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Terrell Washington’s childhood was a trifecta of suck: being black, gay, and poor in America has no upside. Terrell climbed his way out of the hood only to hit a glass ceiling and stop, frozen, a chain restaurant bartender with a journalism degree. His one bright spot is Colby Meyers, a coworker who has no fear, no inhibitions, and sees no boundaries. Terrell and Colby spend their summers at the river and their breaks on the back dock of Papiano’s. As terrified as Terrell is of coming out, he’s helpless to stay away from Colby’s magnetic smile and contagious laughter.
But Colby is out of college now, and he has grand plans for the future—plans Terrell is sure will leave his scrawny black ass in the Sacramento dust until a breathless moment stolen from the chaos of the restaurant tells Terrell he might be wrong. When the moment is shattered by a mystery and an act of violence, Terrell and Colby are left with two puzzles: who killed their scumbag manager, and how to fit their own lives—the black and the white of them—into a single shining tomorrow.
(From Previous Site)
Terrell is a journalist who can’t get a job in his chosen profession because of his race. He works at a restaurant as a bar tender, he’s angry, he’s lonely and he can’t see anything but bleakness for the future of a gay man from the ‘hood who can’t possibly be “out”.
Then one day a sociology major named Colby starts working at Terrell’s restaurant and now, suddenly, there seems to be hope on the horizon. Colby is everything Terrell isn’t, he’s out, he’s white, he’s optimistic, he is a bright and shiny star.
Turns out that Terrell is everything Colby ever wanted in a man and Colby wages a slow but steady courtship of Terrell over the course of a year, gradually reeling in his prize.
In the meantime there is some drama at the restaurant that puts Terrell, Colby and their friends in danger, and it takes several acts of heroism for Terrell to see that Colby is worth breaking out of the closet for.
Amy Lane – queen of Angst – packs a punch with this one. It is not her most “angsty” story but – wow! – does it have its fair share. There is something so rewarding in watching Terrell slowly unfold, like a flower facing the sun under the bright light that is Colby. Colby has had it easy, but he takes nothing for granted. It could only be someone so essentially good that could show Terrell’s there is more to life than pain and suffering and show him the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Their love is intense, and their sex scenes are absolutely scorching. The side “mystery” is well woven into the love story and helps to shape the characters without detracting from their romance.
I loved Moira and though Percy is kinda an a-hole, he has his moments, too. I also thought that though Gi-Gi is not a person anyone would really want to emulate, Terrell was able to see that she did, perhaps, save his life, even though we abhor her methods.
In the audio version Nick J Russo (who also did Racing the Sun) does an amazing job with Terrell’s voice and really excels at the kid-from-the-wrong-side of the track narrations. I really like his narration style and enjoy the quality and tone of his voice.
I highly recommend both the book and the audio version and give both a 5 out of 5 hearts.