Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.
When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.
As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?
This book is different than what I’ve come to expect from the gay romance genre – which undoubtedly led to its powerful impact on me. Gallagher drew me into the hearts and minds of her point of view characters, which almost caused me to put the book down before I reached twenty percent. Isaac starts the book as the kind of fire and brimstone preacher who condemns all gays and lesbians to hell if they don’t turn back to the Lord, i.e. make the choice not to be gay. Immersing myself in his absolute conviction about a belief that has led to so much harm in the gay community was incredibly difficult to stomach. Not to mention the overuse of ‘Thank the Lord.’ However, I pushed on.
And I am so glad I did.
Colton made this book for me. He’s been repeatedly called the most kind and loving person Isaac had ever met, and I couldn’t agree more. Despite his rather tumultuous past, Colton’s pure heart inspired Isaac’s evolution from hate to love.
Gallagher crafted a book that everyone, especially teens should read to develop a more compassionate understanding of the struggles their fellow men endure, if for no other reason than the following conversation between Colton and Isaac from page 126:
““David and Jonathan consummated their relationship, and David thought Jonathan’s love was better than any woman he’d ever been with.”
Something flickered across Isaac’s face. “But is that really what you want to explain to kids?”
“When they’re constantly being compared to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? Told they’re on par with people who wanted to gang rape strangers? Yeah, it’s what I want to explain to kids.””
Even the Bible can be interpreted as a beacon of acceptance in the right hands. Finding that message is worth a few too many Thank the Lords in my opinion.
I really thought that this would be a mushy glossed over story that didn’t really touch any emotional and realistic problems that came up in real life. I was happily mistaken. This is a very emotional, and realistic look into the life these 2 people.
Isaac is a 27 year old minister, and son of in a very religious family that runs a church that goes to gay pride festivals and parades, to preach against the sin of homosexuals, this is the was Isaac was raised and he believes that he is doing God’s work. Trying to save the souls of these misguided people. At one such event a gentleman calmly approaches Isaac and challenges him to put his preaching to the test. If being Gay is a choice then Isaac should be able to choose to be gay live the life style learn how they live, and then return back to being straight.
Colton is a bartender, who learned at a young age that life is cruel and people are mean and violent. He is a kind and reserved young man at 24 who works, and spends his off time mentoring kids at a shelter that he helped setup and run with a pastor who save him when he was just a teenager.
As the story moves on you fall in love with both characters. They are both emotionally wounded and how they work through the turmoil and confusion that goes on inside each of them. They each are fighting for their own self-worth and their faith plays a huge part in this. Isaac is seeing the damage that churches like his families are doing to the youth, as more are being cast out with nowhere to go, all because of the preaching that his father and family preaches.
This is not really a religious book, does not preach, but does have the push and pull of the personal struggle of someone who believes in God. That being said, I loved this book! It has everything, it made me laugh and cry. It also made me think. It’s the very best fiction, the kind that makes you think it’s real. I would recommend this to anyone who wants more than just a quick HEA.