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The Strength of a Man Paperback – September 15, 2012
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"I thought his parents were realistically portrayed (unfortunately for those who thought they were loved unconditionally) and mom especially, gravitating from one end to the other, trying to find a balance, was a true life character. Kurt is so lucky to have James, and James is lucky to have Kurt. Recommended." - Hearts on Fire Reviews
"This story, while it isn't something that I would usually pick up was written very well with a lot of care for real issues. It walked a very fine edge for me. It could have spectacularly failed in several ways, but I think this author really pulled it off and I ended up really liking it." - The Armchair Reader
"I liked the slow progression of their relationship and James' desire to be a friend first. When Kurt's mother finally starts to come around, their interaction is heartbreaking. His mom was very well developed and showed a wide range of reactions from shock, denial, anger, hurt, rejection, and gradual acceptance." - Outlaw Reviews
"I have to say I'm impressed by this short story. She really captures the angst and emotional trauma that one of her heroes, Kurt, goes through, and even though they're a lot of things going on with him, it's not overly done and the romance between Kurt and James really made this a lovely read." - Top 2 Bottom Reviews
About the Author
Sara Winters began reading at three, writing fiction at six and had become totally immersed in the idea of creating new worlds before becoming fully aware of her place in this one. Writing has always been her number one love, bringing hours of enjoyment and earning her the privilege of being able to connect with people from all walks of life with just a few descriptive sentences. When she allows herself to spend time in the real world, she is a professional procrastinator with half a dozen unfinished novels and ideas for two dozen more.
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James has been attracted to Kurt since day one, but his ongoing reluctance to engage in more than heavy petting is putting a strain on their new romance. James is willing to wait as long as he needs to for Kurt to open up to him physically, but his reluctance to trust James with his heart and emotions just might be what breaks them apart.
A well written novella length story, the honestly portrayed emotions and flawed human behaviors is what makes this story as engaging as it is heart-wrenching to read. Love, like life, is a journey that can be harrowing at times. It's who we choose to take with us on that journey that will make or break us in the end.
A copy of The Strength of a Man was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book started off so beautifully. The first scene was very well written and left me with a clear picture of a man who is in the middle of some deep emotional upheaval. Kurt is on the swim team and due to his problems his performance is lacking. He thinks he's about to be tossed off the team. But instead his coach enlist James, a teammate to help him out.
Their fist session is right after this first scene. Kurt goes from depressed to not being able to concentrate because James is touching him while giving technique instruction in an instant. At this point I had no indication James was feeling anything other than instructor/trainee feelings. From there the story went to a goodnight kiss and soon after they were boyfriends. I kept thinking I missed something.
Kurt has had a few bad experiences prior to this and has a problem moving forward. James is really understanding and wants Kurt to see someone to talk to. And he does see a doctor -once-.
One of Kurt's problems is that he came out and family and friends abandoned him. During this story his mom is trying to reconnect, but Kurt is too hurt to let her. I thought he was being a brat!
The whole story is set during a period of several weeks, so to me it just didn't make sense. There was very little of James background to get a sense of him. I didn't believe the "'I love you's", and there really wasn't much in the story but the question of when they would go all the way.
I needed more meat in this story.
Kurt is a freshman on the varsity swim team at NYU. He has only been at school a few weeks, but they've been bad weeks. He left a letter at his Philly home telling his parents that he was gay, and their response was to shut him out. Kurt's tension and frustration is translating to his swimming, so the coach has team captain, James, give Kurt some extra technique training.
James is an openly gay man. He's certainly attracted to Kurt, but Kurt doesn't know James that well, and is embarrassed by his own arousal whenever they train together--at least until James tells him the feelings are mutual. They begin to date, but whenever they get close to sex Kurt defers. It seems that his two previous lovers were callous and hurt him, physically and emotionally.
James wants to be better than that--and he really sees the beauty in waiting for Kurt, if Kurt will seek some counseling. Kurt is reluctant, but recognizes that he has a lot of emotional issues--not the least of which is abandonment, after being left by his lovers and disowned by his family/friends. With time, patience and therapy Kurt mends, and he and James find a true connection with each other.
It's a slow building, tender romance with a solid HEA. Kurt really learns to overcome his fears, and James is as much a friend as a lover. I enjoyed this story very much. It's a short, but sweet, tale.
Most recent customer reviews
Great job well done
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.Read more
Kurt Dennings is damaged goods.Read more