Scenes from Adelaide Road, by Helena Stone
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Tagline: Can a young man find the courage he never knew he had when faced with losing everything he holds dear?
A few months before his final exams in secondary school, nineteen-year-old Lennart Kelly discovers he’s inherited a house on Adelaide Road in Dublin from a grandfather he never knew. Having been ignored, bullied and abused for as long as he can remember, Lennart can’t wait to leave behind his father and the small town he grew up in. Moving away as soon as he finishes his exams doesn’t cure his deep-rooted insecurities though.
Meeting twenty-three-year-old Aidan Cassidy in a gay club on his second night in Dublin, scares Lennart. Used to being ignored and ridiculed, he doesn’t trust the attention he receives and can’t believe a man like Aidan could possibly be interested in him. It takes infinite patience and understanding from Aidan to slowly coax Lennart out of his shell.
But the past refuses to stay where it belongs and Lennart’s father is determined to take the house in Dublin off his son by whatever means necessary. Just when Lennart is learning to trust and embrace life, a violent attack threatens everything he holds dear. Suddenly Lennart is in danger of losing his house, the man he’s grown to love and maybe even his life. If Lennart wants to protect Aidan and safeguard his future, he’ll have to find the courage he never knew he had.
Scenes From Adelaide Road was sweet, lovely, and sexy. I love lighthearted romances, and even the angst in this novel, caused by Lennart’s father, is tempered by Aidan’s love for him and their relationship.
Lennart is very emotionally immature at the beginning. It’s understandable, given how he was raised, so I do understand where his emotional insecurities are coming from. But it’s a bit exhausting to read a character who has such wild mood swings and such deep self-loathing. Still, I eventually grew to really love his character, as he found the courage to be true to himself.
“Why do you call yourself a coward, or awkward?”
I bristled. Despite Aidan’s surprise looking genuine, I felt ridiculed. “Excuse me. You’ve been spending time with me, haven’t you?” Aggravation made me restless and I got up and paced the room. “You must have noticed how nervous I was last night. You saw me run away from the club. You were there when I nearly had a panic attack in Temple Bar. You’ve met the coward and seen the awkward. Don’t pretend you didn’t.”
Aidan is delightful though. He’s patient, and works to help Lennart learn to believe in himself. He’s a very realistic character… geeky, stubborn, and strong!
Trigger warnings for homophobia and gay bashing, and also emotional and physical abuse. But I think the author handled these issues very respectfully.
This was a really delightful novel about two boys falling in love with each other! I love the setting in Dublin (a city which I loved visiting a few years ago) and I definitely plan to check out other books by Helena Stone!
I received an advanced copy of this novel from Pride Publishing
in exchange for a fair and honest review.