“The thing about denial is that it doesn’t feel like denial when it’s going on.” ― Georgina Kleege
Title: Loving Jay
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.
An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality… unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears—and his father—before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.
Review: While reading this book, I found myself equal parts sad, happy and angry. The sad stemmed from the fact that Liam was so darned confused about himself, and all because of the way his father and a few others have made their expectations of him clear. The happy is definitely from watching how Liam truly found himself once he began getting to know Jay. The angry part came in two parts of the story, once when one of our MCs is bashed, and once when Liam is forced to choose between loving Jay and having his entire family.
This story begins with Liam describing Jay and how happy just seeing Jay on the train makes him. We are also reassured many times that Liam is NOT gay. Of course he isn’t gay, because his father told him he would not have a gay son. The biggest problem for Liam is the fact that women don’t float his boat, and the few men he experimented with weren’t mind blowing either.
As he and Jay become friends, and eventually more, Liam begins to realize why things may not have worked out with his past lovers. First, he admits to himself that no matter what his father says, he IS gay. Next, Jay demonstrates to Liam why sex with men may not have worked out well for him in the past, and corrected the problem.
When Liam realizes that he loves Jay, he also comes to the conclusion that he is going to have to tell his family. He isn’t worried about most members of his family, but his father is going to be the most difficult one to tell. A panicked call from Jay has Liam outing himself at Sunday dinner, and easing his way out of the closet is out of the question. As Liam suspected, the only resistance he gets is directly from his father, and he is heartbroken. Luckily for him, loving Jay seems to be enough to make up for his loss.
Between a funeral and a wedding, Liam and Jay manage to mesh their families and their lives. The two men seem to be on the road to a very happy life together. I would highly recommend this book, and I am hoping to be able to revisit these two in the future.
You can buy Loving Jay here: