Friday, January 31, 2020

Unraveling by Rick R. Reed

Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay.

Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself.

With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life.

John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family.

When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear.

Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

Warning: Attempted suicide.

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NineStar Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a dark and gritty story that will probably feel autobiographical to far too many of the men who came of age in the 1980s. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, Randy is deeply closeted and married to a woman. Only his wife’s compassion and his love for his young son keeps him alive when he finally hits rock bottom.

This is the story of Reece’s first experiences as a gay man. And while it’s not an easy read, the story commemorates a difficult time in LGBT history. I responded to Randy’s struggles on an almost visceral level and it gave me important insights into the lives of my older gay friends. I love that the world has changed so much in the last few decades – and I’m thankful that the LGBT kids and young adults in my life who expect acceptance and demand respect will find Randy’s experiences alien.

This is marketed as a romance but it reads more like a biography. It is Randy’s life story and while there is an element of romance in the book, it isn’t the story’s focus. This is a moving book that feels real and very personal. I’m not sure I enjoyed it – but I’m very glad I read it.

I'll be honest, I was hesitant on reading this book because in the past I wasn't fond of the author’s writing style, it just didn't work for me. However, the blurb for this book had me thinking I should give this author another chance. This book was tough to read because I am sure there are many gay men in the past and even now that have gone through the same things that Randy has. My heart hurt for him, John, Violet, and Henry. So much has changed from the 80s when this book took place, but we still have a long way to go. I don't want to tell you what happens in this book, you need to read it and you need to feel it for yourself. I'm glad I took a chance and read this book. The epilogue was simply amazing.

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his beloved husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

Connect with Rick

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Unraveling by Rick R. Reed to read and review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the reviews! I really appreciate the thought and candor that went into them and am glad your reviewers got so much out of my story.


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