Thursday, May 17, 2012

International Day Against Homophobia

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia. I think the best way that I can address this issue is by sharing a conversation that involves my then 13 year old daughter and myself. We were discussing the fact that our friend Mr. Sid could not legally get married and she didn't understand why this was an issue. When I explained that some people don't understand how two men or two women could love each other the same way that a man and woman do, so they made it illegal this was her response: "Well that's just stupid, love is love." I don't think that it can get much more simple or to the point. Hate is a learned behavior, we are not born this way, and we as parents need to be the first to teach our children tolerance and understanding.

Below are two links that I hope you will take the time to look at to get a better understanding of this day and ways that you can help:
International Day Against Homophobia
Parent, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

If you are a long time follower of this blog then you know that I LOVE William Neale's books and I was deeply sadden by his death a few months ago. I had the pleasure to meet Bill at AAD last year and get to know him on a personal level. He was a kind. gracious man that I was proud to call friend and I will miss him terribly. We are dedicating this Hop in his memory and will be posting reviews of his books during this time. I am pleased to review Hope, his last book to be published.

Hope, William Neale, MLR Press
Dumped by his closeted lover only to fall for a man who’s already taken, Spencer Hawkins finishes up his fellowship to discover he doesn't have a job. For anyone on the outside looking in, it seemed Spencer was failing miserably at life in general, until one phone call changes everything. The prospect of pulling up stakes and relocating to a new city provides the one thing he needs most—Hope.
Hunter Harrison's partner has left, abandoning not only him but their adopted son whose heart defect has left them in limbo awaiting a heart transplant that may not come in time. It took meeting Spencer for Hunter and his son to find something new to hold onto—Hope.
Building a love that can last a lifetime will take strength and the one thing they found in each other—Hope.

Let me start by saying how difficult it is for me to write this review knowing it will be the last that I write for William. I found Home, his first book, just by looking through the ARE (All Romance Ebooks) site. I read the blurb and thought it sounded like a good book. Little did I know that I would fall in love with the character's from that book and the voice of the author that brought them to life. His books are food for my romantic soul.

Spencer is still trying to get his life in order after his lover dumps him when he gets a call with a job offer that might be the answer to all his problems. He needs a fresh start and something to take his mind off of not only being dumped but the stress of waiting to here back from the publisher about his first book. Moving to Cleveland and starting a new job teaching and coaching football are just the distractions he needs.

When Spencer's friends Lucas and Rogan introduce him to a Hunter and his son Ethan who has a heart defect the immediate connection between the two men is obvious. But Hunter doesn't have time for a relationship all of his time and energy are focused on Ethan.When Ethan's health takes a turn for the worse Spence is there to be the friend that Hunter needs and the feelings he has for both Hunter and Ethan grow beyond anything he ever imagined.

There are multiple story lines woven through-out this novel and you can see where the next couple of stories might have been if not for William's untimely death. Thomas' character for one goes through such a transformation that you can't help but hope he finds the love of his life. Rogie and Ryan at only 17 think they have found their HEA in each other and wouldn't it be nice if we could all meet our other half at such a young age.

I loved that Rogan and Lucas from Home play such an integral part in this book. One thing that I think William understood about his readers is our insatiable need to know what happens after the story, he was always very good at bringing his characters back into his current story lines.

This book made me laugh and made me cry. One thing I know for sure after reading this book is that I could never survive living in Cleveland in the winter, LOL, I was cold just reading this book.

If you want to read something that will inspire you with Hope, then please read this book and get swept away in William Neale's world and let his romantic voice feed your soul.

RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.

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