Apologies for posting this a little late. Good luck to Chris with his book! You can win an Amazon gift voucher and read and excerpt below. My review is at the end of this feature.
Book Title: Love Him/Hate Him
Author: Chris Bedell
Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Genre: YA LGBTQ Thriller
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 185 print pages
It is a standalone story.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback
Connor is out. Liam is the secretly gay football player. Together they must navigate a hush-hush relationship while working together to solve the murder of Liam’s sister.
17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her…
Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home.
Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly.
Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out?
I left the hair salon the following evening.
A faint chill permeated the air, and the waxiness of the full moon glinted against the ground, providing extra lighting while I walked to my Mercedes.
Normally, I wouldn’t have picked a 7:00 P.M. appointment, but it was all the hair salon had had on such short notice.
“The fuck you doing at a hair salon?” someone called.
I whipped my body around. Liam stood about ten feet from me.
“I’ve gotta go.” I pulled out my car keys, then grabbed the car door handle.
“Please don’t leave,” he pleaded.
I looked over my shoulder, meeting his eyes. “Why would I do you any favors?”
“Because I wanted to apologize.”
Wow. Lucky me, getting two surprises in less than a week. First Evelyn’s death, now this. The only difference was that there was a chance this surprise would be wanted.
About the Author
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing) and his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, Chris had several other books released in 2020, including his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA). Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.
Social Media Links
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
a $25 Amazon gift card or a $10 Between the Lines Publishing Gift Code
This was a murder mystery story with a gay teen (Connor) and his bully turned secret lover, Liam, trying to solve the death of Liam’s sister. There were a few things I struggled with, although the writing was generally good. And this may have been more down to the editing and formatting than the actual writing. There are no gaps between scene switches, so a few times I had to take a moment to back track and see if I’d missed anything. I don’t think the publisher has done this book any favours, if I’m honest, as the resulting read is uneven and confusing in places.
That being said, this is an unusual story of a likeable lead (Connor) and his frankly unlikable secret boyfriend who uses him for sex when he feels like it, then denies he is gay when he doesn’t. Connor seems to be surrounded by unlikable people, which I’m willing to forgive as frankly, most people in high school can be, but the result is a read that isn’t quite as convincing as it should be, giving the serious subjects; bullying, homophobia, abuse, possible murder. Liam seems to show no grief at his sister’s death, joking and laughing as if nothing has happened. And Connor’s other friends are almost as bad. Connor’s mum also gets a bad rap, although I had some sympathy for her. Holding down a career, trying to understand her son, being unbelievably tolerant when Liam is astoundingly rude to her for no reason. It’s hard to empathise with someone like Liam, and if they are one of the main characters, that’s bad news.
The result is a book that could have been improved greatly with a bit of finessing, some good editing and tightening of the plot. It felt unwieldy without offering much of substance or suspense. That being said, I would definitely check out more of this author’s work. With some strength in the writing, there is hope for the future.