Title: Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1)
Author: Ki Brightly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Genre(s): Gay romance, prostitution, rape, violence, stalked, attempted murder, starting over, mystery, suspense
Page Count: 426 pages
Reviewed by: Natosha
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.
Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.
It is funny how ONE event can change the course of a persons life. That one event can either make life good or it can make it Hell On Earth. For Jeb it was that one event that led him down a path in life hat no one should ever have to endure.
After Jeb’s mom “died” his father got into the church rather deeply. So much so that when he learns that Jeb was gay at the age of fifteen his father locked him in a room. Made him fast for theee days to draw the eveil out of Jeb, and was planning to send him to a conversion camp for gays. That is when Jeb decided that running away was his only option. So at the age of fifteen Jeb found himself on his own and living on the streets.
Street life for a homeless teen is not easy. There are very little options for them and so when Jeb’s roommate that he met talked him into prostitution and made it sound like such an easy life, Jeb believed him.
Jeb’s first night out was attacked and left deaf in one ear. But Jeb did not let that stop him from living and trying to make a better life for himself. Jeb believed the man, Wally, that stepped in and saved him from his attacker that night when Wally said he would protect him.
The truth is Jeb went from one hell to another hell that night. Still Jeb did not let it break him and eventually was able to get away from his now pimp, Wally, but not without a parting gift of Wally intentionally making certain that what little hearing Jeb had was taken from him forever.
Still Jeb does not give up on life and instead once again picks up and tries to start over. For four years things was bearable living as a houseboy to a politician named Nolan. He had food, a roof over his head, only one man to service at command and not as many beatings. He also had Max which is Nolan’s son, who Jeb came to love as his own even though he was no more than a teen himself. It was bearable but all that comes to an end when Nolan decides that at the age of 22years old that Nolan is to old to fulfill the needs in him any longer.
So again Jeb is left with his life in another uproar. The difference this time is at least Nolan is willing to pay for Heb to go to college and try to make something of himself. Jeb t hunks this is finally his time to get his life on track and in many ways it is. Jeb meets Freddy and for the first time ever Jeb has a boyfriend that is not his pimp or someone who uses him a a hole for their own selfish needs. Things are finally looking up with the exception of the deal that Jeb has with Nolan to give him two days a week to work parties and “entertain” his guest at least once a month.
Once Jeb has met Freddy, he knows that he cannot do that to Freddy and ends his arrangement with Nolan. But the night that Jeb does so, it sets into motion another set of events that will once again leave Jeb’s life in an uproar. The difference this time is he is not alone. He has Freddy and now Max, Nolan’s son, to stand up and fight with him. And fight hey will have to do to come out of the mess still standing. Cause the mess they find themselves in could be the end of each of these three men.
All it takes is just “ONE” event to change the course of a persons life and for Jeb that was when his mother died. But the question is could that one event that changed everything for Jeb and made his life hell on earth been prevented? Well that is the question you will have to read the book in order to answer.
This book is definitely not a Hearts and candy type of book. It has TRIGGERS were rape, violence, child abuse and whole lot of other horrible things that may not lead some to wanting to read this book. For those that do read it, this is a book that is about Survival. It is about never giving up and fighting the bad things in life with everything that you have in order to come out in the other side hopefully still standing. It is about taking those horrible things that has happened and hopefully being able to turn it into something amazing in the end. This book is one of those books that will stay with you for some time to come and it is one of those books that is definitely a book that shows never giving up on life can turn things around for the better. Definitely a book that can inspire those who have had bad things happen to them that there could and will be something better around the corner so long as you do not give up.