Christian by Andria Large
Series: The Beck Brothers #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Nothing scared Christian Beck more than his brothers finding out that he was gay. How could he ever tell his three big, buff, women-loving brothers that he was into dudes? What if they thought it was disgusting? What if they disowned him? He loved his brothers so much and couldn’t bear to lose them.
His only problem? He was in love with his best friend, who was now his boyfriend. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with this man. He hated having to hide their relationship, but what choice did he have? It was either hide his relationship or risk losing his family.
Shea Dempsey’s life has been turned upside down and inside out. First, his parents and sister were killed a couple years back, leaving him without any blood relatives. Now, the one person who he considered his only family told him that he was in love with him. The only issue? It was his best friend Christian, who’s gay. So when Christian told him that they could no longer be friends, Shea made a decision that would forever change him. He decided to become Christian’s boyfriend, because honestly, he would do anything to keep his best friend, even if that meant switching teams.
As their relationship became more involved, Shea realized that he really enjoyed being with men…okay, maybe not all men, but definitely Christian. But he didn’t want to hide what they had together. The only problem was that Christian would not budge on the subject and refused to tell his family about them. Shea didn’t know how long he could live in secret. Will their years of friendship and love for each other be enough? Or will the ultimatum that Shea gives Christian end everything for good?
mixed feelings regarding this “gay for you” romance between two best friends…
I think my enjoyment of this book was immediately soured in the opening pages by the “moment of truth” between the couple, and I’m not sure it ever completely recovered.
Let’s break it down:
Christian is the youngest brother in a gregarious family. He is gay, his family is completely unaware of his sexuality, and he is hopelessly in love with his straight best friend Shea.
Shea is an orphan, he lost his entire family in a house fire a few years back. If it wan’t for the support of the Beck family – and his best friend Christian in particular – Shea might not have survived the loss of his family.
In the opening pages, Shea and Christian find themselves (drunk) at the wedding of Christian’s older brother. With all the love surrounding him, Christian resolves to finally tell his best friend the truth – that he is in love with him.
But before Christian can get the words out, Shea drops a bombshell.
“You know, I have always wondered what it would be like to kiss you,” Shea murmured huskily into the dark, his mouth mere inches from Christian’s.
Christian’s eyes flew open. He was about to ask Shea what the hell he was talking about, but instead Shea kissed him.
That sounds like a great book right?
Neat set up with the life-long friends?
This is going to be beautiful and awesome right?
Right after this forbidden kiss which might have propelled a beautiful love story, Christian decides to say that if he can’t be in a relationship with Shea (who I will remind you again is straight) that the pair can no longer be friends. Mind you, Shea has been his BEST FRIEND for over twenty years.
“So you’re saying that the only way to keep you in my life is to be in a relationship with you? Shea asked, taking a step forward.
Christian frowned as he thought about is. “I guess, I don’t see any other way,”
Shea feels like Christian is the most important friend in his life. So faced with the threat of losing his best friend forever…
“Then let’s do it. If that is the only way that you want me in your life, then I’m going to take it. You are the only family I have, and I can’t lose you, Christian. So, if you want me to be your boyfriend, then that’s what I’m going to be,” he said firmly.
That’s emotional blackmail. How can you claim to love someone and expect them to change who they are to suit your needs? How can you claim to love someone and push them away like that?
I immediately lost respect for Christian for being so selfish and callous. And, I couldn’t really respect Shea after that since he just jumped right in and acquiesced to the absurd demand.
It didn’t really get much better after that…
Shea embraces the new relationship, but Christian doesn’t believe he would “turn gay” over night (no kidding!) so he keeps expecting Shea to bail…
Christian is neurotic to a fault – mood swings, panic attacks, and of course he feels the need to hide his sexuality from his family.
There were HUGE dramatic plot twists later in the book which helped to lend some sympathy to the characters, but by that point I was jaded by their ridiculous behavior, and could never really appreciate the characters or their relationship…
In addition to all this, numerous errors in the writing dug an even bigger hole for the story to try to climb out of… I read the whole thing; I did not “DNF” this book. There were some adorable moments between the two (“two-four-three” was a lovely addition) and we get our HEA…
If you read the previous books in the Beck Brothers Series and enjoyed them, by all means – read this book. However, if this is your first book in the series, I cannot recommend this book.