Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa

For the man he loves, he will fight—body, mind, and soul.

Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.

But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.

Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.

Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.

Warning: Contains a drunken confessional, a self-destructive clergyman, and a fight to the spiritual death for love.

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Samhain Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I have no idea how to begin a review for this book without creating a book report, which would do a great disservice to the story and the reader. My only option is to express what emotions the journey elicited from me.

I mean this in the literal sense: I read Craving's Creek from word one until the end without moving from the sofa. I spent six hours completely engrossed with my Kindle. My emotions ran the gamut, only to start the cycle again. I found myself smiling through the sweet & innocent moments, cringing during the mentally, physically, and emotionally painful moments, and crying at least ten separate times.

Craving's Creek begins with two 17 year-old boys. There is a dark, oppressive feel to the entire book, but in the beginning it's an innocence filled with darkness, and you can feel the shadowy hand of something horrific on the horizon.

At the 1/3 point in the book, we (the reader) are thrust nearly fifteen years into the future, where we endure the pieces of their lives being scattered about, and then begin to witness the healing. It's a painful journey, and at the risk of revealing spoilers, I will have to add a Trigger Warning at the bottom of this review.

Craving's Creek is a story about believers and nonbelievers, the Catholic Church, embracing homosexuality while retaining your faith, and gaining faith when you least expect to receive it. It's a dark, gritty, downright painful read. But more so, it's exquisitely agonizing, with a bright undercurrent of innocence and hope.

Craving's Creek was beautifully written, the flow was flawless, and I was so engrossed, I can't tell you if there were any errors in editing or not (but I'd lean more towards the not).

Genre tags/Trigger warnings: YA/NA | Dark | Romance | Taboo (Priest victim/lover) | Religion | Abuse of Religion | Finding Faith | Coming-of-age | Gay | Abuse | Addiction (alcohol) | Abduction/Violence/Rape (none of which are shown, but this does NOT lessen the impact, especially from a survivor. This is my trigger warning. If you are sensitive to this, tread lightly) | Severe Mental Illness | Therapy | Guilt/shame/grief | Sexual Content: mild, non-explicit

Would I read more by this author? Definitely.

Can Craving’s Creek, the place of the one tragic event that tore Ryde and Alistair apart, bring them back together?

I thought I knew how this one was going to go, but I was so wrong. I loved the twists and turns. The slow buildup of Alistair and Ryde's relationship.

Craving's Creek is dark and twisted and full of angst. It plays on your emotions, messes with what you thought you knew. I sat and read this in one sitting. I couldn't get enough. I couldn't put it down, I had to know if they'd made it back to each other.

It starts when Alistair and Ryde are seventeen, thinking they know how their lives will play out. One summer day all that is thrown out the window. The story jumps fifteen years later and the aftereffects of that one summer. It's dark, it's gritty. It isn't about the m/m aspect of the story. That sort of plays in the background. It's more about a relationship of love and fighting for it.

Craving's Creek is an unexpected amazing read!

Wow! A very emotional and fulfilling read – but what a journey!

I really don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was so, so much more. This is a rich, intense and incredibly thoughtful read. It deals with some difficult truths, and issues of religion and church, whilst (in my opinion) remaining relatively calm and neutral. Add in the love story which underpins the whole tale and it is a powerful read.

One of those books which will stay in your thoughts and will need to be reread for the nuance, because at times it is more important to get to what happens next than to be looking for subtleties of language.

Mel Bossa is the author of Split and In His Secret Life, both Lambda Award finalists, as well as numerous other books and short stories. She lives in Montreal's gay village where she volunteers for a crisis center. As a queer Franco-Italian feminist raised in a patriarchal family, she's felt like the Other for a great part of her life and finds peace in dreaming up worlds where grace wins over fear.

Connect with Mel

Blog  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa to read and review.

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