(This book falls into my M/M Reading Challenge)
Awhile back, Kris over at Kris-n-Good Books held a contest, and offered a copy of several books. I won Jude in Chains. At first, I wasn't sure about this one, the premise seemed like kind of a downer...but as is becoming all too familiar - I was wrong! I tore through this book in less than a day!
From Dreamspinner Press:
Hoping further to expose the fallacy of "reparative therapy" for non-heterosexuals, writer Misha Tzerko enrolls in a weeklong program at the Stronger Wings Camp and Conference Center. He's already lost a long-term boyfriend to the ex-gay movement—Robbie abandoned him for a straight life complete with wife—and for his own closure as well as his job at Options magazine, Misha intends to get an inside look at the ministry established by C. Everett Hammer III.
Misha is shocked and dismayed to find someone else from his past at Stronger Wings, a man with whom he shared two brief but captivating encounters. He knows he can’t save everyone in the program, but he's determined to save Jude Stone... no matter what it takes.
Misha is a gay reporter whose last serious lover left him to persue a relationship with a woman. He's getting ready to head out to a "reconditioning program*" to make gay men straight. He's going to pose as a straight reporter so that the founder will allow him to stay and interact with the clients. Right after he signs in, he runs into Jude, whom he'd met two years earlier at a wedding - it had been instant attraction but he never saw Jude again, until they meet at the program.
Jude had parental issues at the time of the wedding, and apparently they'd gotten worse. He's at Stronger Wings because he doesn't want to be gay anymore, he doesn't want his parents to be disgusted by him anymore.
The times Misha spends with Jude during the week, just talking about themselves and their pasts are so tender and sweet. As Jude fights his attraction to Misha, Misha falls harder for Jude. The interactions between Misha and the other camp "residents" are pretty funny. I especially liked Ash and Samuel. Hammer made a great bad guy - I have my doubts about him :)
Misha had a great sense of humor. Near the end of the story, Misha decides to dance, and chooses his dance partner thusly:
"She'd been eyeing me, so I figured she was an ace in the hole. Not my hole, of course, but whatever hole aces went into."
The ending was a bit fantastic, but oh, so funny. And hopeful. It was a bit open-ended but I think there's an HEA there.
I give Jude in Chains 4 out of 5 stars! Thank you so much Kris for introducing me to KZ Snow's books, I will definitely be going back for more!
*I have to add that the name of the facility - Stronger Wings - kept making me think of the Big Brother-type organization in the movie Role Models - Sturdy Wings (my adolescent sense of humor loves this movie!).