Mia Kerick – Beggars and Choosers

Author: Mia Kerick
Reviewed by: Valentina
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13:   9781613726815

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: After a hard life filled with experiences he’d rather not remember but can’t forget, Brett Taylor decides he doesn’t need anyone or anything. He gets a job at a bar in a nothing little town where he can fish and race dirt bikes and hide from the world. So naturally as he’s walking across the parking lot at his new job, reminding himself how self-reliant he is, he meets someone he can’t shove aside.

Brett can’t help but admire Cory Butana, the kid who lives above the bar where his father is the principal bartender. Unwanted by either parent, the sweet, personable Cory grew up neglected and hungry for affection. Now he’s determined to make something of his life, even if he has to work himself ragged to do it.

Cory shouldn’t have to suffer like Brett did, and Brett wants to lend a hand. But when their relationship evolves into something Brett isn’t ready to need, he reacts… and the consequences may destroy their fledgling future. With scars like theirs, forgiveness is never easy

Review: Beggars and Choosers follows the life of two characters over a span of a few years. From their young years to going away to college when things finally come together and you realize all that angst was well worth it.

Brett is someone who’s had a rough life. Years of abuse and lack of education shaped him into a young man who has a terrible opinion about himself, is impulsive and often violent but still manages to hide a huge heart from the world.

Cory is much younger, brilliant but terribly neglected kid, who really just wants to be loved and wanted. He lives with his alcoholic father who just doesn’t give a damn and is still awfully grateful simply because his father gave him a roof over his head when Cory had no one else.

The two guys meet and quickly become friends. They depend on each other like they never could on anyone else in their lives, and while Brett’s support and protection might seem to be more financial and a matter of his physical strength, he is a first constant in Cory’s life and eventually his first love.

Brett on the other hand became aware of his feelings rather quickly, but his low feeling of self-worth made him keep his distance and made him wish for someone better for Cory.

The first thing to keep in mind is that Brett speaks in half words. The author wanted to show him as someone who is uneducated and who grew up without a positive influence in his life, and his speech reflects that. It is something to get used to and with the potential of distancing the reader. Another is that this is an emotional rollercoaster. The ups and downs in this story are so striking that my rating jumped up and down like a ping pong ball for most of the book. I loved the raw emotion the author showed and the gentle relationship between the two friends, but at times their conversations distanced me and later on, their overly sweet way of expressing themselves proved to be a too big of a contrast.

I both loved and disliked this book, but I’m really glad I read it and stuck with it. It needed a bit more continuity and easier transitions between the ugly stuff and the perfect counterparts, but if you do want some angst and like wounded characters, do give this a chance.




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