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…
This is a sweet yet humorous story. The one-liners had me laughing out loud more than once. Initially I wasn't sure if Isaac deserved a second chance but as the story played out I found myself rooting for him. The characters are charming. The sex is hot as hell. The ending is perfect. A very good read.
Who knew that Isaac was sweet, kind and so vulnerable where Rafi was concerned. Seeing these two men together and seeing them working on understanding their past was a delight for me. To go on their journey with them I ended up adoring Isaac and was rooting for him to have his chance.
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.
It's not very often I give a novella 5 stars. There has to be a lot right with it, they need to blow me out of the water, I have to fall in love with the MCs, believe the story is just a tiny, and I mean tiny, bit plausible, there has to be a beginning, a middle and as much of a satisfying feeling at the end as a novella can give. This story hits all those points and more. ... As much as I would have loved there to be more of Isaac and Rafi, its perfect just the way it is. I loved this story it's beautiful, romantic and such a feel good story I will be re-reading this one again.