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The Guy with the Suitcase

(Once Upon a Guy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  61 reviews
2nd Edition Now Available


Pierce is homeless.
Young and strong-willed Pierce has been living in the streets of New York City for six months, since his parents kicked him out of their perfect, Christian, suburban house. Pierce is gay. And he is suffering the consequences for being true to himself.

Rafe is homeless.
He is also sick. Impressionable, but far from innoce
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published February 14th 2016 by Dream Trek Imprint
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Feb 07, 2016 marked it as i-m-a-quitter
Shelves: male-action, tmbtlt
Read a sample chapter, as I was waiting for some releases.

Couldn't get past the first few pages....the typos were horrid! And I don't usually notice that stuff. Extra words, double words.

Way too distracting.
Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

RGR received a free advanced review copy for the purpose of an honest review.

I have to admit that I have been sitting here for a long time, changing my review back and forth, unsure exactly how to put my thoughts into words. I finished reading the book last night and I had very different reactions to it.

First, let me talk about something that is beyond dispute for me. The cover image and the chapter design were brilliant. The cover looks really cool and made me interested in reading th
True Loveislovereview
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, 2016
Pierce and Rafe two homeless guys.
Living on the streets of New York City is hard, almost not livable. There are a few ways to survive......
Their first encounter is not the best one. One stealing the others possession.
The journey they go through is hard, painful. It put knots in my stomach and sometimes I really wanted to cry.

Pierce is strong with a big heart. Rafe is a small delicate guy and ill.
They are both lovable and are very endearing personalities.
Both have their own reasons living on the
Rosa Marchisella
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm torn about this book and waffled a bit on how to rate it. On one hand, this story has a very real portrayal of being homeless. It's ugly, scary, and frustrating. The characters are solid, real people with all the personality pluses and (normal) negatives we don't usually see - even in the characters that are low on the cast list. I love the genuine and refreshing honesty of the writing, though it's a bit brutal at times. It is believable and, for those who have "been there", it could trigger ...more
Elisa Rolle
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Guy With The Suitcase by Chris Ethan
I must admit, this was a very heartfelt and emotional story. The caring these two extremely flawed characters show toward each other is quite endearing. The story ran smoothly and gave us a view of what can happen and does happen to young men and women in this world when the parents or stepparents are not accepting. At first, I wasn't sure where the story was going, but I'm sure glad it went as it did. Loved the MCs
Fernanda Parente
This book is not for everyone, but it was the best for me.
Get a box of tissues

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review
Helena Stone
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is not for the faint of heart. Pierce and Rafe are put through far more than their fair share of shit before they get to their happy ending. In fact, so many obstacles are thrown in their way it is a minor miracle they survive it all, never mind find their way to happiness.

When these two young men first encounter each other it is anything but a good start. I think it is safe to say that after that first ‘meeting’ it’s a minor miracle they end up as friends at all. That first meeting is
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Pierce was thrown out of his home after he tells his parents he's gay. He is homeless and has been living on the streets of New York. Rafe, also homeless ran away from home. But Rafe is sick. He needs medical help, but you can't get that help when you are homeless. These young men have a run in, and later meet up again. Eventually they decide that maybe two can work better than one at trying to get off t
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: march2016reads
*sigh* okay so this story really killed me. I now know what a block of cheese feels like after going through a grate. We have two homeless guys, Pierce & Rafe. Pierce is a huge hearted guy and protective of Rafe. Rafe is a small, ill, character. And you wonder kind of how he made it all this time without Pierce.
This is a story with so much heart break, sorrow, and utter pain. It’s enemies to love thing that Pierce and Rafe have is momentary almost, when they are together you are wrapped in hope
Alp Mortal
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really couldn't write the review immediately after finishing the story; it was one of those stories that needs a period of digestion - rarely will a story 'stay' with me for any great deal of time - this one has and I wonder why - the intimacy of the story-telling is probably the key.

2 intimate portrayals of street life, a relationship that is not all plain sailing and a very poignant back story that brings everything full circle - I really couldn't have wished for a better story [which I unas
Mike Adams
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
What could have been a heartfelt tale of two young gay homeless men brought together by their travails is limited by the flat, almost juvenile writing style.
After a 'series of unfortunate events' - muggings, abuse, hateful parents and abject poverty, the pair come together, get jobs in a restaurant and then become boyfriends. That's the fine part, despite the writing.
But the titular suitcase becomes a posthumous Cinderella story where all problems are solved by its hidden contents. From harsh re
Milly Molly
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of the book and would have given that half four stars but the second half felt unrealistic including the medical parts and it was full of telling not showing which made feel even less connected to the MCs I would give that half two stars. Therefore overall I gave it three.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Arc provided courtesy of LesCourt
Reviews are my voluntary and honest opinion.

I rewrote this review a few times, but in the end I decided it was important that we have more positive representation of homeless characters, and characters with HIV. 

I didn't always care for Pierce's temper, and there was a lack of chemistry between Pierce and Rafe until almost the very end of the book, mostly because they kept having blow-up and misunderstandings. 

But this is a pretty realistic portrayal of homelessn
Diane Dannenfeldt
3.5 stars. I had issues with this one. Rafe is a sick delicate MC. Pierce is more of a stronger MC. They are drawn to each other and they are also homeless. Pierce figures out that rafe is sick and does everything to get his medication for him. My issue with Rafe is that he does really get any better, or any worse. For what he has it can go either way. Pierce sacrifices a lot to help rafe out. I loved Vance and Marissa and the other gal. There were a couple of spots on the story that repeated it ...more
Aղցela W.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good read and my first time reading this author. Pierce and Rafe two homeless youth living on the streets of New York City. This was a heartbreaking story these two when through a lot with Rafe being sick. When these two first meet it is not good when one tries to steal from the other. Pierce has a big heart and wants to help Rafe finds a part time job at a restaurant with an owner who allows them to eat everyday. Being homeless on the street is rough on anyone but I think its ...more
Lelyana's Reviews
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019, mm
The Guy With The Suitcase is a heartbreaking story about two guys who's trying to survive life. This is not an easy read for me, there's so much pain for Rafe and Pierce to finally get their happy ending.
But it all worth the pain.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
this book tried to break me..i had tears at times.. it was so heartbreaking and yet amazing.. it was sweet and horrible.. so many conflicting emotions happened and i really enjoyed it
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story will hit you in the feels, it really will. Rafe’s homelessness is compounded by contradictory familial relations and the most insidious disease known to mankind other than cancer. Pierce’s homelessness and his attachment to this suitcase are heartwrenching in their poignancy. Told from each man’s perspective depending on chapter, it’s a fascinating look into what makes people tick.

Rafe accepts that he needs help, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes in order to get the meds he nee
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

Moving, real life story of the homeless.

Rafe and Pierce both live on the streets, scraping together money from begging just enough to eat once a day. The two guys don't know each other, that is until Rafe tries to steal Pierces suitcase.

A suitcase, yes a simple little suitcase, but that case holds all he has in this world. He treasures his case as its was his grandad's. Rafe has even less and to make it worse his ill and needs meds.

These two loners are both fighting to survive in a wo
Aimee Brissay
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review: 3.75 stars

I was skeptical about this story. I've read so many bad homeless guy(s) book, I thought Oh, no, not another one! But I was wrong. This is one was sweet, especially if you like fluff. All through it, it holds the air of fairy tale Chris loves so much, skimming over the most gruesome aspects of the life on the streets, or dating someone in Rafe's condition, but it does make you wish you can do something, anything, to help the homeless people in the world. To simply give them a ch
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A moving, unputdownable story.
" Because the Supreme Court had legalized gay marriage across the nation didn’t mean the brains, thoughts, morals, and workings of its people changed with it. " Although same-sex marriage is legalised across the US, gays and lesbians are still plagued by the bias and suffering attached to homosexuality. The experience of Rafe and Pierce is a proof. Both kicked out of their house for their sexuality and left to their own devices, Rafe and Pierce begin a nomadic life
This book is not for the faint of heart! The subject matter is extremely heavy and so often I wondered if these two men would ever find happiness. Chris Ethan definitely portrays the hopelessness, danger and desolation of homelessness very realistically. Through it all, Pierce and Rafe were able to support and love each other through all of the grit, pain and sorrow of their situation.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For more m/m romance reviews,
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i loved it...can not wait for another book by this author..
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliantly moving story of homelessness and striving to make a better life. This book really touched me.
Rachel Hendry
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not entirely sure where to start...I’ve been sitting and thinking of how to word my review of this book since I finished and I’m afraid that I will not do this book justice.

The guy with the suitcase is a unique story that is not afraid to challenge ideals and frankly to call you out by highlighting the very people in this world that are hidden in plain sight, the people who have so little but love so much, the people that are largely ignored or abused by those that we perhaps live with or wo
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OK, how to review this book....first of all I must say I really loved the characters.
Rafe is so sweet and sunny and with a smile brighter than the sun and full of kindness for everyone, despite all that he's been through.
All of life's difficulties have left Pierce a bit rougher, not so inclined to smile or to let people in (a bruto, as Rafe calls him), but when he meets Rafe, his icy exterior melts, and he's really a big softie.
The story passes from being gut-wrenching to being absolutely and a
Kathryn Manzella
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Guy with the Suitcase by Chris Ethanis a contemporary friends to lovers romance involving two young men trying to survive. Pierce and Rafe are strong and beautiful characters who made me feel all the emotions. Their connection is sweet and had me rooting for them to get a Happily Ever After. The topics of homophobia, HIV and the reality of what the homeless are faced with are tragic but this book makes the reader remember that there are truths to what's being said here. Makes you feel gor th ...more
Annie Elm
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pierce has been living on the streets for 6 months after being kicked out from home and are constantly trying to find a way out of his misery.  
Rafe ran away from home and are doing everything that he can to get money for his medicine to keep him alive. 

Both men are trying their best to find a way out of a horrible situation and keeps holding on to a bit of hope.  When they first meet it's by chance and not a great first impression but after the second time they see each other there's a sliver o
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amber Antus
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Rafe and Pierce go through as youth that have been thrown out of their homes because of who they are is a great portrayal of what homeless LGBTQ+ youth go through. I really loved that portrayal while at the same time it saddened my heart. One part still sticks with me, when Pierce tries to get a job at the beginning at a bar he is looked down on because he is homeless and told to come back when he "has his life together." This is one of the catch-22s that so many homeless face and I loved t ...more
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Chris Ethan is a book whore.

He enjoys selling his feelings for money and other pleasures and is blatantly unashamed to do so for as long as he breathes.

Chris writes stories of gay romance.

Before you delve into his books however, be warned: He likes putting his characters through shit-storms and hates anything conventional.

Except for that darned happy-ever-after. He loves happy-ever-afters.


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“Era quello il problema con gli esseri umani. Potevano essere dei veri stronzi quando iniziavano a parlare, perciò preferiva quando stavano zitti. Il miglior esempio? I suoi genitori. Se loro non avessero parlato, se lui non gli avesse detto che era gay, non lo avrebbero cacciato di casa. Avrebbe avuto ancora una famiglia. Ma la gente doveva parlare e rovinare tutto. Persino se stessa. Sicché lui preferiva rimanere in silenzio… quando il mostro dentro di lui non grattava per essere liberato e causare la rovina di idioti come quel pervertito.” 4 likes
“Ringhiò. Odiava tutto. Odiava non avere più un tetto. Non avere uno spazio suo. Non si era reso conto di quanto fosse importante una casa fin quando ne aveva avuta una. Ora non poteva fare altro che sperare di non morire durante la notte, dormendo sulle panchine, in metropolitana o sull’asfalto.” 4 likes
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