Wednesday, February 12, 2020

ARC Review: Unraveling by Rick R. Reed

UnravelingFrom the Blurb:
Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay. 
Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself. 
With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life. 
John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family. 
When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear. 
Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

Ky's rating:

"Unraveling" is not your typical romance.

It's a story set in the eighties, with everything that that time meant for gay men. The MCs are complete opposites, not so much in looks, but in their way of life. One is out and proud, activelly looking for that one guy that is going to be in his future for a long long time. The other one is trying to come to terms with his sexuality, he's still in the closet, still married and still scared to be his true self.

The story takes place over a year but in a weird way everything seemed to be evolving pretty fast. There were long stretches of time that the main characters didn't have any contact and for about half the book they hadn't even met properly. So, even though we see the seasons change in Chicago, their relationship is moving pretty fast.

To be honest, I would have loved to see more of these characters and their social circle, not only of them together as a couple but of their lives in general. I'm always jumping on stories set in the '80's or '90's and, even though this time I didn't know it when I picked up the book, it didn't disappoint.

If you're looking for hearts and flowers and a sugary story you won't find it here. This is more the story of two people living their lives in the same city and crossing paths from time to time, each trying to figure out his path in life and what would make him happy, until they're both ready and the time comes for them to meet properly.

The epilogue was a great addition, I loved that we got to see all those characters so many years down the road and learn how it everything worked out after that significant year in 1986 Chicago.

An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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