Title: Final Admission
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
When Ethan Williams lands a job at Bingwell, Brock and Bacon, he realizes his coworkers aren’t exaggerating about James Trenchard. He really is a dick. But after Ethan is forced to work closely with James, he realizes there’s more to the lawyer than meets the eye.
Vibrant Ethan is a desperate reason to live again as James endures silent guilt and abuse from his husband after an accident. He calls Ethan for help after a beating, and stolen moments soon become the norm, but they can’t hide forever.
Ethan’s coworkers think he got his promotion because James is sweet on him, James is still being beaten despite his family’s concern, and the situation is swiftly becoming intolerable. Ethan and James need to find a way out of the cycle that’s hurting them both before their brand new love suffers as well.
Sue Brown’s Final Admission is the story of James, an independently wealthy, gorgeous, influential attorney who suffers relentless physical domestic abuse at the hands of his husband, Clay, another attorney who was left brain damaged and hostile following an auto accident. Despite acknowledging the abuse to his overly supportive cousin, and to Ethan, an executive at the company where they both work with whom he begins an affair and falls in love, James steadfastly refuses to end his marriage to Clay until after he is almost beaten to death.
A simple internet search reveals that domestic abuse within gay relationships is a very serious issue that is more prevalent than most think. According to a 2010 study by the CDC of victimization by sexual orientation, 40% of gay men report having had a violent partner at some point, as compared to 21% of heterosexual men. Many of these men find it painfully difficult to end their abusive relationships due to fear, economic concerns, truly loving their abusive partner, not wanting their abuser to “get in trouble,” less than supportive law enforcement, or worrying others will perceive them as weak. In Final Admission, despite great wealth, influence, unbelievable support from his cousin and Ethan, as well as knowing that Clay has truly changed into a mean, violent man, James argues he can’t end his marriage because he still loves the man Clay was before the accident and clings to the hope that he will get better and the abuse will stop.
I admire Sue Brown for tackling the difficult subject of domestic abuse within gay relationships. Even when I was uncomfortable with what I was reading, I couldn’t put Final Admission down – which, in itself, is an endorsement of the book. I did, however, have some issues with the story. As I’ve explained earlier, there is cheating between James and Ethan included in Final Admission. I freely tell you that cheating is a story element that I do not usually enjoy. However, it isn’t the cheating between James and Ethan that bothers me – I suppose I feel that Clay’s abuse of James violated the sanctity of their marriage long before Ethan ever entered the picture. Instead, the cheating that is a total turn off for me occurs near the end of book, and is also a bothersome deviation from the established characterization of Ethan. A broken and wounded James tells Ethan that he’s finally ending his marriage to Clay, and that James will need to go away for intensive rehabilitation for six months to recover from his injuries (both physical and psychological). The men profess their love for each other, agree that they have “no promises, no expectations,” and that they will reunite for one week when James is recovered and see how their relationship develops from there. In a development that I think is totally out of left field, Ethan takes this as a license to freely get busy with several other men while James convalesces. I was equally bugged that Ethan, who has stuck by James through all of the heartache and worry while he remained with Clay, just allows James go heal alone when they are at last free to be together. In my opinion, both of these plot developments are not in keeping with Ethan’s character, and particularly violate the love and devotion that Ethan demonstrates for James throughout their relationship.
Overall, I do think that Final Admission is a compelling story about an important and difficult topic that I recommend you read. Also, the full CDC study referenced above can be found at the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press 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,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|