Author: Allison Cassatta & Kade Boehme
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Allison Cassatta
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Christian Grayson is a professor of sociology who comes from a close-knit Southern family steeped in values and tradition. He left Tennessee using education as his excuse for escape, when he truthfully only wanted the freedom to be who he truly was. But at age forty, he’s still in the closet and still adheres to the morals his father, a Southern Baptist minister, raised him with. This includes saving himself for Mr. Right.
CJ Hata has been under Christian’s wing since his freshman year. A genius, pure and simple, he’s a senior now and no longer needs to report to Professor G, but he still seeks his teacher out occasionally for a friendly chat.
When Christian accidentally outs himself to CJ while pouring his heart out about his dying father, CJ feels totally out of his element. He convinces himself to put forth his best effort because the man he’s been crushing on for four years needs a friend. In the meantime, everyone around CJ is stumbling out of the closet, but the one person he really wants to come out has barricaded himself in with the bible and his family’s expectations.
If you can get past the whole Teacher/Student dynamic (in this case College professor/Advisee), Teaching Professor Grayson by Allison Cassatta and Kade Boehme could be an enjoyable read for you. In the realm of fiction, I can not find fault with this pairing. As people, CJ and Christian both bring something important to the relationship. CJ helps pull Christian from the closet, and Christian helps give CJ some much-needed perspective.
This story is not all roses and sunshine. It is gritty, and both main characters make one mistake after another. They deal with less than accepting families as well as the potential professional backlash of the relationship.
I did have a few struggles with this story. First of all, I found it hard to follow due to quick perspective shifts between Christian and CJ. In addition, the lessons regarding homosexuality and religion are rather didactic and heavy-handed. They provided an important message but lost me as an audience after some time because felt like they were circling the same point repeatedly.
In the end, I appreciated that everything is not wrapped up in a pretty bow. There are still people in both families struggling with the relationship. Not everything is forgiven and forgotten. I enjoyed this story despite these issues.
I would like to thank the publisher 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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