Title: Angel Voices
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 56 Pages
Category: New Adult, Contemporary
At a Glance: I was sadly underwhelmed by this one.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: One frigid winter night a week before Christmas, college student Will stumbles into a church during choir practice, bruised by his own father’s hands. He’s out of the closet now — there’s no going back since his fundamentalist father learned the truth — but he’s also out of a home, a family, and a future. Will has nowhere to turn. No one to care.
Except . . . Will’s roommate, Quinn, cares. Maybe too much. He’s been attracted to Will since they moved in together, but never dreamed his crush was gay. With Will’s life in pieces, Quinn doesn’t want to push. He also knows he has more experience than Will, who’s never even been kissed.
Then Will’s father makes a reappearance, and Will has to learn to trust his heart more than the voices of his past. But it’s the season of miracles, faith, and hope, and Quinn is determined to teach Will how to love and be loved.
Note: This is a revised second edition, originally published elsewhere.
Review: I’m bummed to report that I was disappointed in this one. Having read, and LOVED, Rowan Speedwell’s books in the past, I had high expectations for this little Christmas short. Unfortunately, Angel Voices did not deliver. Fifty-six pages was just not enough to do this story justice. The character development was weak—although I did like both Will and Quinn, as well as Quinn’s family, I didn’t really care about either of them, which I think is an important distinction. The jump from ‘I’ve never really talked to you. At. All.’ to ‘Come. Be adopted by my family and fall in love with me.’ was a bit much for me to buy into. The whole thing was honestly just very clichéd and tidy.
Will’s situation is awful. Beyond awful. It’s something that happens to too many kids every single day. But, unfortunately, in a book this length it’s difficult to give it the weight it deserves. Rather than allowing the story to organically unfold, and allowing Will’s struggle and Quinn’s heroism to really mean something, it felt a bit manufactured and manipulative.
Again, though I wish I had known more about the guys; I did like them. Will was sweet, and Quinn was kind, as well as being sexy as heck. I loved that he wanted to pursue being a singer, and that Will was initially drawn in by his voice at the choir practice, before realizing who it was. The tiny glimpse we got to see of Quinn’s background was interesting. I could keep going about the things that didn’t quite hit the mark, but I’ll leave it there. I just wanted more, man…these guys and the story needed to be much more fleshed out, and the end was rushed and wrapped up too neatly.
So, yeah…I was sadly underwhelmed by this one.
You can buy Angel Voices here: