All Jaron McAllister wanted to do was get out of the small town where he grew up
- Whispers of Home by April Kelley
Whispers of Home by April Kelley
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CS Christopher Stone
About the Author
Living in Southwest Michigan, April resides with her husband and two kids. She has been an avid reader for several years. Writing her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won't stop telling their stories. If April isn't reading or writing she can be found outside playing with the animals or taking a long walk in the woods. If you wish to contact her email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit her website at authoraprilkelley.com
February 15, 2015
Whispers of Home by April Kelley
I must admit to a prejudice in favor of April Kelly’s excellent Whispers of Home.
Maybe that’s because, like the book’s sadder but wiser protagonist, Jaron Mc Allister, I, too, once returned to the small town in which I was raised, for an extended stay. And, also like Jaron, once there, I dated a hometown man – one I had known during my childhood.
But that’s where the similarities, and my bias, end.
Above and beyond the personal deja vu, I was captivated by the clarity and economy of Miss Kelley’s engaging style. At the same time, I am grateful that depth and insight have not been sacrificed for economy’s sake. She dives beneath the surface, exposing and exploring the shadings and substance of her tale. We learn how her people feel and think, as well as what motivates their feelings and thoughts – all of this deftly accomplished in under one hundred-sixty, action-packed pages.
Here’s the setup: Following an unspeakable horror surrounding the mother of Bobby, his adopted son, Jaron and the child relocate to Pickleville, the homophobic small town in which he was raised. That’s no typo. Pickleville is the name.
When the author isn’t propelling the story briskly forward, she examines and evaluates some very interesting relationships. They include the ties that bind a gay father to his adopted child. And then there’s the uneasy alliance between a gay adult son and his mother, a frosty woman, hard-pressed to express affection, emotion and love. Perhaps most interesting of all are the combustible dynamics between Travis Heath, the town’s former heterosexual man whore, now gay, and his heterosexual high school cronies who scorn their one-time friend’s same sex orientation.
Jaron’s return is fraught with anxiety and peril. But there are also some delightful discoveries. You see, during Jaron’s high school years, Travis Heath was the stuff of his sexual fantasies – fantasies he believed would never be fulfilled.
But wait. There’s been some changes made. These days, Travis plays for Jaron’s team. What’s more, he thinks McAllister is “all that and a case of Cold Ones.”
But Jaron is unsure about how to proceed. His first priority must be his son, and not him. Complicating things further, ever since the horror that prompted Jaron and Bobby’s relocation to Pickleville, the boy won’t leave his father’s side, not even for a moment – they are attached at the hip, so to speak.
And then there is the matter of the freshly gay Travis Heath. Can Jaron trust him, or does the expression, “Once a man whore, always a man whore,” apply? In time, this question is answered to Jaron’s satisfaction, but the road to the answer is long, winding, and highly explosive. It’s no yellow brick path, to be sure. But you’ll want to travel that road for yourself, with no beans spilled by me.
As for erotica content, the author succeeds spectacularly with an unbearably hot scene, wherein a couple gleefully makes love while the best friend of one of them watches, taking his own pleasures as he looks at them. In addition to the staggering heat, the scene manages to give sexual voyeurism a good name.
When all is written and read, it would seem that April Kelley’s Jaron Mc Allister agrees with L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy Gale conclusion. Without enduring the witches, flying monkeys, and other pitfalls of Oz – not to mention the pesky triple clicking of heels, the author’s Pickleville hero learns: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.”
If you are looking for desirable romantic reading, then you need not look any further than Whispers of Home.
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