Author: S.C. Wynne
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/08/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
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?
S.C. Wynne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors thanks to books like Believing Rory, Unleashing Love and now this one, Starting New. Holy wow did this book blow me away! I was hooked from the moment I began reading. Wynne creates vivid and unforgettable characters that I just freaking love.
Francis Murphy is a homeless hustler whose brightest moments is when a wealthy man comes to town and fucks him roughly. He’s battle-weary and worn out even at though he’s only 21. Then he’s beat up badly by a john and runs into Randy Wright, a pastor’s son who he’d met previously. The Wrights invite Francis to stay with them while he recovers and he ultimately accepts, though he’s reluctant to do so.
Having religion and religious characters in a book is a hit or miss issue. Sometimes there can be too much God talk and the characters becoming overbearing or evil. That was not the case here. The Wright’s are an open minded, non-judgmental family who don’t lecture Francis about his life and accept his homosexuality.
Francis is attracted to Randy, though he doesn’t understand the young man’s kind hearted attitude. He fights the attraction until Randy hints it may not be one-sided. Randy’s issues with his sexuality were handled very well here as he fought with literally practicing what he preached.
The chemistry between the two young men was explosive and the scene where they give into their feelings was freaking hot. And the bathroom scene—smoking.
All of the characters in this story were fully drawn. I loved how Randy’s parents dealt with the news that not only was their son gay but he was attracted to Francis.
This is an awesome tale of second chances and redemption. Wynne is one very talented author and if you haven’t read her yet, this would be a great place to start.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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