Title: Pay It Forward (A Giving Back Story Book 1)
Author: Nic Starr
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 11th, 2018
Page Count: 180
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Forced to leave home as soon as he finished high school, Bailey McCreedy’s focus has been on earning enough money to survive. All he needs is a roof over his head and to keep his small mobile lending library running. Books are Bailey’s escape, and he loves to share the joy of reading with those who don’t have access to them.
Tom Brooks’s upbringing is very different to Bailey’s, with a loving family, a good education, and a high-flying job—that is, until things came crashing down. Tom opens a coffee shop, struggling to build his business and reluctant to accept help, operating under the misguided belief that he must pay penance for his sins. Watching Bailey work with the street kids opens Tom’s eyes to the reality that accepting help is not a sign of weakness, and that he is so much more than his past mistakes.
But as Bailey falls for Tom, with his charming manner, obvious care for others, and group of successful friends, Bailey’s own sense of self-worth threatens to tear them apart. In the face of intensifying challenges, he’s reluctant to confide in Tom, afraid he’s not good enough.
A bright future will require Bailey to heed his own advice—people aren’t defined by their failures or inability to live up to the expectations of others. It’s time for Tom to pay it forward, and Bailey needs to accept the help and love that Tom offers.
Bailey is working at a call center for an energy company part time, which is not exactly where he thought he’d end up at this point in his life.
Tom owns a local café where business seems to be doing well, but he’s got a lot of improvements to make. His friends have all offered to help, but he feels he’s doing his penance by forcing himself to do everything on his own.
Both have had quite a past and are able to overcome their issues, but they have to accept assistance from others.
Overall, I thought the story was based on a solid foundation. The theme was moving ahead, giving back, offering service to others and accepting service yourself. There’s a lot of good in giving and letting go of the past. I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect.
I found myself wanting to skip ahead when I was in the middle. It seemed to drag for me… nothing really happened, just maintaining the status quo. I was also waiting for the story to crescendo into a big…something, but that didn’t happen either.
Despite the middle, the ending was excellent and I enjoyed the relationship that slowly formed between Bailey and Tom. It was sound and sweet and it felt real.
I would recommend giving it a read and I’ll definitely be waiting for the next book in the series.