Title: The Preacher’s Son
Author: Lisa Henry & J.A.Rock
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 272 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs a gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.
Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW Tacoma, his world collapsed when senior Jason Bannon slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.
But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?
And can he walk that path with the man who betrayed him?
The Preacher’s Son gave my mind a thorough workout. Lines between good and bad are definitely blurred here. Nathan or Nate, is the victim of a terrible and cruel deed and we get to follow him and the person responsible, Jason through their doubts, guilt and regrets as they struggle to come to turns with what happened four years ago and live with what they’ve done.
From start to finish this book made me think and feel a lot, the characters makes questionable decisions and even Nate makes mistakes. We get an inside into why and how they make those decisions and the details are there in the story for the reader to decide if they think the characters are plausible and that’s why I like them. I feel the authors have done a good job to convey the characters’ personalities, and the reasons for their actions are born out of their different personalities.
Born and raised with religion and his parents’ love being a constant fixture in Nate’s life it isn’t easy to go against and he does his best to follow God and be forgiving. His father tells him it’s a choice of lifestyle but Nate never remembers having made a choice. When Jason comes back Nate struggles with conflicting emotions of shame, anger, hurt and something more, something he tells himself he shouldn’t feel. A part of him hates Jason for what he’s done and the other part… As his religion advocates, Nate strives to forgive.
Jason’s character is complex and not as easy to like as Nathan. He’s arrogant, a bit of an idealist, but with a good heart beneath it all. He obviously feels guilty, but for the greater good he suppresses it and goes forward with his plan. He’s young, stupid and with time and experience his guilt increases. His character, and the reverend’s, show how easy it is to do ill while believing you are doing the right thing. How anger and sudden impulses can lead one wrong. Or when your conviction is so strong that you don’t see the damage you’re causing.
The Preacher’s Son is an intriguing read I recommend because it makes the reader think. The angst and the inner struggles of the character’s are very interesting to follow, and the way Nate and Jason have to make sense of their feelings and find a way to become happy. I enjoyed the effect this story had on my mind.