Sam reviews ‘Angels of Mercy ‘- Volume One: Elliot: His Summer of Love by SA Collins . Published on April 1st, 2015 and is 541 pages.
A complimentary copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Please leave a comment on this post for the chance to win one of THREE SIGNED e-copies of ‘Angels of Mercy – Volume One: Elliot’ and ‘Angels of Mercy – Volume Two: Marco’ by SA Collins. More details below.
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On the cusp of his senior year at Mercy High, Elliot Donahey, an out but terminally shy gay young man who keeps to the shadows – never wanting to be seen or noticed – suddenly finds himself in the arms of the highest profile jock on campus, local star quarterback, Marco Sforza. Their lives, and those closest to them will never be the same.
Set against the backdrop of competitive sports, this character study work deep dives into the lives of these young men who each must “play the game” so Marco can continue to play the game he loves. They are just trying to find some small slice of happiness to call their own amidst their hellish final year of high school.
Author’s Note: Angels of Mercy is first and foremost, a character study. A great deal of it is inner-monologue. Elliot will pause the action, he will break momentum as he grapples with his world – all the while flipping a finger to the fourth wall. He knows you’re there. It was far more important to me as its author (and a gay man) that the reader come away with the whys of Elliot’s choices in how he navigates his often tumultuous world. The same can be said of Marco (his jock boyfriend) who will tell his tale in Diary of a Quarterback – due winter 2015. I’ve read much queer literature and what I find rather interesting is that for the majority of it, very little is written about the character’s headspace. When you live in a world where you constantly have to be vigilant as you navigate through, it can make for some very powerful storytelling. That is my goal in writing these boys’ lives. I want the reader who may not be queer themselves to come away with what it might be like to be in a gayboy’s shoes – constantly polling and pulse-checking your world because your very survival depends upon it. All of that while you hope, you secretly pray, that you’ll find someone who will see you too and find they can’t live without you in their world. A small slice of happiness to call your own. And though you do everything to keep to yourself, you may still run into those who find your very existence threatens who they are and how they think the world should run.
I pull no punches with this work. They are hormonally charged eighteen year old young men who are sexually active. While the sex is present in the work it is not gratuitous in that the main character does evolve from his physical intimacy with his high-profile boyfriend. He becomes emboldened in ways he never imagined. It is not a genre romance read either, though it has a very strong romance threaded in the work. It is a tale of love and acceptance culled from real-life experiences set in a fictitious manner. This is but one tale of love by gay men how they live it. For Marco and Elliot, these elements serve to bring a light to their relationship that, while heady and romantic, attracts all the wrong attention to their insular world.
While this book ends on a cliff hanger, volume 2 is due out November 2015 and the final volume (3) is due in Spring of 2016 to complete the Angels series.
In a time where more queer youth are coming out to their teammates and their loved ones, I find that work of this nature is both timely and necessary to tell. I hope you’ll find it as interesting and provocative a read as I believe it is.
Elliot is a senior at Mercy High. He has learned over time that it’s easier to hide in the shadows than deal with the bullies. When not at school, he is busy working at his family’s restaurant.
One afternoon, Elliott is taken by surprise when the door to the restaurant dings and in walks Marco, the guy he has crushed on for years. When Marco admits that he is there to see him and that he wants Elliot to go out with him, he knows it has to be a joke. Why else would the star quarterback try this.
Marco is determined to convince Elliott that this is real. When Elliot decides to give Marco a chance, their love story unfolds.
They are sweet, loving and devoted to one another. However, being gay and sports don’t mix real well. Therefore, they decide that they need to hide their relationship till football season is over. This isn’t a simple task. Can two people from two different worlds come together without any fall out? Is their love strong enough to survive?
I really enjoyed Angels of Mercy: Volume One. I like that it was a longer novel. It wasn’t rushed nor did it feel like it was dragging on. I loved seeing these two boys’ relationship grow. Elliot accepted he is gay a long time ago, but it wasn’t until Marco that he was able to open his eyes to see how truly beautiful he is. I loved how Elliot is Marco’s world. Marco would walk through fire to keep what they have. This does end in a cliffhanger like we are warned in the synopsis. Good news is book 2 is already out, so like me you can continue on without pause.
If you like a mm love story that centers around football and has real life obstacles to conquer then Angels of Mercy by SA Collins is a must read.
10/10 Pots of Gold
Comment on this post for the chance to win one of THREE SIGNED e-copies of:
‘Angels of Mercy – Volume One: Elliot’ and ‘Angels of Mercy – Volume Two: Marco’ by SA Collins
You need to be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.
This giveaway will end on April 24th, 2016 at 11:59 PM CDT. GOOD LUCK!
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SA “Baz” Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his husband, their daughter and wonder of all wonders, a whirlwind of a granddaughter and two exotic looking cats. A classically trained singer/actor (under a different name), Baz knows a good yarn when he sees it. Based on years of his work as an actor, Baz specializes in character study pieces. It is more important for him as an author that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the characters, and the reasons they make the decisions they do, rather than the situations they are in. It is this deep dive into their manners, their experiences and how they process the world around them that make up the body of Mr. Collins’ work.
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