The Decisions We Make by RJ Scott

Title: The Decisions We Make
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages: Novella
Characters: Daniel Keyes, Jamie Walker
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Young Adult
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

Daniel Keyes is an orphan, fostered by the Walker’s. The product of a lonely childhood, he is thrown into the chaos of the Walker family and into the life of his new foster brother Jamie.

This story is the journey of Daniel and Jamie finding their place in the world. Through Jamie being a victim of hate crime to coming out to family and friends, there are many decisions the boys have to make before they become men.

Review:

If The Decisions We Make has done anything, it’s proven to me that RJ Scott has definitely found her place in the YA LGBT genre. All the angst, agony, and emotion that make their way into her adult M/M romances translate beautifully with her teenage characters as they struggle to find a place to belong and build a path to happiness on the often turbulent journey to adulthood.

When the Walker family opens its heart and home to a lonely and hurting young boy, it also opens the door to a new life for Daniel Keyes. Being an only child and an orphan who is suddenly thrust into a boisterous but unconditionally loving and accepting family, Daniel has a difficult time adjusting to, let alone finding, his place within the fold. His new foster-brother, Jamie, becomes Daniel’s best friend and protector and, as the boys grow into young men, the object of Daniel’s love and desire.

As Daniel and Jamie work to discover who they are, accept who they are and what they mean to each other, and suffer the consequences of the decision they make to reshape their already close bond into something beyond friendship and family, the pain and sacrifices they’ve made could tear them apart even before they’ve had the chance to discover where they might go. It soon becomes clear to the boys that you can’t decided who you fall in love with, but you can decide whether that love is worth the cost.

This is a story that challenges perceptions in the reader and encourages some introspection into the definition of family and what is or isn’t taboo, when two young men who are brothers in every way but biologically toe the line between loving each other and falling in love with each other. RJ Scott handles the subject skillfully and is sensitive to the emotions and issues and ultimate support of a loving family whose concern is the welfare and happiness of its two youngest sons.

This is a story that challenges labels—whether it’s jock or piano prodigy or being physically branded with a single word that hatred uses to discriminate—and encourages overcoming those barriers to be true to oneself.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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If It Ain’t Love by Tamara Allen

Title: If It Ain’t Love
Author: Tamara Allen
Publisher: Free From Author
Pages: 34
Characters: Whit Stoddard, Peter Dorington
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Historical Romance
Kisses: 5+




Blurb:

In the darkest days of the Great Depression, New York Times reporter Whit Stoddard has lost the heart to do his job and lives a miserable hand-to-mouth existence with little hope of recovery, until he meets Peter, a man in even greater need of new hope.

Review:

Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, that powerful equalizer of men which toppled many an ivory tower, bringing prosperous men low and poor men lower, If It Ain’t Love is a story of hope and the promise of love found amongst the debris left behind in the wake of the country’s financial collapse.

In a time when a very fortunate man was one who could claim two coins to rub together, Whit Stoddard and Peter Dorington are men who come together from very different walks of life. Like many men during that time, they find themselves on the intersecting paths that might have led to a free bed, maybe a little whiskey, and an offer of compassion that would see a man through to another day, if he was lucky.

Peter and Whit meet as one man’s world is sinking, while the other is trying his best to keep his afloat. They come together under what may have been the worst of circumstances, but as unlikely as their connection would’ve been before the depression, they are now men who find a bond based in the mutual need for companionship. That bond is tested by secrets and misunderstandings, but it ultimately holds firm with the help of kindness and a common goal, and with the promise that the truth, when revealed, will have the power to heal a broken spirit and build the trust needed to move forward.

In a mere thirty-four pages, Tamara Allen sweeps the reader along on a bittersweet journey of loss, of a time when a man’s place in a breadline was coveted nearly as much as the meager scraps of bread that awaited to sustain him for another day. Every sentence, every paragraph draws the reader into the setting and time period, as well as into the lives of the characters who enrich the story with their presence. The challenges they face, the conflicts that arise are the very definition of a human interest story and are delivered pitch perfectly.

If It Ain’t Love is just one more reason why Tamara Allen is on my short list of must-read authors. It’s simply brilliant.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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