Title: Behind the Mask
Author: Neil Heath-Hartley
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2017
Genre(s): Gay Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 63 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Everyone is so afraid of change and the unknown that their minds are like a closed lid on a coffin. Those who don’t like change refuse to see it in their lives until too late, and then wonder what went wrong. At least Jerome knew the change was happening and tried to accept it from the beginning. His life changes when the school bully confronts him about his sexuality, instead of beating him to a pulp, the jock surprises him by wanting to know more – intimately more, and he turns out to be just a one night stand. The rejection proves too much for Jerome and he attempts suicide. But love conquers all, and after a few weeks of rehabilitation, he meets the man who will shower him with love and protection.
This is a short story with some serious subject matter. TRIGGER WARNINGS: Bullying, attempted suicide, depression.
Neil Heath-Hartley wrote this short story about a young man that knows he is gay and accidentally outs himself to his father. But what’s amazing is his father and family handle his being gay with such grace. They never make him feel like he cannot be himself and actually do the opposite and accept him unconditionally.
Jerome never expected the day that he found out his father would love him no matter what. Hangs even more than it does but life has a way of doing just that. Jimmy is the person that Jerome has tried his best to avoid at all costs. He is the school jock. Jimmy loves to play rugby and loves to torture Jerome. He has been the bully that has made Jerome’s life hell until Jerome decides that the best thing for him to do is just hide away from Jimmy and his friends.
But something about this day is different when he sees Jimmy. Jimmy is actually decent to him. And even leaves him a note asking to speak with him after school. To his surprise Jimmy has been kicked out of his home and has no where to go.
Being the nice person that Jerome is, he takes Jimmy home with him to speak with his family about letting Jimmy stay with them. Little does Jerome know, but this is the course of action that will forever change Jerome’s life for the worst and the best.
This is a good short quick read about finding one’s self and accepting who you are, coming out., and finding love when we least expect it. Neil does an incredible job with this story especially considering it is a short story and this read carries such a punch with it. I am glad I read this book and I think others will enjoy it as well.
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