Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teach Me by @authorsloanj

Teach Me, Sloan Johnson
Two words stripped Austin Pritchard of the privileged life he’s used to. The moment he uttered the words, “I’m gay,” he realized there is no such thing as unconditional love. Now, he’s gone from traveling the world with his family to living on the streets trying to figure out how he’s going to stay in school.

A chance opportunity changes everything. Austin impresses the foreman and lands a job, but even more, he catches the eye of David Becker, who is determined to teach him that true love doesn’t come with strings.

The only thing David had as a child was love. His family struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. That has driven him to stay focused on his goals; become a tenured professor at a university and save enough money to build a home of his own. It’s not until he sees an insecure college student working on his new house that he realizes that he hasn’t planned on someone to share his life with. He’s about to learn that everything he’s already accomplished is nothing compared to the task of making Austin see that he is worthy of love.

Sloan Johnson is a new to me author but she is one I will definitely be seeking out more from. Teach Me is an emotional, heartbreaking, and beautifully told story.

Austin is destroyed. He has been kicked out and completely abandoned by his family. So when the school year ends he packs whatever his dufflebag and backpack will carry and walks away. Since he has no place to go he ends up taking shelter under a bridge where he meets two people that will help him survive the next several months on the streets.

David is a professor who has worked hard for everything he has. When he meets Austin doing day labor on his homes construction site he sees something in the younger man that reminds him of himself. What starts out as a helping hand could develop into something so much more if he can just get Austin to trust him.

This book made me so sad. Not just that a family could do this to one of their own, but that Austin didn't have any friends that he trusted or could to turn to for help. The fear and uncertainty that Austin feels read true. The more you learn about his home life it's a wonder the kid could function at all. But you see how he used it as a motivating factor for the rest of his life. There were times where his actions frustrated me, but I had to stop and remind myself that he was a 20 year old that had everything materialistic handed to him most of his life, but had no emotional support.

I appreciated that the author took the time to let the relationship develop and didn't make the sex as a cure all for everything else. Even after they were together they still had their problems and had to learn how to deal with them instead of running away. Something they were both guilty of at times.

There are some great secondary characters that really help define and develop both MC's. The MC's come from two very different backgrounds. Austin grew up with money but was constantly berated and told he wasn't good enough while David grew up poor but always knew he was loved.  You also have the established life long friend on David's side and the strangers that helped you in your time of need friends for Austin. The street kids sub-culture added a lot of depth and layers to this story.

If you like stories that develop at a realistic pace and have strong emotions, both the good and the bad then Teach Me needs to be added to your TBR list.


RATING: 4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.  This book was given to us by the author. Many thanks.


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