Title: Take a Chance Word Count: 225 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Blurb: Can a chance encounter change your life?
Kicked out at fifteen for being gay, Tom survived by selling his body on the streets. Four years later, Tom, now nineteen, doesn’t know how long he can continue living this life.
One night while out working, Tom sees a face from his past, one he had long forgotten. One he had used to fantasise about.
Afraid of the reaction he will receive, Tom runs away hoping never to see him again. But Seb had other ideas.
At twenty-five, Seb’s life is going exactly the way he had wanted. Having worked hard at University, Seb has been offered a permanent contract at a local solicitor.
While driving to a friend’s house to celebrate, Seb is shocked to find Tom, someone he hasn’t seen in years, on the streets, selling himself.
Feeling an overwhelming need to help Tom, Seb tracks him down and offers him a way out.
Is Tom willing to take a chance on Seb and accept his offer, or will his distrust of everyone from his past cause him to push Seb away?
Includes a sneak peek of book two, New Beginnings, Ben and Geoff’s story.
My Review: Tom has been existing and trying to survive on the streets of Manchester since he was 15 and his parents kicked him out. Like so many gay teenagers, he has been tossed out like yesterday’s trash by the people who were supposed to love and protect him. It’s been 4 long hard years, but through his wits and strong will Tom keeps on surviving.Tom has developed a system that gives him and his friends a modicum of security. They go out in pairs and one always looks for details of the cars that the other works.
It is on a night out that Tom recognizes someone from his past. Seb is the older brother of Tom’s former best friend. Tom is embarrassed and runs off. Seb is perplexed to see Tom and It is obvious that he is a prostitute now. Seb is out celebrating his full time position he has just secured. However, It is hard for him to enjoy his achievements, due to his worry for Tom. He can’t let it go and he goes out looking for Tom on another night. When he catches up with Tom, Seb questions him about his lifestyle choices. Tom laughs with derision telling Seb of how his parents threw him out for being gay. He also tells of how Seb’s own parents looked at him with contempt and disgust before slamming their door when he asked for their help.
When Seb confirms Tom’s story with his parents, he is dumbfounded by the vitriol and hate that they are spewing. He is sickened by their views on homosexuality and he knows he made the right decision in not owning up to his bisexuality. He finds Tom once again and tries to apologize. Tom is scared to open up past connections as he is afraid to reopen the wounds left on his soul by his past family and friends. Tom puts on a cloak of impudence that he knows will repel all of Seb’s offers of friendship.Seb is saddened by Tom’s reaction to his benevolence, but he has no choice but to let him walk away.
Seb is very persistent and he doesn’t want to leave Tom to pursue this dangerous path he is on. Tom is at an all time low and now that he’s seen Seb again, all the memories of the past and unfulfilled future dreams comes pouring in. Seb convinces Tom to come home with him for a warm bed and something to eat. It is hard for Tom to trust, but he gives in just this once. He rests peacefully that night, but as day lights he knows he can’t allow himself to get too comfortable. This is not his life. Tom leaves while Seb pleads with him not to go.
His first night back on the streets shows Tom how dangerous is the life he leads. He tries to walk away from a john who won’t take no for an answer.He is beaten, bruised and almost raped. He shows up at Seb’s who unquestionably helps to patch him up. Tom does the unthinkable by stealing from Seb’s wallet the next morning. From the moment he does it he feels physically ill, but he knows he needs to help the others get some food. Seb is disappointed, but moreover he is wrecked that Tom didn’t trust him and couldn’t be trusted himself.
Tom is waiting for Seb on his doorstep a few days later. Seb is furious, but he almost admires the strength it took to come back and apologize. Tom decides to trust in Seb’s offer to help. They have an idyllic few days where they get to know each other and Seb takes Tom shopping for some clothes amid protests.By the end of the day Tom feels almost normal, Seb makes him feel worthy. Things move from being platonic when Seb confesses that he is bisexual and Tom was his first crush.Seb goes slowly, not wanting Tom to be wary of his intentions. Tom feels precious and for the first time he receives pleasure just for himself.
As fun as it’s been Tom knows he needs to check on his housemates. He returns ,only to here that one has been missing for days. He is worried and asks for Seb’s help in searching some of the further places. He finds his friend Adam beaten and stabbed to death. He pulls away from Seb blaming himself for not being there for Adam. When his other housemate Ben points the finger and blames Tom as well, Tom regresses. What Seb finds is a drunken Tom who tries to use his body as a shield. He tries to seduce Seb treating him like a john and belittling his concerns.
Seb is upset and pushes him away. Their relationship seem to be a cycle of hurt/comfort. Tom continuously hurts Seb emotionally and Seb continues to forgive and comfort Tom. Tom shows up at Seb’s house to apologize. The dam breaks and he lets it all out. Tom rants about being soiled goods and allows himself to feel all the pain and humiliation he’s carried over the years. He cries for his friend but most of all for his fifteen year old self that never had a chance. Seb reassures Tom that he’s is not tainted or stained by his past. Seb sees him, not as a whore or a victim, but rather as a survivor. When they come together their passion ignites and it’s incendiary. Seb gives him back the power by handing over control of their pleasure to Tom. Seb opens up a new world for Tom where he is on the receiving end of pleasure for the first time.
Seb asks Tom to move in and tells him how much he loves him. To prove how serious he is , Seb calls his parents and tell them about Tom being in his life. They disown him right away, but Seb knows that Tom is definitely worth it. Before they can start settling in , Tom finds out that another friend Ben has gone missing. He goes to Seb’s work and Seb infers that Ben might have gone to the place where they found Adam’s body. Seb’s boss Geoff is very compassionate and decides to help. After they find Ben and take him to the hospital, Geoff suggests that Ben stay with him. In the meantime, Seb has asked the other two friends Matt and Luke to move in with them.They are all very skeptical, but they know this is a chance they can’t pass up.
It has been a long hard road for all these young men, but with the love of a strong man gateways are now opening up for them. Tom decides to open his heart to the one man who cared enough to pursue him , even when he didn’t want the help or believed in happily ever afters . Seb was the only one who ever looked at him without judgement. Tom gives himself over to the pleasure that Seb can provide. He experiences so many emotions, but the ones in the forefront are love and forgiveness. Love for Seb and forgiveness for himself, for all the things he believes has tainted his soul. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.