Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ARC REVIEW: The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick #MM #LGBT #Romance

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 14, 2016
Publisher:  CoolDudes Publishing PTY Ltd
Length: 181 pages

Description: Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross, drapes his massive body over Jason, sheltering him from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. Added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade into the darkness from which it emerged.

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

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This story opens with a very gripping account of a mass-shooting in a college theater where one of the heroes, Jason Tripp, is in fear for his life. The reader shares every one of his emotions.

Life-sucking and blood-spattering and gurgle-inducing, evenly spaced sets of three that are becoming so horribly predictable. I brace myself for the impact because I know the next pop is going to come with excruciating pain that explodes in my head or my back or, if I'm lucky, my ass. Or, if I'm not so lucky, in all three places, one after another.

This can't be happening. It can't be happening.

Is nineteen too old to want my mommy?
Lucky for Jason, who is paralyzed with terror, another student from the same college, Liam Norcross, is there for him. In fact, Liam protects Jason with his own body and leads him to safety.

Be it heightened emotions, a knowledge that life is short, or awakened latent desires, Liam and Jason, both formerly straight men begin to fall for each other. What starts out as a comforting hug to ward off nightmares, turns into so much more.
I wake up crying.
Okay... if I'm going to be real, I'll admit that I'm sobbing. In these strong arms--no, sprawled on top of the chest of a man I hardly know--I sob in a way that I never have before. And hopefully, I'll never have occasion to cry this bitterly again.
Liam is bound and determined to protect the life that he saved, and Jason is all too happy to let him. Until reality hits. Until they are faced with what it means to be gay around their friends and their families. Until Jason's survivor's guilt and Liam's guilt over the one he couldn't save in his past come to the forefront.

Personally, I found the progression of the romance to be very plausible. The author lets the feelings these men have for each other evolve over time. They are both scared, frightened by this new desire for another man. Is it real? Or is it just a by-product of the traumatic event they survived together? These are real questions. Important questions. And the author doesn't shy away from them.

But it's not all doom and gloom. There are some definite lighter moments that made me smile between these two brave men. Take this excerpt from the scene where they first fully consummate their attraction to each other.
"Oh, God... you're in me." Not the most intelligent of observations, but my remark seems to work for him.

His eyes are wet, but it's with the intensity of his pleasure, not sadness. "Yeah... please say it's good for you."
The author's treatment of the characters' symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as well as their confusion regarding their change in sexual orientation was extremely well handled.

The Art of Hero Worship is a heartwarming story of love found amidst the debris of tragedy.

OUR RATING:  4.5 stars!


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