Layla Wolfe returns to the blog today with the fifth title in her Bent Zealots MC series: this one far different than I expected. Please read on for my review of
A Cuddly Toy
Let me get this part out of the way: if you are OFFENDED by any of the following – DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. Period. End of. Homosexuality – the act or the fantasies, foul mouths, obvious displays of domination, submission, bullying and violence. You won’t like this book – for it has all of that and more: a storyline that brings the best intentions to right wrongs of long standing, and the search of two men to find acceptance and a place in a world that will be shocked, dismissive and discriminatory. Well, any but the world of the Bent Zealots.
Freemont was a whiz kid in the geologic field – after flying through MIT and a stint at the EPA his reputation is on the rise. Thing was – he wasn’t happy: facing questions and deeply held fantasies that he never shared with his wife. Unfortunately, he didn’t share these by speaking, but by acting – and his wife was more than vocal with her coworkers (who were also his) and anyone else who cared to listen, and probably many who didn’t. But, his boss – a seriously overblown, egomaniacal fool reminiscent of another blowhard in the news, is using his new ‘shame’ to manipulate and control (even more than usual) his discovery of Uranium in what are now abandoned mine areas scattered throughout the Navajo reservation.
Noel immigrated from Ireland to New York when young, had a youth (and years after) spent doing the wrong thing, gaining a well-deserved reputation as a tough guy, take no prisoners, bend to my will sort of man. Realizing he’d lost his humanity and way, he joined the seminary in an attempt to find peace and give back. When the Catholic church, in an effort to manage this wild child with an unusual take on the gospel and his calling, with increasingly remote postings and assignments, and a relationship with another priest came to light – he left that church, took up another religion that was more tolerant of him as a complete being, and he’s ended up in Bent Zealots territory, a small church on the reservation. Prone to riding his Fatboy with his cassock and collar, he’d been hoping and waiting for something and someone to help him make a real mark and difference.
With Freemont’s arrival, the dire circumstances that surround the “Navajo Neuopathy” come to light, Uranium waste, tailings and sludge are poisoning the reservation and it’s people – grazing lands, housing, even wells. But, Freemont’s boss is only interested in the increase in the price for Uranium – demanding he find new veins of the dangerous mineral for his company to exploit. Morally, Freemont is stuck in the middle – he wants to tell the EPA and get the land cleared, and he can’t seem to reconcile the Navajo’s belief that he was sent to save them, combined with the attraction for Noel, and his repeated statements that Freemont is the one who can bring change. Interpersonally, Freemont’s fear of ‘coming out’ and his lust for the priest fight with his upbringing as a good Jewish boy who works for a man who could destroy him professionally, if not physically threaten him with an over-sized bodyguard reminiscent of Ivan Drago.
Science, the effect of radiation poisoning, the lack of concern for the health and well-being of the people already subjugated with the obscure and racist segregation of reservations, the struggles between morally right and professional suicide, the fear of taking action, a need to deflect and even hide the budding relationship between he and Noel, and the internal struggles that each go through on this meandering path to a life hoped for yet undefined, the story is layered, nuanced and emotionally present. The faith that Noel has in Freemont, a faith that seems to fly in the face of everything that is palpable around them, combined with the real support from both the Bent Zealots and the Navajo is the foundation of the life that the two will build together, as they find a way to happiness. If you’ve read the others in this series: you’ll reconnect with Twinkletoes, yet the Zealots are mostly in the background here as this becomes the journeys of two men finding their way, separate and together, to a life that fulfills, excites and provides happiness.
Title: A Cuddly Toy
Author: Layla Wolfe
Genre: 18+ Read, BDSM, Contemporary Motorcycle Romance - Adult, Erotic Elements, Male / Male
Published by: Quicksilver Books
Published on: 3 February, 2018
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon
He depends on the kindness of strangers.
Fremont: As a mining geologist, I scouted out uranium on the rez. My boss was an unstable tyrant who would tolerate no deviance from his sociopathic plan. I found uranium, all right—making the Navajo hogans glow, their corn shine green from space, their cattle keel over, twisted and deranged.
It was a game-changer when I realized what decades of this poison was doing to the people. And a chance meeting with the white priest who had chosen his own deviance in the desert, well, my destiny was changed forever. I’ve been down, but I haven’t been out.
And Father Moloney is the premier guide to assist me on this coming out journey.
Father Noel: A cancer invaded our land. My parishioners were dying at a high rate, their limbs gnarled, fingers fused together, useless. But I never expected my crisis of faith to come in the form of a built, ripped geologist.
I dreamt of Fremont’s arrival, his backpack bristling with scientific instruments. He holds the future of my congregation in his beautiful hands. Will he go up against the powerful conglomerate, risking health and fortune to help us? More than that, he’s stolen my soul with his vulnerable, down-to-earth honesty.
At first I saw Fremont as a fun distraction, a sort of cuddly toy to play with, to dominate and control. He’s much more than that—he pushes back and has me on my knees. I was sent here to this hellhole as punishment for toying with a subordinate on another rez.
Little did they know this poisonous, gorgeous desert would be my salvation
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.