Jeff Erno's Reviews > Two Sides of the Coin

Two Sides of the Coin by Ron Radle
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Feb 20, 12

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bookshelves: gay-fiction
Read from February 18 to 20, 2012

Reverend Beverly Farley is a Baptist Minister in a small South Carolina community. He is married and has two children, but he leads a double life. Secretly he hires male prostitutes and takes them to seedy hotels where he has sex with them. He's been hiding his true identity as a homosexual man all of his adult life.

Danny and Brad are a gay couple who live in this same small town. Danny is an English professor at the local university, and his partner Brad works on the same campus in his position as recruiter. The couple has been together for a number of years and is very happy.

When Rev. Farley discovers that the university professor is gay, he becomes obsessed. He starts staking out their house, driving by several times per day. Brad is the Reverend's type. He's strongly attracted to the younger man and becomes so consumed with lust that he hatches a crazy blackmail scheme to force Brad to break up with Danny and have sex with him multiple times. He tells Brad that if he does not comply with his demands, he will out both of them to the whole community.

Well, when I started reading this book I was very excited. I thought it was going to be a story about a minister like Ted Haggard who was exposed as a hypocrite after years of condemning gay people to Hell. And yes, this story did include that element. The main character, Rev. Farley, was a prominent minister and he was ultimately exposed as a hypocrite. The problem that I had with the book was the unbelievable plot. I just had a very hard time accepting the likelihood of it.

I don't see how this young gay man, Brad, would ever allow himself to be blackmailed by this minister. Had it been me in the situation, I'd have told the guy to go screw himself and then I'd have gone straight to the media. Danny and Brad had lived together for years. Sure, it was a conservative community, but South Carolina is not completely cut off from the rest of the world. No matter how conservative the community may have been, in the present day, they must have been aware that gay people exist and that two unmarried men living together for years are most likely gay. And even if there were some rubes in the town who hadn't yet entered the current century, Danny was a university professor. I can't think of any safer position to have as an openly gay man.

The writing was incredibly good. The author obviously possesses some amazing wordsmithing skills. The erotic content was way above average. I definitely look forward to more stories from this writer.

(A personal observation that did not influence my rating/review but that I believe is worth commenting on. I didn't understand the book cover. Why would a Baptist minister be holding a rosary?)
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65.0% "This book majorly pisses me off!"
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message 1: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow I immediately had the same question re. the cover! Somebody should have caught that.

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