Red is gorgeous, well-spoken, kind, and for hire. Years before he was a fat kid whose insecurities came to full head when his childhood crush told him no. With that, young Leslie (Red) Parks set out to recreate himself and successfully bury the real Leslie under layers of someone he is not. After escaping his small hometown where all memories led to pain, Leslie was “discovered” by another gorgeous man who groomed him to be a highly paid escort. Now living a life he only dreamed of, replete with a killer loft apartment he designed and a wardrobe befitting a wealthy man, Red sells himself to high rollers. Answering an appointment with a new client, Red discovers something else within himself he had long ago buried…love. Genuine, heart-gripping love. But how can Red tell Kirk about himself when he wasn’t really sure who he has become?
Red, by author B.G. Thomas, is a whimsical love story and a gentle rediscovery of self. In this sweet novella, the author explores the idea that when we cut ourselves off from our past, from who we really are, we lose that piece of us that allows us to be truly free. Red discovers that he has lost himself along the way—that the acting he has supposedly been doing to keep himself apart from the escort/whore he has become was not really acting after all. Instead, the self-loathing he felt beginning all those years ago did not disappear with a nickname and weight loss—it simply went underground where it stole his ability to truly feel. Sweet, geeky, chubby Kirk is the catalyst that breaks open that locked door where Red has stored all his pain.
I simply loved these two men—both were carrying their own pain over what they perceived as their flaws. When they found a safe place in each other, it was as if they began to really understand their own self-worth for the first time. Red was a tender love story that spoke of the very real fact that beauty is only skin deep and it is our soul that draws another to us where love can begin to grow.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.