Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher ~ Book Review by Queue

LeadmenotTitle: Lead Me Not

Author: Ann Gallagher

Publisher: Riptide

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 08/24/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Blurb:

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.

When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?

My View:

 

When I heard about this book I had to read it for a couple reasons. First of all this is written by L.A. Witt, using a pseudonym, and I’m a huge fan of hers. The religion angle also seemed like a fresh one that I hadn’t seen before.

Religion does often appear in M/M novels but the people are usually the bad guys shown with little or no redemptive values. Here, the author presented a mostly fair and balanced view of both sides of the argument. It’s hard to portray a homophobic pastor in a positive light but she did her best.

This book was a little hard to read for personal reasons. I was religious at one point, attending a Pentecostal church for many years. The church wasn’t blatantly homophobic like the one presented here, but it was known that homosexuality was frowned upon. That made the parts where Isaac, who is attempting to prove homosexuality is a choice, is defending his beliefs difficult to read. After all, at one point I’d been in his shoes and I didn’t like going back there in my head.

That’s a credit to the author, that her words were so realistic I was drawn back into my past. It also relates to one of my chief complaints. The story moves very slowly and for a while I didn’t feel the connection between Isaac and Colton. I understand why Witt wrote it this way, if it had been rushed it wouldn’t have felt realistic. But I still wondered for many pages when something major was going to happen.

However, once things started to move I couldn’t put my kindle down. I’d already gotten to know Isaac and Colton with their slow-building relationship but now I finally felt their bond. I loved it when Isaac finally admitted to himself he was gay and cringed when his family stepped in and ruined things with the man he had fallen hard for.

Unlike with many books I didn’t see how Isaac and Colton could get back together. Despite knowing Witt usually writes HEAs I wondered if this book was going to have one. She pulled it off and crafted a perfect reunion that had me cheering and smiling.

One positive for me with the book was the use of bible verses that represent both sides of the homosexuality argument. I loved it when Pastor Mike, not the homophobic kind, spoke with Isaac about biblical stories that had been misinterpreted over the years. One in particular was one I’ve researched as well—the story of Onan and how some folk use it to condemn masturbation. Witt obviously did her research.

During one video confessional Isaac talks about his ex-wife and I think Witt nailed it on the head with what he said.

“Making love with Candace was never easy. I thought sex must be overrated. People talked about it as if this was amazing and completely natural thing that people just knew and did. After I got married, I decided they were exaggerating. Lying even.”

The twist toward the end involving Isaac’s twin was perfect. I don’t want to say more and ruin it for readers, but I absolutely loved it.

And one line in particular is now of my favorites of all time:

“Colton, I’m sorry for everything except falling in love with you.”

Links

Lead Me Not on Goodreads
Riptide
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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