Title : Unwelcome Home Word Count : 192 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance
Blurb : Sometimes the best way to get back on your feet again is to help someone get back on theirs.
Five years ago, Clint Shepfield broke the town of Alvarado apart when he used his fists to break Samuel Garrett’s body. In prison, Clint’s had plenty of time to deal with the guilt and accept the real reasons behind his actions. He’s now accepted his homosexuality, Sam has forgiven him, and he’s being encouraged to return to the town he thought would never welcome him home.
In the blink of an eye, and the stomping boots of drunk bullies, Rick Santos lost everything. Once a track star in the making, Ricky’s been left confined to a wheelchair, his hopes for the future gone. His happy zeal for life is taken over by a pessimistic, bitter attitude, leaving Sam and Cody at their wits’ end. The first time Ricky snaps at Clint, everyone is surprised when Clint bites back.
Clint makes it his mission to get Ricky out of his funk and out of that chair. Maybe if he can help Ricky stand up straight again, Clint will be able to do the same. But, not everyone in Alvarado is ready to welcome them into the community, leaving Clint and Ricky dealing with the possibility of being unwelcome home.
My Review : Self-hatred is a very profound emotion that eats away at our very souls. Nobody knows this better than Clint Shepfield who made a horrible mistake in his teen years that he will forever regret. He hurt the sweetest young man Sam Garrett who he had a crush on, a crush he could not own up to out of fear of being acknowledged as gay. His horrific actions sent him to prison for five years, a penance he would willingly pay over and over again if it could erase his past. Instead of being the soccer star that he was meant to be he is now the town’s pariah.
Clint has a long hard road ahead of him especially since he will be staying with the same young man who he almost destroyed. It so happens that Sam is in love with Clint’s best friend Cody and they are living together. Sam has since forgiven Clint for his actions when he finally understood that his rage was not motivated by homophobia but rather it was self -hatred. It comes from the inner most part of Clint’s ‘self’ that was not able to understand his feelings. He lashed out at Sam who had the courage and owned his sexuality even though it meant that he was bullied and treated harshly especially by his father.
Initially, Clint is bombarded by all the emotions and all the updates of the old town. He realises there is so much that he missed out on. He also feels a bit unwelcome when he meets the other house guest Ricky Santos, Sam’s best friend. Ricky is staying with them after enduring a homophobic attack which left him in a wheelchair. Ricky is very bitter and he also hates what Clint had done to Sam. There definitely is no love lost between Clint and Ricky, but they soon realize that they feel somewhat adrift and lost in the house with their two best friends who are madly in love. These two shattered men accept that they both have to acknowledge the part they played in the path that their lives have taken. They have to discover how to forgive themselves for their actions. They both have a lot of healing to do and it soothes them to tag team their issues together.
For the most part, Clint is not able to trust his instincts due to his inexperience and his past violent acts. He has to learn to forgive himself so that he can trust in what feels right. It is undeniable that there is a spark between Ricky and Clint and they can’t help but to explore this option.Ricky is there to guide him into the foray of intimacy between two men. Although they are able to relate on both being lost in their new realities, they are constantly reminded that their roles are vastly different. There is a juxtaposition of Clint being a felon while in contrast Ricky is a victim. It is hard to see how they will reconcile their two personas without Clint’s past intruding. As soon as they get beyond this, there is yet another hurdle for them to jump.
Clint has to relearn how to live again and how to be a normal man. On the other hand, Ricky is battling his disability and trying to revise how to live in a wheelchair and how to be content with that corporeality. Clint does all he can to help Ricky and gives him the push he thinks his brain needs. He has a feeling that Ricky’s disability is more of a mind thing and he wants to see if he can get the physical body to work in conjunction with Ricky’s battered pysche. Clint comes up with the juiciest incentives in the form of foreplay to try to get Ricky using hand crutches instead of his wheelchair to get him mobile. They decide to trust in each other and stand strong together in love. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.