Starting New, by S.C. Wynne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 8th, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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?
Let me start of this review with a warning: don’t read this book if you are super triggered by consent issues. This deals with a character who is a prostitute and is having unwanted (by him) sex for money. If you have major issues with that, this book does go into details that will likely set you off.
Now that that is out of the way I would recommend that everyone else go read this book. I really didn’t know if I was going to like it or not because it had a religious family in it. Like Francis I was skeptical that they weren’t going to lecture him the whole time. I was pleasantly surprised!
Wynne did a fantastic job of making Randy’s family religious without being super naive/judgemental/whatever. They were good characters who happened to be religious and I really liked the way they interacted with Francis. It changed him and gave him more depth of character.
The growing relationship between Randy and Francis was okay at first, but by the end I could see it working. I thought Francis showed a lot of strength not just banging the preacher’s kid and running! No hitting and quitting for this guy.
Francis was a smartass who had a lot of trust issues, so beyond the whole homeless/prostitution thing I related to him a lot. I liked that neither Randy nor his family took his shit, so he couldn’t get away with pushing them out of his life.
Despite Francis’s hard life (like super hard, Wynne did not hold back) the angst in this book was just enough to ding your heart without leaving major gashes behind. I really enjoyed reading it and I am glad that it was a pleasant surprise for me.
S.C. Wynne started writing m/m in 2013 and did look back once. She wanted to say that because it seems everyone’s bio says they never looked back and, well S.C. Wynne is all about the joke. She loves writing m/m and her characters are usually a little jaded, funny and ultimately redeemed through love.
You can find out more about Wynne and here books over at her website (click here!)
You can purchase Starting New from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.