Melissa reviews Loose Cannon (The Woodbury Boys #1) by Sidney Bell Expected publication: April 3rd 2017 by Carina Press, 327 pages.
Released after five years in the system for assault, streetwise Edgar-Allen Church is ready to leave the past behind and finally look to his future. In need of a place to crash, he’s leaning on Miller Quinn. A patient, solidly masculine pillar of strength and support, Miller has always been there for him—except in the one way Church has wanted the most.
With his staunchly conservative upbringing, Miller has been playing it straight his whole life. Now with Church so close again, it’s getting harder to keep his denial intact. As they fumble their way back to friendship after so many years apart, Miller struggles to find the courage to accept who he really is. What he has with Church could be more than desire—it could be love. But it could also mean trouble.
Church’s criminal connections are closing in on the both of them, and more than their hearts are at risk. This time, their very lives are on the line.
A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: The blurb really got my attention. I like coming out stories.
This book had me hooked from the start. Edgar-Allen Church (goes by Church) is a young boy who tries to be good but life just has other plans. At the age of 14 or 15 he meets Miller, a 24 year old man with a soft heart. Church suffers an abusive home with his alcoholic father and passive mother. When Church breaks into Miller’s home to steal his TV, their lives both change in ways neither expected. Miller (because he’s a do-gooder with a soft heart), offers to help Church and allows him to sleep on his couch whenever he needs to. Over time Miller learns about Church’s home life and he becomes the male role model for Church.
For Church, his time with Miller is a safe haven; a place he can just be and not have to worry about anything. Miller’s cool with Church being gay. But when Church tries to seduce Miller one night, things don’t go well and Church runs away. Being a hot head, angry kid, Church finds himself at a youth rehabilitation center and has not been in contact with Miller for years. Now that Church is of age, he can’t stay at the center any more (he’s “graduated”) and needs to live with a responsible adult – someone who can be a good influence on Church and lead him down the path of good vs evil. And so Church calls Miller for a favor, and Miller accepts.
Things are awkward between them because they have that night hanging over their heads. Despite their age difference, they had been best friends all those years ago, and they both missed each other. What’s sad is that Church is in love with Miller and Miller has made it clear he doesn’t feel that way about Church.
Church made friends at the youth rehabilitation center (Ghost and Tobias), and he reconnects with them now that he’s on the “outside.” Ghost helps Church get a job at a sandwich shop and Church sleeps on Miller’s couch. All’s good. Except for the fact that the sandwich shop’s owner has ties to Russian mafia (his mom is the crime boss), and Vasily, the eldest brother, is a real asshat who makes Church’s life hell.
It’s hard to describe what follows without giving away the entire story. With Church staying at Miller’s house, and now that Church is all grown up (and handsome and jacked), Miller is struggling with denying who he is. Soon even Church starts to realize that Miller is looking at him. I found their dance around each other to be amusing and I laughed at some of the hijinks these two went through as they navigated their way.
I really enjoyed this story and do recommend it. There is a lot more going on than I mention; it’s really action packed, never a dull day, so be aware there are like 5 different things going on here. I don’t know what book 2 will be about but I really hope it’s about Ghost. LOVED him!!!
When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.