Book Reviews

Truth & Betrayal by K.C. Wells

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Interracial / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 06-August-2018

Book Blurb

All the light went out of Jake’s life when his older brother Caleb died in a traffic accident. Getting through the aftermath was always going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done, but finding out that the tall stranger at the graveside was the one driving the car? At least Jake now has a target for all the rage inside him. Because the man responsible for stealing Caleb’s light from the world has no right to intrude on their grief.

Liam had known deep down that it was a mistake to go to Tennessee, but he’d hoped saying goodbye to Caleb would ease the pain inside him. The hostile reception from Caleb’s family and friends comes as no surprise, and Liam flees before things get ugly. They obviously know nothing of Caleb’s life in Atlanta, and maybe it’s better that way. Caleb’s secrets can die with him.

When Jake turns up at Caleb’s apartment to collect his brother’s possessions, what he discovers is the first shock in what is to be a series of revelations, turning Jake’s world upside down. New knowledge brings fresh pain and anguish.

Jake isn’t the only one who’s hurting…

Book Review

‘Truth & Betrayal’ is a tale of loss and dealing with grief, coming to terms with who you are, and finding love in the most unexpected places. It is the story of Jake, a young man who loses the older brother he adores to a traffic accident and, trying to find out more, goes on a journey of discovery that changes his understanding of who Caleb was in life as well as who Jake wants to be as he turns from a boy into a man. There are surprises as Jake deals with the truth of his brother’s life and his own, unexpected new friends, obstacles to what he wants to do, and painful progress. It is a slow process, very realistically done, and the characters are as complicated and multifaceted as you would expect in a novel that has almost literary depth.

Jake is nineteen, has a secret he has not dare share with anyone, and lives with his homophobic parents in a small town in Tennessee where bigots rule. He is totally derailed when his older brother, Caleb, dies in a fluke car accident, and when the tall, black driver turns up at the gravesite things get ugly. It takes Jake weeks to begin to recover from his loss, and his parents seem to not even want to try. But then his curiosity wins out and he decides to visit Caleb’s apartment in Atlanta, Georgia to retrieve his stuff – and maybe find some answers. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: Liam was Caleb’s roommate and lover and for the first time in his life Jake has someone to discuss his own sexuality with.

Liam only wanted to say goodbye to Caleb when he went to the funeral, but he quickly understands that may have been a mistake, at least in Caleb’s family’s eyes. Liam is determined to deal with his pain on his own, as difficult as that turns out to be. When Jake turns up in Atlanta, it sets in motion a process that Liam never expected and raises questions about himself, his past relationship with Caleb, and his own future that take Liam a while to answer.

Jake and Liam have a lot to deal with in this novel: their own pain, other people’s perceptions when they admit they are attracted to each other, and the question of whether this attraction is real and can last. Liam’s friends and parents are amazing people and mostly supportive, Jake’s parents and “friends” turn out to be the obstacles Jake expected them to be, but above all it is Jake’s and Liam’s growth that had me spellbound. They are both on an emotional journey that is anything but easy, and I held my breath more than once, even though I was sure it wouldn’t change anything.

If you like coming-of-age stories with multilayered characters whose growth is as painful as it is rewarding to watch, if you think two young men who share a (very different) love for a man who died too young deserve a chance, and if you’re looking for an emotional roller coaster that goes from sad to hopeful in leaps and bounds, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s a character study and very sweet, subtle romance at the same time and I think it’s a compelling read.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 403 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-August-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
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