Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Ev Myers is a former high school football star and Republican State Senator’s son, raised in a strict Southern Baptist household where his only option was to be silent, behave and, no matter how he might be feeling, to put on a happy smile. Desperate to escape the pressure to be the man his family insists he become, Ev has fled Kansas to attend college and is working to find out who he really is beneath the lies and carefully composed public image. But when he applies for a job as a nude model for a life drawing class out of a desire to be seen in a way that shatters all of his family’s taboos, it’s just the first step on a path that leads him away from everything he’s ever known. Handsome and headstrong adjunct arts professor, Adam Buchanan, is the first person to recognize Ev’s potential, and his determination to have Ev realize the importance of truth and stark honesty, as well as the beauty of flawed vulnerability provides the hope Ev needs to escape a world rife with kidnapping, brainwashing and deadly determination cure homosexuality, using whatever means necessary.
I loved every second of this incredible book. From the get go, an atmosphere of vulnerability emerges and continues to grow with each subsequent page turn. Even the title of the book contributes to the tone with its lowercase letters and evocative imagery.
This story may start with the brave (and somewhat rebellious) act of Evelyn (Ev) signing up to be a nude model for a life drawing class and baring his body in a way that would be considered taboo by his ultra conservative family; however, it quickly morphs into something so much more substantial. Ev never could have imagined that this single act would start him down a path that would expose him and make him feel even more vulnerable than showing his bare body. His sexuality, his deeper desires, and his softer side are the things that adjunct professor Adam brings into sharp focus through his paintings once he convinces Ev to become his exclusive model. Adam’s strength and persistent ways are the keys to drawing Ev out of his make-believe shell to bare his true self.
I love this author’s notes at the end of her stories because they always add more substance and dimension to what I already read. In this case, there’s a lot of symbolism in the choice of the character names – from that first forbidden bite of what can happen in a relationship between two men to the deeply religious implications and how that theme ties into the story, this information provided the perfect backdrop for the emotional and psychological elements that were evident.
I’m not quite sure how she manages it, but just when I think she can’t possibly produce a new book that will take the place of one of hers that was already a favorite, it happens. Gorgeous book to go along with a gorgeous cover and highly, highly recommended!!!
Note: Copy obtained from Forbidden Fiction/Fantastic Fiction Publishing