Rating: 4 stars
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Sid Love makes his debut in the m/m fiction world with the release of his novella, Holding on to Hope. With a few twists and turns this imaginative story held enough surprises to keep me hanging on, eager to see what would happen next. The story revolves around a sweet young man, Brad Parker, who has just lost his virginity to a mystery man on Valentine’s Day. Brad calls gal pal, Leslie, to help him hunt down the mystery man who has him so enthralled, even though he can’t seem to remember much of anything about him. As the two go off to investigate, they turn up an entire hidden race of humans who hold fascinating and dangerous powers. The closer they get to Brad’s mystery man, the more danger surrounds them and threatens to keep Brad from the man he is sure he loves, forever.
Sid Love may be new to this genre but he is certainly been around the story telling track before given the debut of this novella. While the story can feel a bit rushed at times, there is much to be said for that pacing prompting the exciting chase and rescue toward the end of the book. Plus, the characters are really quite detailed despite the abbreviated length of the overall plotline. I especially enjoyed Leslie who came across as a caring and likeable friend to Brad. Often female characters in gay romances can be written more like scheming witches, so this girl was really a breath of fresh air.
Also, the author chose to unpack a new world, where creatures that were only half human lived, and gave us just enough information to lay down the potential for another book in this vein. I wonder if this will prove to be a series from Love; if so I am very interested in seeing what he comes up with next!
Pacing issues aside, Sid Love’s first novella was an overall success in my book. He gives us rich characters that are well developed, an action-packed plot, and just enough world building to set the scene for more stories to evolve. I look forward to reading more from this new author!!