Review: Burnt Reflections by J. Roman
Publish Date: November 19, 2014
Reviewed by: Heller
How I got this book: E-Arc from Publisher
“For Scotty Riesen, hiding his sexuality in Ma’s Trick, Louisiana hasn’t been easy, given his secret relationship with his next-door neighbor, football star, and fellow closet case, Jean Lafitte. One night he decides that living in the closet is no way to go through life. He comes out, but he isn’t prepared for the backlash from his parents and friends.
Scotty takes a bus to New Orleans to make a new life for himself. Playing janitor and dancing boy at the gay bar Burnt Reflections is a lot better than living on the street, but he can’t forget Jean Lafitte no matter how many men throw themselves at him.Despite everything, Jean Lafitte may yet prove just how far he’s willing to go to make a relationship with Scotty work. Traveling down to New Orleans to find Scotty is just the start of a courtship that won’t be stopped by anything less than a Louisiana hurricane.”
This is what I would classify as a New Adult book, not really my favourite type of book to read but I thought I’d give it a try, I’m glad I did because it really won me over. Scotty Riesen and Jean Lafitte are young men in love and living in the small town of Ma’s Trick, Louisiana. Jean is the star quarterback and is dating the head cheerleader, he sees Scotty on the down low. Scotty is tired of hiding so he outs himself to his family and is kicked out their house. What follows is him being outed to the school by Jean which leads to endless torment by his classmates so he leaves town to try his chances in New Orleans.
Things were always just skirting the edge of the worst possible scenario for Scotty’s choices which made it have a bit a fairytale like quality to it. I like that things are tough for him when he’s trying to make his way: leaving home, living on the streets, becoming a go-go dancer, dating a drug pusher/pimp but I kept waiting for something really horrible to happen. That made it a bit of tense read for me, I enjoyed the first run but I think I’ll end up enjoying my re-reads even more knowing that I’m not waiting for the hammer to fall.
Great descriptive writing and natural dialogue made this an easy read for me. I loved all the characters, the MCs and the secondary ones, Scotty Nana was pretty wonderful throughout the story. This could have been a lot uglier but I’m glad that we only got a taste of what could have been. Jean has his moments to shine as well, which he really needed. I wasn’t sure how he could be redeemed for the outing and some of this actions in Ma’s Trick but I found him more endearing as the read progressed. I also really liked how he confronted Scotty when they got home from their Christmas trip because he was tired of trying to prove himself worthy and worried about the state of their relationship. They definitely needed that talk and moved their relationship to more adult footing. I could read more about a lot of the characters introduced here: Butch and Tony, Jean’s older brother, the bar bathroom rescue guy. I really liked the flow and style, I’d definitely read more from this author.
I’m giving “Burnt Reflections” a B