Beggars and Choosers
Title : Beggars and Choosers
Author : Mia Kerick
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 284 pages (e-book)
Published : September 21, 2012
After a hard life filled with experiences he’d rather not remember but can’t forget, Brett Taylor decides he doesn’t need anyone or anything. He gets a job at a bar in a nothing little town where he can fish and race dirt bikes and hide from the world. So naturally as he’s walking across the parking lot at his new job, reminding himself how self-reliant he is, he meets someone he can’t shove aside.
Brett can’t help but admire Cory Butana, the kid who lives above the bar where his father is the principal bartender. Unwanted by either parent, the sweet, personable Cory grew up neglected and hungry for affection. Now he’s determined to make something of his life, even if he has to work himself ragged to do it.
Cory shouldn’t have to suffer like Brett did, and Brett wants to lend a hand. But when their relationship evolves into something Brett isn’t ready to need, he reacts… and the consequences may destroy their fledgling future. With scars like theirs, forgiveness is never easy.
I actually really liked most of this book despite the rating. The best friend to lover story in this book was wonderful. It was a long wait but so worth it. I fell in love with both of the MCs and found myself truly invested in them as not only a couple but also as individuals. Not that they would have been happy without each other because Brett and Cory’s lives were better from the moment they met.
Brett’s POV definitely gave the story a distinct voice. He’s been physically and verbally abused most of his life. He dropped out of school to get a job to escape the abuse but that didn’t help his low self-esteem. He’s thrilled to get a job as a busboy for a local bar. The same day he meets Cory. Cory is a scrawny freshman in high school when they meet. Cory’s dad works at the bar Brett was just hired to work at and it doesn’t take him long to realize he’s not a great dad to that sweet boy living above the bar. He pretty much immediately decides his purpose in life is to take care of Cory.
Cory is the smart and sweet child of an alcoholic who barely considers Cory as a human being. He doesn’t keep food around or come home at night or support him in anyway besides letting him live in his apartment. Cory is just grateful to be with his dad that he overlooks his shortcomings as a father.
Everything changes the day he meets Brett. The two become best friends and yet they don’t ever speak about it. It just is. Suddenly Cory has someone there for him. Someone to give him rides, fill up his pantry with food or just watch a movie with on a Thursday night. The two basically become inseparable. Brett has a someone who is happy to see him, which sadly is enough for him. Both boy and man fall in love after a couple of years as best friends but Cory doesn’t know if Brett is even gay and Brett thinks Cory deserves someone much better than him so they both keep their feelings secret. Quite a bit of angst follows and it’s carried on for a good amount of the story. It actually works because it would have squicked me out if he’d made the moves on sweet young Cory. I think the progression of their relationship was realistic and the abuse and neglect tugs at your heart so you can’t help but be drawn in.
So I was a little disappointed when about 70% in and the story takes a very dramatic turn. Cory was just irresistible to all different kinds of men throughout the book. It was silly to think a boy would be so beautiful that he would be groped and attacked multiple times in a book. I found a few characters over the top and the big baddie was absolutely unbelievable. It made the sexual assault on Cory truly horrible because it was exaggerated and on page with some PTSD to follow. Oh, and EVERYBODY pushed him to go out with this snake or was too big of a coward to speak up and tell Cory he didn’t have to. Basically that one thing dropped the rating of the book for me. It was all so unbelievable. I could have over looked the “everybody wants Cory so bad they have to molest him in public” stuff if it weren’t for Steven’s storyline because the book was that good. It did get back on track towards the end but I was so annoyed by then it just never made its way back to level it was at before.
I think this book could have been an excellent read if not for that one part. The love story was so beautiful. The MCs were made for each other and they only wanted each other but each had issues that they had to work through. I’m torn about reading the next book strictly because I don’t want to have to think about the ridiculous baddie that never should have been. 😦
Rated 3.5 stars by Whit