Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review: Jude in Chains by KZ Snow

(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!).


  1. I really enjoyed this one - glad you did, too!!

  2. Open ending, hum, not sure about those.
    But I am glad you enjoyed it, sounds like a nice one

  3. I was like you because I generally steer clear of any religious wackjob themed books but it was such a good read. KZ had a real sense of humour. I just chuckled again at that line you quoted about the ace in the hole. So glad you enjoyed it. If you want to try more of KZ's work I highly recommend The Prayer Waltz, beautiful story.

  4. I've been eying this one for awhile, the blurb wasn't speaking to me so I moved on. Nice review P, I think I'll put this back on my to read list.

  5. Like you I didn't think I'd want to read this one, based on the backblurb. After reading your fab review I do though.

  6. I am so glad that you liked this, Patti. :)

    I think why it does work so well as a theme is because of KZ's sense of humour and her great way with words. This made it, to me, a meaningful engagement with the theme and not overly preachy.

    I said some where else that my favourite line of the book: "Damn it, Jude, I just wish you loved who you are as much as I do." I love that. :)

  7. I will download this book Patti, I saw it over at Jenre's a while back and it attracted me. I've heard a great deal about Ms. Snow's work. I must give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I loved that line too Kris. Hits on so many points in so many people's lives.

  9. Chris: I was very pleasantly surprised!

    Blodeuedd: It was a nice ending tho. :)

    Tam: The blurb doesn't do this book justice. (and yes, I LOLd at the "ace in the hole" line).

    Smokinhotbooks: It was good - try it!

    Janna: Give it a go - it was very good.

    Kris: Thanks again, I really enjoyed it. I did like that line too, it was so touching.

    Lea: Yay - I'd be curious to know how you liked it!