Title: Beggars and Choosers
Author: Mia Kerrick
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Released: 21st Septmeber 2012
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
After a hard life filled with experiences he’d rather not remember but can’t forget, Brett Taylor decides he doesn’t need anyone or anything. He gets a job at a bar in a nothing little town where he can fish and race dirt bikes and hide from the world. So naturally as he’s walking across the parking lot at his new job, reminding himself how self-reliant he is, he meets someone he can’t shove aside.
Brett can’t help but admire Cory Butana, the kid who lives above the bar where his father is the principal bartender. Unwanted by either parent, the sweet, personable Cory grew up neglected and hungry for affection. Now he’s determined to make something of his life, even if he has to work himself ragged to do it.
Cory shouldn’t have to suffer like Brett did, and Brett wants to lend a hand. But when their relationship evolves into something Brett isn’t ready to need, he reacts… and the consequences may destroy their fledgling future. With scars like theirs, forgiveness is never easy.
This book deals with some really ugly issues and the not so savoury side of life and human nature. It had me really wanting to look away at times, taking me way beyond my usual comfort zone, but hoping that good will win through in the end. It may sound terribly clichéd but the author deals with the subject very sensitively but realistically. As ugly as some of the story was it was therefore all the more beautiful in parts because of this. It was a stark contrast between a love that was all encompassing, strong and unshakeable, born out of a common ground of insecurity while dealing with the more perverse desires of addiction and abuse from not so nice childhoods and abusive parents.
The two MCs Brett and Cory meet while Brett is working at a restaurant / bar. His first real job since dropping out of school. He's fighting the ghosts of his own past after having an abusive mother and Cory coping with an alcoholic father. The bad childhoods that these two characters have experienced lays the foundations for and bonds a friendship that later flourishes into an intense love. Brett being older feels very protective of Cory and wants nothing more than to protect him from his alcoholic father, bullying and abuse from others. However, as Cory is an achiever and Brett a high school drop out he feels he isn't good enough for Cory and doesn't wish to hold him back from a bright future at university. Oh my, my heart just bled for these two guys. I could have cried rivers just thinking about the backgrounds both these guys come from. It’s amazing to think that anyone would be able to rise above such conditions, but I guess that is what kept wanting to spur them on, not to give up and against all odds make it.
Each chapter deals with one of the MCs in first person singular telling the events from their perspective. This is a format that actually sits well with me and I enjoy the balanced view that such stories give immensely. The language / writing used for Brett took me a chapter to get into, but once started found it added to the character bringing him alive and making him more real. He was a high school drop out, obviously had received little education and the style of writing reflects this in his character very well. However uneducated he may seem to appear there is never any doubt that all his intentions and love are genuine. He becomes very protective of Cory and only wants the best for him as if trying to help Cory he can stop all the hurt going on inside himself. This fact I find endearing but ask myself whether this would normally be the case. Such kids are also normally totally maladjusted socially and wouldn't behave with such a honour codex as Brett, but in this book it works beautifully and I suppose there are always exceptions.
This story hurts a lot at time and packs a punch which gives the reader a very emotional journey that takes you to the dark side of human nature and back, but still always reminds you that love really can conquer all in the end. At least for Brett and Cory they get their happy for now end.
About The Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Connect with the Author
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