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Have A Little Faith In Me (2015)

Have A Little Faith In Me (2015)
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3.64 of 5 Votes: 2
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Have A Little Faith In Me (2015)
Have A Little Faith In Me (2015)

About book: ​​​​Have a Little Faith in Me is certainly not going to be for everyone. The role of religion and the bigotry that is all too often justified by it and how it has shaped these men's lives is prominent. And while I am angered by the bigotry we see, I am also heartened by watching the MC's overcome their programming and become happy and healthy individuals, in spite of the obstacles thrown their way.This book starts out in the present time, when Rocky and Dex meet. But then, to give the reader a real taste of how Rocky and Dex really got to where they are and the experiences that shaped them, we then travel back in time to see first hand, events from childhood, and adolescence and then them as young adults finally making their way in the world. I find this method of story telling more powerful than if the MC's just talked about it with each other, and it works better, for me, than using flashbacks, as well. We get to know Rocky and Dex very well this way and we learn what all they had to overcome to get to where they are when we first meet them.When we meet Rocky, he is an out and proud gay man who fronts a rock band. He is who he is and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it. His family is very religious with his father being an especially power hungry and bigoted Evangelical preacher. From the time he was a small child, he had been told that gays and secularists were going to hell and the devil is lurking to take you. Such a dramatic and self centered point of view, if you ask me.His only familial ally growing up was his grandmother, and she, I think, was a bit torn at times, but she never once tried to make him feel less than. She encouraged his art and his music, even when she had to go behind Rocky's father to do it. He was home schooled until his freshman year of high school and that is when he really began to grow into his own person (much to the chagrin of his family). Even way before that, however, he was questioning, at least to himself, the beliefs his family held. Having his eyes opened by so much music while also discovering that he was gay was really a turning point for Rocky and he never looked back.And Dex's family was the very picture of dysfunction. His parents are miserable, his dad a lazy drunk and his siblings practically run wild. The only thing keeping Dex sane was music. Dex had a pretty good idea that he was gay when he found himself attracted to his gay best friend, but Dex was too filled with self loathing over his attraction and church telling him how sinful it was and the obviously closeted preacher encouraging Dex to suppress his feelings. Dex, also, was a very hard worker. He really wanted a chance to make his life better and when he lucks into an opportunity to make music professionally, he jumps at it. Being the leader of a country music band, though, is not exactly conducive to Dex finally accepting who he is and so he remains closeted. Dex and Rocky don't actually get together until late in the book, but it was worth the wait. Seeing them together, finally, and seeing them both happy gave me exactly what I needed.

There were some nice turns of phrase and observations, from "...like a cobra dance that Dex couldn't stop watching" to "Dex willed time to dilate,...to justify every extra second;" and, "...self-segregation was more powerful than any law." In two particular cases, Vance did an excellent job at his own distillation of key moments. First, Rocky looked at Dex's face and then the moment was gone. "He'd seen the look on a thousand men, that moment of freedom, of joy in being themselves, that they just as quickly buried, deep in the ground, before someone else did it for them." Second, he noted, "Nothing unleashes the creative process like a period of delirious happiness that shatters a long streak of misery."And, as always, Vance's work is replete with a breath of cultural references, including those that I missed, such as Todd Flanders, Monolith in 2001, and what a Freddy Mercury "We are the Champions" pose looks like.Vance's growth as a writer comes across in how he is beginning to use his grasp of social trends and pop culture icons from the period for a bite to his commentary. We see Rocky ponder two examples, American evangelicals' influence on African governments' persecution of gays and the perceived exploitation of college athletes by their schools. As his characters move beyond just condemnation of the hypocrisy around them to express opinions through the lens of their own sexual identity from the margins of society they take on added dimensionality."The whole system is all about sinning. You can have the sin, as long as you're punished. The system needs you to sin." One of the smartest choices was having Rocky's father represent the changing messages from opponents of marriage equality, which went through dramatic changes during the past decade and a half in which the story unfolded. It framed the idea that the personal is political quite effectively.A few rough spots remain in phrases like "A stone, a boulder, in each of their guts, alchemically transformed into something lighter than air, and release from the body..." Vance manages to tug heart-strings with this latest melody and develop his craft. Well done.
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Reviews
Liz
Not the author's bestCompared to other romances by this author-a bit lacking. Would have given it 3 &1/2 stars if Amazon did halves. Premise is good as are the main characters but I didn't like the execution as much. Too much back story, not enough interaction between the leads. I'd estimate about 3/4 of the book is about the characters (separately) prior to meeting as they deal with how homophobia effects their lives and choices they make. Not bad iIn itself, just too extended. And I thought one MC's about face was too instantaneous considering the brevity of the attraction. (IMO) this novel would have benefited from a good deal more romance, or at least sex before resolution. Speaking of sex- as always from this author - hot. Just not enough here. Not sorry I read it but also not totally satisfying.However, Brad Vance is a good writer. I've really enjoyed most of his other romances and his more straight up porn is good too. Worth checking out his other work.
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
Brad's books are always either a hit or miss with me. This was a definite miss. I wanted a love story. I wanted to see these two people get to know each other and fall in love. What I got was two individual stories. I got to see how these guys grew up. How Rocky dealt with being a preachers kid in the Deep South of Georgia. Finally escaping his fathers clutches and heading off to college. Living as an openly gay man. Joining a band and making a career. How Dex hid being gay, growing up also in the Deep South of Biloxi, MS. I got to see Dex fall in love, only it was with his HS best friend Alex, not Rocky. Surviving Katrina. Getting a record deal and moving his family to Nashville.A good 75% of this book is told in the past tense, before these guys even meet. I understand wanting to tell where your characters come from, and I definitely want a backstory, but honestly by 50%... I was getting pissed! I was ready to throw my iPad or just close the book all together and DNF it. I can't say if the characters had chemistry or not, because we only see them together in MAYBE 4 or 5 scenes. This was not enough time to get to know them as a couple. Bottom line, this was told as two individual autobiographies, not a love story! It wasn't a badly written book, I just didn't get what the blurb offered me!
Kim
So far there isn't a Brad Vance book that I haven't liked and this one was no different. There were things about this one I loved and things that I wasn't crazy about. It was definitely different and I liked it but I really would liked to have had a little more about Dex and Rocky together. The look into their past and all they had to overcome was necessary although at times it did seem to drag a little or be a little more than needed but nonetheless it definitely gave the reader what they needed to understand these two. I will admit it was frustrating to read what they had to overcome and I know that this is a real issue. But, yes there is a but, it was also frustrating that book pretty much had that all of us rednecks are pathetic bigots...and that is just not true. I am perfectly aware being from the south that it is out there but there was just so much blatant labeling of a massive group in general that it annoyed me. I felt like it could have been pointed out that some of us who appear to be your average everyday redneck here in the south would have been there for either Rocky or Dex had they known them. Because some us would have been, granted there are plenty like were portrayed in this book but not all of us think that way and some of us have a big mouth that will and do stand up for Rockys and Dexs that they know.Other than that I loved their story and seeing them get the HEA that they so thoroughly deserved. I just would love to have seen a little more of them getting that HEA and it would have been absolutely perfect.
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