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"Starting Over: Book 1 (The Knights Club)" by C.J. Baty - IHIBRP 4-Star Book Review

A Gay Romance Filled With Plenty Of Suspense & Drama!

Overview: Club owner, Xavier Knight, and former cop, Sebastian Brady, have a lot to learn from each other. And hopefully, their growing love will survive Xavier’s past, Seb’s family, as well as a host of intriguing characters with ties to the Knights Club.

C.J. Baty writes an intriguing story about two men falling in love and the impact their pasts are having on their current familial and professional relationships. With a definitive theme based on self-esteem, family, acceptance, adolescent issues, past romantic relationships, and the influential bonds—forged or broken—between fathers and sons, this tale is as psychologically compelling as it is provocative.

Baty’s plotline is tense, highly sexually-charged, and suspenseful. Protagonists, Xavier and Sebastian, are confronted with both uplifting and heartbreaking issues as they separately live complicated lives that intertwine through common relationships before they finally personally connect. There exists a genuine sense of romance between these two likable men that is quite natural and not at all forced.

It is, perhaps, unfortunate that aside from her two main characters, Baty bases the majority of her cast on some rather stereotypical, if not exaggerated, male characters—including extremely homophobic and abusive macho Southern cops, a “wife-beater-clad” hot Latino bartender, and a gaggle of professional boy-toys. There also exists a sense that the plotline of this story comes to an abrupt halt to hurry and pave the way for a subsequent chapter based on another key character in the Knights Club series.

On the plus side (And, it’s a big plus.) this male-on-male romance does shine a light on the unwarranted violence, discrimination, and romantic pitfalls that many gay men must still deal with in today’s society despite the supposed modernization of majority opinion and law. One feels for Sebastian in particular—for the horrible and nearly sadistic abuse his father doled out on a son who wanted nothing more than his love and acceptance, who never wanted to follow in his illustrious footsteps, and who did absolutely nothing wrong in preferring men over women.

“Starting Over” is a homosexual romance filled with suspense and plenty of drama. It is also a statement about our current culture’s need to be more accepting and inclusive of others who have the same right to fall in love as everyone else, who engage in mutual adult consensual relationships, and who have the right to be who they were born to be.

“Starting Over” contains adult themes, violence, and graphic sexual situations. I recommend this read for adults only—ages 18 and over.

Find "Starting Over: Book 1 (The Knights Club)" by C.J. Baty on Amazon & Kindle here.

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