Sometimes to find love, you must first learn forgiveness.
A dozen years, two thousand miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi's favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.
But Isaac is tenacious and he has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.
I hated him. Unequivocally, absolutely, and in every way possible. He was responsible for making my teen years a living hell—if not single-handedly, then at the very least, he held the starring role. Or, in terms he would have understood, he was the quarterback, the pitcher, the forward, the…fuck it, he led the “hey, faggot, nice hair” brigade. Not that it was always about my hair. Sometimes it was my clothes. Other times it was the way I walked or the way I talked. I lived in anticipation of the day he’d come up with some way to taunt me for breathing. Ass. Hole.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when he walked in the door of my favorite restaurant, two thousand miles away from where we grew up, and had the nerve not only to recognize me, but to not pretend like he didn’t. I mean, who…
Nina: I loved this novella. I loved that there was just enough connection to the Home series to make this feel like a part of a greater story. I loved how snarky and funny and grumpy Rafi was. I loved how sweet and open and unswerving Isaac was. I loved the forgiveness and acceptance in this story. I loved how incredibly sexy these men were together. I loved how brave they were. ... I enjoyed the way that the men came together, the process felt real to me. Even though Rafi would never admit it, there is a reason that Isaac pushes all of his buttons - he was a part of how he got them. These guys grew up together and as Rafi relaxes and lets go of some of his anger his memories soften to allow more than just the pain and anger and resentment to flavor their shared past. The subtle turning from slaking passion, and wow! were these guys incredibly hot together, to companionship and friendship to love was a delight. This was a fantastic novella and a brilliant addition to my Cardeno C collection.
Cardeno C.'s moving and insightful novella, A Shot at Forgiveness, provides a rather different view of the bullying many gay and lesbian children and teens are forced to endure. ... Is it credible that in some situations the bully is more confused about and tormented by his sexuality than his victim? In my own view, for whatever it's worth, that might explain more than a few cases of bullying. Without including spoilers in this review, I can say there are even more surprising turns in A Shot at Forgiveness than a famous and wealthy NBA MVP's making contact with his former victim. I can also affirm that the way Cardeno C. shapes the story makes them all believable. They certainly don't happen every day, but who'd wish to write or read about every-day matters? I must also praise Cardeno C.'s writing style... Rafi and Isaac's story won me over. I highly recommend it.
I adored how relentless Isaac was in his pursuit of Rafi.