Title: Have a Little Faith in Me
Author: Brad Vance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 28, 2015
Page Count: 291
Reviewed by: Jewel
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When Rocky met Dex, it was hate at first sight. Country superstar Dex Dexter represented everything that budding rock star Rocky McCoy had left behind him in the Deep South – the religion, the homophobia, the hypocrisy, the lies. And Rocky represented everything that Dex had denied, had turned away from, had refused…
When Rocky met Dex, it was love at first touch. Double booked in the same slot on the main stage at CrossFest, they fought for the microphone like two dogs fighting over a bone. And when their hands met…
Rocky has had enough. “No more falling for straight guys. No way. No matter how hot. Especially if the ‘straight guy’ looks to me like a major closet case.”
Dex has had enough. “No way. I can’t be gay. I can’t lose my family, my friends, my career. I can’t.”
What they’ve had enough of doesn’t matter. It’s what they’ve never had enough of that will bring them together…
is certainly not going to be for everyone. The role of religion and the bigotry that is all too often justified by it and how it has shaped these men’s lives is prominent. And while I am angered by the bigotry we see, I am also heartened by watching the MC’s overcome their programming and become happy and healthy individuals, in spite of the obstacles thrown their way.
This book starts out in the present time, when Rocky and Dex meet. But then, to give the reader a real taste of how Rocky and Dex really got to where they are and the experiences that shaped them, we then travel back in time to see first hand, events from childhood, and adolescence and then them as young adults finally making their way in the world. I find this method of story telling more powerful than if the MC’s just talked about it with each other, and it works better, for me, than using flashbacks, as well. We get to know Rocky and Dex very well this way and we learn what all they had to overcome to get to where they are when we first meet them.
When we meet Rocky, he is an out and proud gay man who fronts a rock band. He is who he is and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it. His family is very religious with his father being an especially power hungry and bigoted Evangelical preacher. From the time he was a small child, he had been told that gays and secularists were going to hell and the devil is lurking to take you. Such a dramatic and self centered point of view, if you ask me.
His only familial ally growing up was his grandmother, and she, I think, was a bit torn at times, but she never once tried to make him feel less than. She encouraged his art and his music, even when she had to go behind Rocky’s father to do it. He was home schooled until his freshman year of high school and that is when he really began to grow into his own person (much to the chagrin of his family). Even way before that, however, he was questioning, at least to himself, the beliefs his family held. Having his eyes opened by so much music while also discovering that he was gay was really a turning point for Rocky and he never looked back.
And Dex’s family was the very picture of dysfunction. His parents are miserable, his dad a lazy drunk and his siblings practically run wild. The only thing keeping Dex sane was music. Dex had a pretty good idea that he was gay when he found himself attracted to his gay best friend, but Dex was too filled with self loathing over his attraction and church telling him how sinful it was and the obviously closeted preacher encouraging Dex to suppress his feelings. Dex, also, was a very hard worker. He really wanted a chance to make his life better and when he lucks into an opportunity to make music professionally, he jumps at it. Being the leader of a country music band, though, is not exactly conducive to Dex finally accepting who he is and so he remains closeted.
Dex and Rocky don’t actually get together until late in the book, but it was worth the wait. Seeing them together, finally, and seeing them both happy gave me exactly what I needed.