Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 324 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: The Light in Your Eyes: Book One
Fifteen-year-old Theo Bascopolis longs for the man of his dreams. But his dreams are dashed when his conservative Greek father discovers Theo is gay and throws him out. Hopeless, he falls in with Fast Franky, a pimp who seduces Theo with the nickname “Sweetcheeks,” but abuses him and wants Theo to hustle. A bloody fight with Franky forces Sweetcheeks to run. Winding up in Washington, DC, he meets a group of rent boys who take care of each other. While he may not have the man of his dreams, Theo finally has a home and family of his own making.
When the boys take in mysterious tenant Mark Vincent, he seems a solid protector, until one of Sweetcheeks’s boys suffers a savage beating in his name. Vincent visits the boy in the hospital and introduces his equally enigmatic trainee, William Matheson. The instant attraction blindsides Sweetcheeks. In spite of knowing love isn’t for rent boys, Sweetcheeks hopes Matheson sees beyond the body he’s offered to so many. But Matheson has secrets of his own, and both will have to tear down their walls to find enduring love.
Review: Raise your hand if Tinnean is an auto-buy for you… Me too. I have to tell you I read her the first time after a book rec from Cardeno C and was hooked. If I could decorate my kindle folder that is labeled “Tinnean”, with little hearts and flowers, I would. I adore her voice.
This book shattered me. I read the first page, set it down, got a cup of coffee, gave myself a pep talk, grabbed a box of tissue, and then sat down to read. And didn’t get up until it was done. Parenting? Dinner? Bedtime? Screw it, I had to read this book.
We are brought into the voice of Theo, very quickly our hearts break as we watch his family throw him out onto the streets and him be picked up by a pimp. From there Theo becomes Sweetcheeks, or Sweets. He learned how to survive. What rips your heart out is the honesty of his voice. The knowledge of who he is and what he has had to do to survive. It’s gripping and overwhelming.
I have to say I read this book and felt I was sitting down listening to a friend tell me his life story. The day to day of being a rent boy and not just surviving but thriving. Sweets is amazing.
He found a savior in Tom, his second housemate who became his mentor. He learns so much and becomes a mentor to other young men. And then tragedy strikes and he meets Matheson. Matheson falls for Sweets. He sees him as more than just a rent boy, he sees the man. They start there and then grow into such a beautiful story of lovers finding their place and home in each other.
We know something is up with Matheson. One of the things I love about Tinnean’s voice is she doesn’t give away all the answers. She makes us pay attention and listen to the characters. What they are saying. What they aren’t saying. She give us mystery in the lives she creates and this book is no different.
This book has everything. I walked around for days unable to read anything else after I finished. It was brilliant and beautiful.
Reviewed by Beans