Title: Big Love
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 4th, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Coming of Age
Page Count: 200 Pages
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Teacher Dane Bernard is a gentle giant, loved by all at Summitville High School. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and an easy rapport with staff and students alike. But Dane has a secret, one he expects to keep hidden for the rest of his life—he’s gay.
But when he loses his wife, Dane finally faces his attraction to men. Into his life walk two men who will change everything. He can’t deny his feelings for teacher Seth Wolcott, who is beginning his life anew. And bullied but out and proud freshman Truman Reid shows Dane what it means to love yourself, in spite of all the obstacles the world throws at you.
Coming out, coming to terms, acceptance, heartbreak and falling in love…. The first day of school is the start of a truly life-altering year for the three men, who are about to start a new journey together.
This book should be read by any teenager boy or girl struggling with figuring out their sexuality. And how it affects their personalities and lives. That said, I don’t think this book is a self-help guide, however one character in this story stands out and gives voice and actions to a whole lot of things young people go through.
Dane is a high school teacher. Married and father of two. His life does a 180 when his wife is killed in a car accident. Single dad is hard enough without having to deal with the fact that he was always attracted to guys.
Seth is the new professor at the school Dane has been working for twenty years. Fresh from a cheating-and-break-up combo, he’s pretty sure he won’t be having any hot affairs with the locals in the close-minded city.
Truman is the high school punching bag. His appearance and personality totally clash with just about every other student in Summitville High. His out-and-proud attitude is just a front. In the inside he’s out and scared. Being the butt of every joke, and the victim of every bully is starting to chafe his hope that he’ll leave school unscathed.
When Truman tries to end his pain, Dane and Seth are there to help him and get him through the aftermath, and while they work to help the boy, the teachers are surprised at their attraction for one another.
Coming out wasn’t exactly easy for Dane, but he took in stride and with Seth’s and even Truman’s help, he finally understands that as far as labels go, there isn’t much wriggle room inside, and people are constantly changing.
It’s heart-wrenching and sweet to watch as Truman’s changes and how just one person can impact a whole school. The reactions may range from great to horrible, but it just proves people can’t be labeled good or bad, straight or gay. People just are.
As far as heat goes, this book is very low on it, the author choose to focus more on another aspects of Dane and Seth’s relationship, which IMHO was good since it would be very out of character if a man whom has been in the closet for over twenty years would just jump in the sack with a guy he just met.