>A Slight Touch by H.L. Cherryholmes

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A Slight Touch
by H.L. Cherryholmes
Lulu.com
Length: 280 pages
Characters: Martha, Marc, Emanuel, William
POV: Third Person
Setting: Los Angeles, modern day
Genre: Gay Fiction
5 KISSES

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Blurb:

On a summer afternoon in Albuquerque, a bus departs for Los Angeles and three of the passengers, unfamiliar with one another, are unaware of how entangled their paths will soon become. Empty-nester Martha Gregory, lacking experience in a world beyond her husband and home in New Mexico, is lured by a pre-paid ticket to reconnect with her younger sister. Handsome media executive Marc Greensweig, deigns to return from a business trip by bus, fortified by the free pass to the top of the corporate ladder awaiting him at home. Emanuel Montoya, recent college grad fleeing a painful breakup, eagerly embraces the new life that beckons when offered a place to stay in West Hollywood. Meanwhile, simmering in L. A. is William Miller, a lonely security guard, fighting a losing battle to distance himself from the troubling voices in his head. As if guided by an unseen hand, each must respond to a crisis in which their actions will ultimately determine whether second chances really do exist.

Review:

A Slight Touch by H.L. Cherryholmes is a book which  I don’t think can be neatly categorized as gay fiction, or m/m fiction, or even gay-themed. The plot includes some homosexual characters, but it actually presents a very diverse cast – gay and straight, male and female, from various religions, backgrounds, and ethnicities.

The central characters of the story are four unique individuals who seem to have virtually nothing in common. Three of them are brought together by coincidence when they end up on a commercial bus traveling to Los Angeles. Although they do not meet or ever even speak to one another, they share an experience which dramatically impacts each of their lives.

The story progresses as four separate sub-plots, while each of these three characters begins to examine the unusual experience they have had, and each attempts to analyze the possible supernatural or preternatural significance of this bizarre, life-altering event. The fourth character is a deranged schizophrenic who ultimately plots revenge on his former girlfriend after she jilts him, and his murderous plans end up coincidentally involving the three bus passengers, bringing the four characters together at the climax of the story.

I will admit that as a reader I am greatly influenced emotionally by the stories I consume. I tend to judge a book more by the manner in which it affects my emotions than by its adherence to the official rules of proper grammar, formatting, or voice. On certain rare occasions, however, a book that may not be particularly moving to me as I read it will end up having a major impact upon my psyche in its aftermath. It will stick with me in a way that causes me to rethink the plot, examine the symbolism, and ultimately challenge my way of thinking. This was the case with A Slight Touch.

I was most impressed by the author’s ability to transform each of the central characters in a startling yet believable way, and I was inspired by the remarkable evolution that each of them experienced. All four of the characters became someone far different than who they were when they were initially introduced, and this narrative arc is in my opinion what makes the story so powerful.

A Slight Touch is a story which is sure to inspire you. It is well-written and employs the use of realistic, humorous dialogue. It has an unpredictable and original plot which is filled with a variety of interesting, lovable characters who are realistically imperfect. It is a story which at times seems mysterious and perplexing but ultimately delivers a poignant message. It is uplifting and encouraging and sure to leave the reader with a lot to think about. I recommend it highly and sincerely hope to see a lot more from this author

Review by Jeff

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