Friday, August 11, 2017

Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling Blog Tour

Kerry Sanderson’s life is falling apart. He’s crushing himself to fit into the boxes others have put him in: dutiful son, good boyfriend, real man. But even the small rebellions he’s fought for himself—moving into a sketchy part of town and becoming an exotic dancer—aren’t giving him the freedom he needs. Ewyn Garrity, a security guard at the gay club where Kerry dances, has found himself in protecting others. Everyone thinks he’s straight, but Ewyn doesn’t fit into simple boxes, either. When he meets Kerry, he makes a not completely innocent offer of company after work.

Ewyn and Kerry hit it off, each finding something he desperately needs in the other. But when Kerry is forced to confront the pain and self-doubt that keep him crushed in his boxes, he’s afraid that no one, not even Ewyn, will be able to love who he is when he finally, truly becomes Kerry.

Contains disturbing content.
Check the ForbiddenFiction story page for content labels.

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Character Interview with Ewyn and his mum, Erin

Ewyn: Oh, Jesus, woman, why are you here?

Erin: Is that any way to greet your mother! And in an interview, no less. Lynn, I’m so sorry for my son’s manners, or lack of them anyway.

Ewyn: *head in hands* Oh, this is going to be terrible. Mum, please don’t say anything.

Erin: Don’t say anything, he says. And how likely is that? Just as likely as you growing some manners, I think.

Ewyn: I have manners! I just live in fear of the words that come out of your mouth.

Erin: Lynn, how are you doing today? Can I get you anything to eat? Some pastries, maybe?

Ewyn: Mum, don’t go offering the interviewer food in the middle of the interview. We don’t even have pastries!

Lynn: Well, let’s introduce you both for everyone, to start with. We have Erin and Ewyn Garrity joining us today, and thank you both for stopping by. Erin, how would you describe your son?

Ewyn: Oh no…

Erin: At the moment, I’d describe him as a large pain in my you-know-what. But he’s a good boy, really.

Ewyn: I’m not a boy. I’m a twenty-nine-year-old man.

Erin: He’s also a little high-strung, as you can tell. Likes things as he likes them. Very particular that way. He just cares too much, really. Good at chasing dreams but needs some work coping with the hard truths of reality.

Lynn: Ewyn, do you think you have trouble coping?

Ewyn: I wouldn’t put it that way.

Lynn: How would you put it?

Ewyn: Well, there’s a lot that happens in life that seems just senseless and cruel. What I do is stand up to that and try to prevent what I can. I’ve seen far too many people hurt. Good people. For no goddamned reason at all.

*Erin puts her hand on Ewyn’s back, and their eyes briefly meet*

Lynn: And that’s why you chose a career in security?

Ewyn: Absolutely. I’m hired for private jobs and I also work a few shifts at the club, Blaze.

Lynn: How does all of this affect your personal life?

Ewyn: I guess you could say I’ve had trouble finding a good match. My last few girlfriends left me without much warning, even though the relationships themselves lasted fairly long.

Erin: *speaking behind a hand* I wasn’t surprised those didn’t work out.

Ewyn: Mum…

Lynn: Why not, Erin?

Erin: Sometimes what Ewyn thinks he needs and what he wants doesn’t always go so hand in hand. I’ve been telling him for years, he needs to find himself a good man and—

Ewyn: Mum…

Erin: Or at least someone who he wants, instead of someone he just thinks he needs.

Lynn: And Ewyn, how would you respond to that? Is it true you’ve thought you needed a woman in your life rather than a man?

Ewyn: I’m bisexual. Never had a relationship with a man, or anything beyond a fling. I personally think Mum’s a little hung up on the idea of me being with a man because of everything with my brother Darcy, but that’s a story for another day. My opinion on that matter is that what I’m looking for in a partner has nothing to do with their parts, and everything to do with what’s in their heart.

Erin: Now there’s the boy I raised. I knew he’d show up sooner or later.

Lynn: So, Erin, I suppose you don’t have any problem with Ewyn working at a gay club like Blaze, surrounded by scantily clad men?

Erin: Oh, I love Blaze! The bartender is a close, personal friend of mine.

Ewyn: Mum, you need to stop going to gay clubs!

Ewyn: I’d like to see you try and stop me. One of these days I’m going to find someone simply breathtaking and I’ll push them gently in your direction. It’s for your own good, you know.

Ewyn: Now do you see, Lynn, what I have to put up with?

Erin: Oh, you love it. Don’t even try to pretend otherwise.

Ewyn: Yeah, well, same goes for you. *kisses Erin on the cheek*

Lynn: Thank you both so much for stopping by.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

This is a sensitive portrayal of a young person coming to accept their fluid gender identity and sexual preferences. It is also a romance between two people who don’t fit in prescribed boxes, but meet each other’s needs and make each other happy.

Kerry is a fascinating character. I came to care for them, but I didn’t always understand or like their motivations and decisions. I warmed to Ewyn more easily but he feels almost too perfect at times and I felt that his needs and emotions were often pushed aside as he focused on caring for Kerry. Kerry is a bit of a mess at times. Readers don’t learn about the events and relationships that have contributed to Kerry’s fragile emotional state until quite late in the story and I think I might have had more empathy for them if I’d known more at the start.

There are a couple of very sexy scenes in this story, but the sexual relationship between Kerry and Ewyn is eclipsed by the angst, grit, and string of traumatic situations, reflections and recollections in this story. Ultimately, this is a long and very complicated book. I found the angst and grit overwhelming at times. There are several complex subplots woven through this story. There was so much going on that, for me, parts of this story dragged. I wonder if this could have been recrafted into two or three more coherent stories or edited for a single, more streamlined, story.

What an absolutely fabulous book. I devoured it from start to finish – and definitely plan on reading it again soon.

I will not divulge anything that happens – but can tell you this... it is incredibly moving, sad, yet happy, full of love, family, acceptance, and disgust, and very, very sensual. The writing is beautiful, flowing smoothly on the page and you will find the pull to read just one more chapter irresistible.

Whilst this is most definitely Kerry's story, it is also Ewyn's – and all the richer for the combination of the experiences of these two men and what life can hold, even through the darkness. I would also like to say that Ewyn's mum is a winner.

Ms. Kelling, thank you so much for writing such a special book.

Becoming Kerry is an angst filled, emotional ride. I absolutely loved this book.

After a break up, Kerry realizes the life he was living, something is missing. Life has a way of putting you into a box. You're either this or that, you can do this or that. Kerry doesn't fit into any of the "boxes." This story reveals Kerry's truth slowly in such an emotional way. It really is an amazing read.

This is a new-to-me author and I will definitely be looking for more.

 Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that weren’t afraid of the dark, didn’t hold anything back and always strived to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life – basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over 50 works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling to read and review for this tour.

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