Private Display of Affection
Title: Private Display of Affection
Author: Winter Sandberg
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.
At a summer job he meets and befriends Kevin Magnus, and before long, their friendship becomes something more. Kevin knows this will anger his overbearing father, so he decides to protect his secret by dating a girl at school.
Hugo plays along, but it’s still hard to watch the two of them together just to make Kevin’s homophobic father happy. And when Hugo’s father dies, he realizes he can’t go on living the lie. He comes clean to Kevin, who decides Hugo’s true feelings are more important than his father’s expectations.
One fact remains: Kevin and Hugo’s relationship must always be hidden behind friendship, lies, girlfriends, or secret kisses. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings?
Adapted as a Young Adult edition of the novel Spark by Posy Roberts, published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013
Review: I want to give Private Display of Affection all the stars, all the love to this perfectly crafted book. It is so much more than a romance.
Winter Sandberg you are amazing! I couldn’t help but fall in love with Kevin and Hugo, especially Hugo. I marked a new reading record with this one, couldn’t put it down.
I felt the butterflies, all of them. I felt Kevin´s pain as if it were my own. He tried so hard to please his father; he sacrificed so much of himself for a father that in the end was not worthy of Kevin´s love and sadly didn’t know his son at all.
And again, the family unit in Hugo´s case is strong, a mother that is open to her children, a mom that does not run scared from discussing safe sex. A father that even facing the worst point in his life, takes the time to love and accept his son fully. Leaving nothing but love and warmth after his departure.
I love the “Gay Sanctuary” concept; find a place for these boys to be true to themselves. A place where they felt completely accepted, and loved. And where they could enjoy their love, and explore their new relationship.
The secrets and lies will eventually hurt their feelings, hearts will get broken. But their love is strong and deep, they know it and we as readers know it too.
I got to the end and wanted MORE! Like, so much more. Not because the story was missing something, but because I didn’t want to let them go.
Thankfully, there are several books, with more adult content that follows the story of Kevin and Hugo and what the futures bring them.
The writing is beautiful, the romance is sweet and innocent, the character development goes hand in hand with their transition and their life changes. These are characters that will stay with me for a long time.
Reviewed by Connie