Zac McKenzie owns a hotel. He bought it after his professional football career ended, (And by “football,” I mean soccer. I’m going with the flow, here.) and he needed something to do with his time. Zac is a gay man who had been married, but he was having an affair with another player. When the press caught on to what was happening, it was decided Zac would bow out, citing an injury, while the other player continued in the league. Now, even though he’s surrounded by friends and family, Zac’s not completely out of the closet, and he’s lonely.
Seth Pritchard is renting a cottage at Zac’s hotel. He’s been injured in a terrible accident and is taking six months to recover. His girlfriend was also injured in the crash and is now paralyzed. Seth feels tremendous guilt about it because he was taking her out in order to break things off with her. He doesn’t want to be gay, but he can’t continue the charade anymore. He is a broken man…sad, angry, confused, traumatized…but as the weeks press on, he and Zac become close, and Seth starts to have feelings he’s never had before.
Falling in love is relatively easy, but staying together and dealing with their pasts, their families, and Seth’s sexual issues is difficult.
This was a great story. I really…well, I’m not sure if enjoyed is the right word because both men have suffered terrible pasts and have more baggage than an entire airport. However, I had very strong feelings about it, and I fell in love with Zac and Seth and wanted them to be together so badly, and I wanted them to be happy together.
I hate when people feel like they have to hide from their true selves. Both Zac and Seth have been doing it for their entire adult lives. Zac married and had two children, and Seth got a girlfriend/fiancée. They were miserable while doing this, but they assumed that was the way it was to be. Also, they had reasons other than hiding their gay sides. Zac figured the football world wouldn’t accept a gay player (even though he was having an affair with another one), and poor Seth needed to escape the horrible treatment he received at the hands of his step father and step brothers…especially the brothers. He even refers to them as the SS Twins. That’s how bad it was.
Zac develops feelings for Seth first. Seth is so reluctant because he still doesn’t want to admit he’s gay, and he’s overwhelmed by his personal trauma. I mentioned his step brothers were cruel, but I can’t even begin to explain just how cruel. They did terrible things to him that left Seth with an aversion to sex and…other things that happen during sex. He just broke my heart into a million little pieces. I wanted to reach through the Kindle and hug him.
I don’t want to go too far into spoiler territory here. I will say that Zac is so supportive with Seth. He even goes so far as to ask a sports psychologist friend to refer Seth to a sex therapist to deal with his horrible past, and I was very happy to see that Seth was willing to go rather than fighting Zac on the issue. Seth wants to be with Zac in every possible way. It was a slow road, and reading it was sometimes uncomfortable, but it was so well written it didn’t feel like it dragged.
There are some great background characters in Choosing Home. The staff at the hotel love Zac and are willing to do anything to help him. Zac’s daughter is awesome, even though she doesn’t play a huge role. When she’s in a scene, though, she shines. There is also Zac’s ex wife, son, and his ex lover. Even the SS Twins make an appearance…the bastards.
I’m not going to give you too much detail about the sex in the story. I’ll say it’s a slow burn, and Zac and Seth take their time, doing the exercises the sex therapist suggests, and just learning about each other’s bodies. It was hot, no question, but romantic as well. I keep saying Zac is so supportive and loving toward Seth, and the sex is no different. Sure, he gets a little frustrated, but he wants Seth to be comfortable with him. I just loved that.
At its heart, Choosing Home is a deep and abiding love story. Zac and Seth were meant to be together, and they’ve become one of my favorite couples of 2016. I highly recommend this book, and I’ll shout that from the rooftops.