Category Archives: Marie Sexton

TRAILER TRASH by MARIE SEXTON

Standalone MM

TRAILER TRASH by MARIE SEXTON is available to purchase below
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trailer trash 21st March

SYNOPSIS

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

* * * *

Trailer Trash

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.’

Set in 1986, in the time of home-made cassette tapes and the growing AIDS epidemic is a beautiful coming of age love story. A friends to lover’s story with an ugly and painful setting – violence, poverty, ignorance and judgement.

Trailer Trash had such a strong element of realness and was very character driven. Beautifully written with a melancholy yet hopeful tone of voice from two lads who came from very different sides of the socio economic divide. We remember the 80’s well and connected to so many parts of this story, little things like making a cassette tape for the one you loved with poignant songs on it that explained how you felt. We remembered when MTV was actually about the music. We read as our own memories bombarded us yet we stayed engrossed in the story of Cody and Nate in an environment so foreign yet so vividly drawn.

“Nothing good can live in this town. It all gets stomped to dust in the end.”

Nate arrives in Warren, Wyoming with his Dad after a family situation forces them to do so. It really was a heart-breaking story that brought us tears. What awaits Nate is quite a life-changing discovery in so many ways. Nate is at a crossroads in life, a life he just doesn’t know how to fit into.  Although at times Nate came across quite naïve and somewhat childish, his heart was big and he just wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with what becomes his reality and the self-realisations he was facing in regards to his friendship with Cody.

‘Homo. Queer. Faggot. Pansy. I can’t be one of those things!’

Cody’s never had it easy and everything about him and his life broke us. He lives in ‘the hole’ the worst part of the trailer park with his Mum who really was quite an enigma until she came good. She really peeved us off through the majority of this story, however, we never really thought she had a bad heart and she proved us right when it mattered. Cody knows who he is and all this lad wants is to get out of the hole he lives in and be left alone. But does he? He’s so used to people letting him down or using him he likes to stay under the radar. That is until Nate moves into town.

‘It wasn’t that his mom didn’t try, but he suspected she’d learned long ago to do what he was doing now: killing everything inside. Locking away any dream of a real life was the only way to survive. There was no such thing as hope. There was just this moment, bleeding into the next, and into the next….’

Nate and Cody’s friendship was a bit fairy-tale like to begin with; the modern day prince and the pauper but it became so much more and it really did both break our hearts and make them soar equally. Being ‘different’ is never easy no matter how or why under any circumstance. Survival and happiness being unaffordable luxuries. Strength perseverance but ultimately the beauty of love can truly make the difference that lifts the human spirit in adversity.

“The only thing you’ve ever done is had the bad luck to be born to two lousy parents in a place that can’t accept you for who you are.”

 * * * *

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Marie Sexton, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

ONE MORE SOLIDER by MARIE SEXTON

one more soldier cover

SYNOPSIS

It is 1963. Being gay is a sin against God. And twenty-eight year old mechanic Will meets Bran for the first time.

Over the years a close bond forms between them despite the seventeen year age difference. Will teaches Bran to swim and helps him with homework. The years pass, Bran drops out of school and moves away.

Then Bran comes home. Can Will move past their age difference? And if he does, how can he keep Bran in 1970 America?

A beautifully told tale of love and loss told from the viewpoint of a deeply closeted gay man at the very beginning of the American Gay and Lesbian Rights movement.

soldier

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

Gitte & Jenny : 5 Stars 

Gitte: One More Soldier is one of those stories, that despite being so short, every word counts and packs a punch. It was hard hitting, it touched upon a sensitive topic and it has incredible heart. I fell in complete book love, and reading it in one sitting, my emotions spiralled so quickly, I may have forgotten to breathe followed by the flood gates opening. Seriously Jenny, I think we just cried on the phone to each other when we finished, we couldn’t even talk right? An absolutely beautiful and heart felt story that leaves you thinking about the characters for days after, wanting to re-read it to see if anything has changed, hoping it has….GAH I’m sobbing writing this!

“I wished I was brave like him. I wished I was strong. I wished I could make a difference.” – Will

Jenny: The phrase “quality over quantity” couldn’t be more apt than in this story.  What it lacks in numerous pages, it more than makes up for in execution and emotion.  This story is told with so much realness and feeling that yes Gitte, talking about it afterwards on the phone was indeed emotional. The story is so flawlessly told and elicited such a high level of emotion from me. What an experience this story was.

“I worked with a black guy on the ranch. He was always talking about a ‘race war’. Well our people are fighting a war too….. There are men like us living their lives out in the open. Not hiding at all. Every single one of them is a soldier in our war.” -Bran

Gitte: Marie Sexton writes outstanding characters. They have such depth and you really feel you know them. I have to say I’m in awe at just what this Author can manage to convey in such few words. It truly was inspirational. I love this Author’s writing!! Don’t you agree Jenny?

Jenny: Absolutely Gitte. I admire any author who can draw a reader in, have you feel part of a story and have you experience such an intense level of feeling, awe is most definitely a perfect description of Marie Sexton’s writing talent.

Gitte: I actually don’t feel like there’s much we can say about this story without spoiling it other than the fact that it’s a must read for m/m readers. The emotion is intense and heartfelt as you’re taken on a journey with two brilliant characters that show love, devotion and courage in the face of so many social obstacles. It truly was beautiful, Bran and Will stole my heart!!

“It’s okay to be scared…” – Will

JennyThere really isn’t anything we can add except to say this is an absolutel MUST READ for lovers of this genre. Intense, emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking with a message that bears repeating time and time again.  So much emotion and richness in such a short story.  Bran and Will. Special characters in a truly special story.

 

ONE MORE SOLDIER by MARIE SEXTON
Amazon us || Amazon uk
one more soldier

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Filed under 5 Stars, Marie Sexton, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Family Man by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton

family man

SYNOPSIS

Sometimes family chooses you.

How does a man get to be forty without knowing whether he’s gay? That’s a question Vince Fierro is almost afraid to answer. If he is gay, it’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, he can’t help but wonder if he’s been playing for the wrong team.

There’s only one way to settle it, once and for all—head for Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek to the sultry strains of Coltrane, Trey finds himself wanting to help Vinnie figure things out—no promises, and no sex.

It seems like a simple plan, until their “no-sex” night turns into the best date of their lives and forges a connection that complicates everything.

Warning: This book deals with alcoholism, broken promises, and overbearing little sisters. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte – 5 stars

Gitte: I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one Jenny. First of all, I love everything Heidi Cullinan writes and I keep being recommended titles by Marie Sexton. Also, I absolutely LOVE this cover so I was extremely excited to start it. I was NOT disappointed. I absolutely loved Family Man. It was a refreshing change to some of the recent M/M stories I have read; the writing style was perfect; it was emotional and beautiful. It had everything you could possibly want to feel and experience when reading. I loved the characters, I connected with them both and their story was addictive and had me hooked from the start. It was pretty perfect but I advise getting those tissues handy!

Jenny:   Same here Gitte.  I fell in love with Heidi’s writing style in Dance With Me and wanted more! Marie Sexton had come highly recommended to us and we’ve been dying to read some of her books and what a perfect way to be introduced to this author. This book for me was perfection.   Like you, the cover immediately drew me in, it’s gorgeous!   When I finished this book the first word that popped into my head was “breathtaking“.  The characters were so sincere and so genuinely beautiful, the story so real and I just can’t say enough how much I loved this book, how much I enjoyed this whole reading experience.  And yes…definitely have some tissues on hand.

Gitte: This is Vince and Trey’s story; two characters who grew up under entirely different circumstances very much like night and day in respect to their families, their life style and their confidence and actions. Vince comes from a huge loving Italian family, the kind that rounds the troupe up when one of their own is going through troubles. Trey on the other hand has been struggling through life, his Dad died at a young age so he has lived and endured an alcoholic Mum which has marred his life and seen him having to grow up way to fast.  The only constant has been his loving Grandmother.

Vince is older than Trey and has been married several times but these marriages have never lasted long. Nothing has ever seemed right for him though, he has felt inadequate and confused until a specific event makes him question everything including himself.

Vince decides to try and figure himself out – his sexuality to be exact, prompted by a heart to heart with his sister. He finds himself in a bar trying to work out if he is crazy or going through a phase when he bumps into Trey who is a familiar face from his family’s restaurant. Their journey pretty much begins on this night when Vince makes a realisation and knows he is attracted to Trey who sparks his mind and body to life. Trey sees something he has been missing and he knows he wants Vince because this man represents everything he believes in, makes him feel safe, accepted for his morals and ultimately he feels protected.

Jenny:  The thing I loved about Marie and Heidi’s writing in this story is that I could picture everything.  They gave us enough without giving too much. They enabled me to live this story rather than just read it.  When Vince was talking to his sister Rachel (who I just adored!) I felt like was leaning up against the wall having a ciggy with them, that I was more or less eavesdropping in on their conversation.  I felt like a willing participant in every snippet of conversation. I felt it all.

Vince and Trey are very different but if felt as if they were only really whole when they were together.  Like two missing parts of the puzzle.  These characters and their stories really did take a piece of my heart.  I adored them both for different reasons.  The stoic, tortured and sensitive Trey who had so much to contend with on those young shoulders rendered me speechless.  I wanted to reach in the pages and hug him, tell him everything was going to be okay.  I was so moved and felt so much for this beautiful soul and his struggles

“Don’t wait up” I said.  I didn’t bother to acknowledge the disappointment on her face.  God knew she’d never bothered to acknowledge mine. (Trey)

And promise.  That’s the worst one of all. Because a promise is supposed to be real. A vow. Almost sacred. (Trey)

Conflicted Vince.  I just loved this man.  Nearing forty with three failed marriages behind him and questioning his sexuality and the strong feelings he has towards Trey. This man had a heart the size of Texas.  For all the inner turmoil he was feeling, this man never wavered in his support of Trey. He knew just how much to give and when to pull back.  He was like a breath of fresh air for Trey.

This beautiful man had denied his feelings and the fear of coming out the closet to his large Italian family weighed heavily on his mind and the one thing I got out of this was that it all felt so real.  None of it felt contrived. You really could actually visualize and feel Vince facing his family and it was all done with such warmth, sincerity and sensitivity. So moving.

“I want to promise you the world, but I know you hate promises” (Vince)

Hope is a lie. All hope does it make it easier for them to crush you (Trey)

Gitte: I loved Vince and Trey with all my heart. Their story not only made me smile but the obstacles placed in their path broke my heart and I cried so many tears for them, both happy and gutted.

These two Authors wrote this story with such passion and emotion that I inhaled every word with a lump in my throat, wanting to keep reading to see them get their HEA. I cannot recommend this M/M story highly enough so if you enjoy this genre then this one is a sure must read.

Jenny:  This story was flawless.  All these characters stole my heart. It was a story of love, hope, strength and honesty combined with deep emotion, affection and passion.  I hung on every word and I ached for these two beautiful men.  I hoped with them and I loved with them and I certainly shed many tears for them – both happy and sad.  This is up there as one of my favorite M/M reads.  It definitely hit the mark for me.  I loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough.

 

FAMILY MAN by HEIDI CULLINAN
Amazon us || Amazon uk family man

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Filed under 5 Stars, Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny