Coming back from a weekend with his boyfriend, Ash receives the bad news his sister died in a car accident; he has to go to Freedom, Alabama, to attend the funeral and the reading of Annie’s will. The first part of the story, with Ash and Mason, was good, and I liked that the author didn’t belittle their relationship: it was not perfect, but it was good, and I think that, if nothing happened, they would have been good together. But Ash is launched in a complete different world, Freedom, Alabama, is a less than 2000 people province town, and everyone seems to know what is happening inside your house (and also bedroom). There Ash meets Kaleb, Annie’s best friend; at first Kaleb is not really welcoming of Ash, he thinks he neglected his duty as Annie’s brother, and he appointed himself substitute brother. But Ash and Kaleb have probably more in common than Kaleb and Annie, and it’s easy for them to reach truce.
The turn from City Boy to Family Man is almost immediate, thanks also to the whole town; aside from one episode, Ash will not find any obstacle and no homophobic feeling, on the contrary, all Freedom, Alabama, seems to being pushing Ash towards Kaleb and a life as committed couple, husband and husband and all it implies.
Always Hope is a comfortable and sweet story, with just a touch of drama, but mostly about good feelings and family values and the good side of living in a small town.
Amazon Kindle: Always Hope
Publisher: Lisa Worrall (February 18, 2012)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott