Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.
An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.
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Tams gives this one 5 Stars...
Cullen Kiley has not only lost his faith, he's lost his way. The somewhat retired Episcopal Priest lost his husband and partner of almost a decade suddenly to a brain aneurism. Cullen left the church, withdrew from life and from God. Two years later Cullen sails to Southport, NC, a place that holds meaning to both him and his late husband. Cullen feels like getting away from home will help him to let go of the past, the pain, and move on. But being surrounded by so many things that remind him of his and Cole's life together only makes it that much harder to let go. On a run one day to clear his thoughts, Cullen comes upon a man that looks as lost as he feels sitting on a park bench, staring out at the water. He decides to ask the man if he's okay, does he need help or someone to talk to, not realizing that the man will forever change his life.
Abel Weston is a man of God as well, the Associate Pastor at Southport's Strict Southern Baptist church. Abel and Cullen have a lot in common and the strike up an unlikely friendship that leaves them both wanting more, but refusing to do anything about it. Abel is at war with his sexuality, hidden deep in the closet for fear of ramifications because of his calling as a Minister. Cullen is still married to a ghost. The question is, will they realize that the only way either of them can move on or feel comfortable in their own skin is to do so together?
Some people may shy away from this story due to the religious aspect, but that is what I found most intriguing. Both men are Ministers and struggle with their faith. Cullen because he blames God for taking away his husband. Abel because his Southern Baptist upbringing has brow beat him with the "Homosexuality is a sin" moniker until he's blue in the face. I found it very interesting that it was Abel's belief in God and his conversations with Cullen that had Cullen re-thinking things, looking at things in a different light. And vice versa, while Abel was struggling it was Cullen reminding him of certain scriptures that initially broke down Abel's defenses. And it was in no way "preachy" to me while I was reading. That being said, there was a brief few pages toward the end of the story that had me almost in a blind rage. What Abel's sorry excuse for a Pastor, some members of the church and the Pastor's wife do to him and Cullen seriously had me seeing red, I was screaming at my kindle. I assure you, it's very brief and there is a HEA at the end of the rainbow for these two.
So, yes, the bones of this story is bathed in these two men's spirituality, but it's the way that binds them and the passion they have for one another that truly defines the story. I loved it, definitely a must read in my opinion.
Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication. When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, most of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.