Do you ever wonder if you are placed in this world to make a difference for one person? For Garrett Young, his moment in time is rescuing Kane Abel, a victim of a hate crime.
Kane is a sexy, young gay male working it at a gay bar. He's attractive and careful about who he goes home with. Relaxing his strict self-imposed rule, Kane goes home with a newer regular guy. Big mistake which almost cost him his life. With no family or friends to take care of him, how will he survive?
This story is heartbreaking on a couple of fronts. I must commend Ms. Rakes with a very well-created cast of characters. I loved Kane and Garrett. They are both such different people and she makes them come alive. Garret is the mixed up knight in shining armor. He's the boy next door who is also an eagle scout. His job isn't just a career. It's his identity. He is the one who derives happiness by helping others. His confusion is his sexual desires. He's not gay, is he? And how did he not know? Kane on the other hand is a young man kicked too many times and this final one basically breaks him. The suffering these two young men experienced so far in life is just part of the heartbreaking theme.
What enrages me about this story is how true to life it seems with hate crimes. Why anyone would go beat another person up because of their sexual identity just boggles my mind. It does not compute for me because it is completely irrational and illogical. What kind of person is filled with so much hate and have too much time on their hands to beat the shit out of someone unprovoked? Why in this day and age are people so hung up about other people's sexuality?
Ms. Rakes exposes how those who are innocent are terribly damaged in addition to their constant fears. This is a terrible way to live, in fear of being beaten just by being yourself. Ms. Rakes balances the story well between the senseless violence and unsolicited acts of kindness. It helps put into perspective that humans are not all evil or good. There are all kinds.
While the reader is struggling to understand the insidious hatred against gays, there is also a serial crime. This story is suspense-filled as Kane's beating is the latest in a string of serial killing of gay men. The horror as the crimes are revealed to Kane and Garrett is more than they can handle. This plot device adds to the conflict quite nicely as it also cranks up the tension.
Lastly, Amanda, Garrett's girlfriend, is a nice surprise. She did seem kind of bitchy from Garrett's initial interaction. When Amanda interacts more with the other characters, one really sees the relationship from her eyes. It's interesting, the difference in the stories. I'm happy to see the females in this story are not bitchy, vengeful or petty. Instead, they are supportive even when they are kicked down. This is a good book which shows the negative aspects of society and tempers it with the positive. A book of hope and generosity recommended to m/m romance lovers who love their happily ever afters.