Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Boy's ShadowOne Boy's Shadow by Ross A. McCoubrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ebook
Published May 24th 2012 by iUniverse.com (first published May 23rd 2012)
Edition Language English
Available at: Amazon.com
YA - Young Adult



Sweet twink Hardy Boys anyone?

~~~~~~

So, I gave a teaser that I had found the Hardy Boys of M/M romance. Let’s see if my analogy holds water:

Young, adorable, sweet-natured, and well-mannered boys?
- Check
Involved in a mystery?
- Check
Budding romance and innocent, eh hm, exploration?
- Check

Okay, so maybe the original Hardy Boys weren’t big on romance but this is a new era and the timing is ripe. Caleb and Shane could definitely show Frank and Joe a thing or two.


”I’ll cover your mouth with one hand to muffle any noise you make, I promise.”
     I couldn’t help it. I laughed. Shane was giggling too as he said, “Guess that’s not very romantic, huh?”
     "Not really. It’s oddly kinda hot, but, no, not very romantic.”
“Fair enough.” Shane flopped over on his back, still snickering.

Whoa now, this is YA. Some may say this is a too good, too innocent, goodie two-shoes read. Maybe, but every now and then I need to climb out from under that dark, cynical shadow (that I enjoy so much) and take a fresh breath of air…….and shed a few tears.

**This may become my number one recommendation for entry-level M/M romance.

Hand this to your bigoted “friends”, share it with your curious kids and read it for yourself to restore something lost. A simple, warm-natured read of love, finding yourself and the strength that comes from both.

THE STORY

At 15, Caleb moves into a new home with a past, which soon becomes;


…the life-changing event people talk about that helps define who you are.

The connection he feels with his new home is tempered with the connection he finds with his new friend Shane. Together, with help from Caleb’s older brother Blake, they work to unravel the mysterious disappearance of another boy some sixty years ago.

THE CHARACTERS

Caleb Lincoln Mackenzie – Honest, but not exemplary. Curious but hesitant. Caleb is a normal, blushing, likeable boy who’s unshakeable values move the story forward.


”I got my first kiss.”

Blake Mackenzie – Best big brother, period.


”Tolerant?” Blake repeated, confused. “I don’t tolerate my brother and my friends. I love and accept them for who they are.”

Shane – Serious, gentle and a survivor.


”I can’t forget it happened, Caleb.”

Toby – Beautiful and illusive. Toby needs to tell his story.


”You guys think maybe Toby didn’t get lost? I mean, maybe there was an accident. Why else would the gunshot be so important?”

THE WRITING

You’ll find this an easy-going, relaxing read which has a steady forward pace. The mystery kept me intrigued and ultimately surprised me. I really thought I had it figured out, but I was so wrong. Well done.

The youthful, coming-of-age romance is handled very well. There’s a little steam which is very tastefully presented.

If I have any concerns, it’s with the ease of acceptance Caleb found. However, I think the author is sending the message, “It get’s better” and indeed society isn’t what it once was. Opinions are changing and it’s nice to see that represented once in a while. Caleb does have to overcome prejudice but it’s not the knock-out, drag-out typically found in this sort of story. Kind of refreshing really.

~~~
Admittedly, I am slightly swayed in this review by a new Twitter friendship with the delightful Ross McCoubrey. His lovely nature is well represented in his writing and may have helped to push this 4.8 star review to 5.0.



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