Title: A Clean Break
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Release: 3rd February 2015
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
They've escaped to the outside world--but can they really be free?
David and Isaac have found happiness in each other's arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac's brother Aaron helps them explore confusing "English" life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don't have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?
But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he's overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.
While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.
Note: This is the second chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love. This book features explicit sex and is not an inspirational/Christian novel.
We all have books sitting in our TBR list, waiting patiently to be read, but sometimes those gems get lost among the ever growing pile!
So, every now and again we will be scouring our Kindles for the books WE haven’t had time to get around to and we’ll be sharing them with you on….
I have just been hit by a tidal wave of emotion. I haven’t been so invested in a series of books for a long time. Last week I left Isaac and David skipping off into a bright new future together and breathed a huge sigh of relief that after all they went through they were in the clear. Nothing but plain sailing now.
However, I should have known that nothing is going to be that easy and in the hands of Ms Andrews I’ve just been put through another emotional wringer. For our boys coming from an Amish village to San Francisco means nothing less than being catapulted from the 18th century and landing slap bang right in the middle of the 21st. I suppose no one would adapt to this easily without a struggle and leaving scars. They make it to Isaac’s brother’s house, Aaron, and the initial joy of the reunion was short lived. I loved this reunion scene, Isaac and Aaron have such a strong bond and they now have a lot of catching up to do. It was so great to hear Aaron talk about his experiences and how he made it. How he now has a wonderful wife, job and super life. Although in my opinion he had the tougher situation because there was no one for Aaron to run to when he left Zebulon. He had to do it the hard way, make his mistakes and find out himself. But he made it and can now pass on this wealth of experience to Isaac and David.
But bit by bit things start to take their toll on Isaac and David. Adapting to a totally new culture is not easy, it’s stressful enough when you’re alone but put a relationship under that kind of pressure and the problems increase ten fold. At first everything is new and the learning curve is tremendous. It’s fun to discover all those things that have been so long out of your reach. However, after the initial euphoria and discovery phase has paled into insignificance and the daily routine takes over that’s when things may not seem as easy as first thought.
Oh my heart went out to them both, but especially David, David is having a seriously hard time coping. Isaac starts school, makes friends and seems to be settling in and adapting. But he does have his brother and sister-in-law. Although David has them too he starts a downward spiral that is heartbreaking. Both boys are missing their families but for David it’s more extreme. After his father and older brother died he became the man of the house looking after his mother and sisters. Their welfare and just wanting to know how they are coping weighs heavily on him, although he knows there was no alternative he still feels guilty and keeps blaming himself for everything. This is also intermingled with his feelings that he needs to take care of and provide for Isaac, pay back the money that Aaron and his wife have been giving them to support them, and feels that Isaac is drifting away from him as he settles in but David isn’t.
David feels useless and incapable and this is something he has never been used to. He starts getting panic attacks and turns to the booze for comfort, no worries he doesn’t become alcoholic, but using the booze as a release is not the answer. David is also his own worst enemy as he bottles things up, always putting on a brave face outwardly but doesn’t talk to anyone on how he’s really feeling. Always trying to be the strong and dependable one. The other thing was the internal conflict both boys have with their religious upbringing, their beliefs and fitting those into a new and different world as well. Then the homesickness, the pull of the familiar, missing family and loved ones, feeling guilty for running away but knowing there was no other choice as they would never be accepted for who they really are at home. Even when you know all this the love of parents and siblings is a hard thing to give up. I could just feel David heading down this path of despair and couldn’t do anything. It was heartbreaking. He is really suffering from a serious case of culture shock.
Then due to all this the first chinks start to appear in their relationship. This was also so upsetting to hear them having a go at each other even though you know they love each other immensely but the stresses and strains of coming to terms in a new life start to materialise. The changes happening to them having a greater effect on them than they can see for themselves. I guess it was to be expected but it was still heartbreaking to read.
Unfortunately, this book does not end on a skipping-off-into-the-sunset style HEA ending but more of a there’s-hope-but-have-a-lot-of-things-to-work-out kind of ending. I know they still love each other immensely and will pull through all this eventually, but geez it’s a heartbreaking read when all I wanted to do was comfort them and say it will be OK, you just have to give some things in life time but until then you need to be strong for each other.
I can’t leave our boys here. No way! I have to see if it all works out and that’s why as soon as I finished the last page of book two, book three was immediately opened. Again, can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read these books but so delighted I have now. I hope that next week in my Flashback Friday post I have some better news and we can all breathe out again.
Meet Keira Andrews
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”