pace-Frech
Publisher: Musa Publishing
My Rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?
In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trail, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past by the end of the trial; it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Reverend Leander’s likely sentence.
Disappear With Me is the story of Leander Norris, a gay Reverend who is accused of sodomy. Rather than pleading guilty and making the case quietly go away, he instead chooses to stand up to the allegations and force a trial. Throughout the story, the history of Leander’s life, loves, and losses is slowly revealed. Leander is a sincere, Godly man, whose fierce faith carries him through his often difficult life. He honestly believes that he is worthy of love, and that loving other men does not preclude his relationship with God. Leander is also a decent man, who cares for the people of his parish, and freely opens his heart to love.
Leander is almost idealistic in his beliefs, which are far more progressive than acceptable in London at the start of the twentieth century. He truly believes that it is his right to live and love freely, and presses for an open court trial. The story includes the years Leander spent with Raphael, his first love who chose to conform with society rather than stay with Leander; Emil, a wonderfully decent man with whom Leander spends eleven years before Emil’s accidental death; and Basil, a man who is unhappily married to a shrewish woman who initiates the sodomy charge against Leander. Leander loves each of these men, and relies heavily upon his faith to live through the loss of each.
I truly like Disappear With Me – it’s an unusual and interesting historical story with a compelling and timely message. The story is laced with Biblical scriptures which is uncommon in M/M romance, but in Disappear With Me the religious passages are appropriate and support the story line. I like Leander as a character – he’s genuine and spiritual without seeming pious. I also like Emil and even Basil, although he didn’t stand up for Leander when his wife made her allegations. However, I do not like Raphael – he pulls away from Leander as a young Cambridge man because he’s fearful of living a quiet loving life with Leander rather than conforming to society’s hetero expectations, he then pops back into his life in their early 30’s, and presents him with his illegitimate three year old son and pleads with Leander to become the child’s ward. Raphael again pretty much disappears from Leander’s life until after he’s been convicted of sodomy, when Raphael shows back up with the promise of a happy life with Leander when he leaves prison. Trusting Leander believes in his sincerity and dreams of disappearing with Raphael to their own happily ever after (I am less convinced!).
I recommend Disappear With Me. It’s a lovely, hopeful, and heartfelt story of a man who is willing to stand tall upon his faith and proclaim that he is perfectly good and decent just the way God created him – as a gay man. I like this message, as well as the promise of a better tomorrow that L Dean Pace-Frech delivers through Leander. I think you will, as well.
I would like to thank Musa Publishing for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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