Review: Heartache and Hope (Beyond Heartache #1) by C.L. Etta

July 20, 2016 Review 0

Review: Heartache and Hope (Beyond Heartache #1) by C.L. Etta

After heartache comes hope…

At eighteen, Kevin Monroe has learned that mothers don’t always love their sons, Dad’s fists can break your bones, and a closet gets mighty crowded with two. After the boy next door breaks his trust and heart, Kevin departs Albuquerque, NM, determined to live his life out and proud as the man he is meant to be. With Diamondback tickets in his pocket, Kevin leaves his heartache behind to pursue his long-time hope of entertaining as a drag queen.

Fear has ruled Raphael Delgado since he first realized he’s gay. Fear of discovery, fear that he can’t support his disabled mama, and fear he has lost Kevin forever. Against a backdrop of familial love and obligation, Raphael struggles to find the courage to accept his sexuality, while hoping to leave the fragile confines of his closeted life.

While watching a Diamondback game on television, Raphael spots Kevin kissing a man in the crowd. His first reaction is fear for Kevin’s safety and then fear that Kevin will never come home.

Can love be restored long distance? Will love’s key be strong enough to unlock Raphael’s closet door? And who is the red-haired beauty wrapped in Kevin’s arms?

Reader Advisory: This book contains some flashbacks to physical assault, and homophobic slurs

Title: Heartache and Hope
Author: C.L. Etta
Series: Beyond Heartache #1
Published by Pride
Source: Publisher
Published: 07/19/2016
Genres: M/M Erotica, Male Male Romance
Pages: 215
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: two-stars
Flames: four-half-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

Let me begin my review by saying that I don’t like to give 2 stars for a book.  When I do so, I feel that the author deserves to know the reasons behind that rating, and that’s just what I will do here.  In the blurb, it says that “Kevin leaves his heartache behind to pursue his long-time hope of entertaining as a drag queen”, that’s why I chose this book.  I wanted to read about a young guys journey transforming himself as a drag queen.  That’s not the case at all.  Yes, here and there C.L. Etta talked about it, but it was not at the heart of this book.  It was more about the sexual awakening of an 18 years old gay young man than a journey to become a Drag Queen.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a book about sexual awakening but I just felt that the blurb was misleading.

There is a lot going on in this book, way too many themes for a single book.  It is talking about the struggle of coming out, abuse, Alzheimer, stroke, sexual awakening, and so on.  As you can guess, the journey of becoming a drag queen was lost in translation and it made it a book that I struggled to finish.  The author is also using a lot of acronyms and I had to stop and think about it to know what it meant.

I don’t mind being challenged in my values and ideas to make me see things from another point of view. However, I just don’t get the relationship between Kevin and Rafe and how the other characters in this book can feel at ease in that type of situation.  The more I was reading, the more I was getting frustrated.  I felt no connection at all with the characters of the story, it fell flat for me.

The story line has potential but the fact that we are constantly moving between Kevin and Rafe point of view is making us feel that we are reading 2 stories in the same book.  I would have liked to follow Kevin in his Drag queen dreams instead of his sexual adventures.  I know that there is a lot of work behind the scenes when someone is choosing to perform as a drag queen and I haven’t seen any of it.  All of the themes in this book are touching me, but the author did not succeed to make me feel anything other than frustration.   That being said, it is not badly written, but not what I was expecting and looking for.  I will not read the other books in this series.


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