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…
Cardeno visits Emile City again! And I couldn't be happier. In this short story we meet Rafi and Isaac. In school, Isaac tormented Rafi mercilessly. Suddenly he shows up in Emile City and acting as though he and Rafi were friends. Rafi is offended that Isaac would dream of coming near him again, after all he put him through. Isaac is kinda stalkerish scary but you know what? It totally works for me. The whole plot of the story makes sense, and I found myself hoping that Rafi wouldn't dismiss a chance at happiness, especially after Isaac comes clean about what he's doing in Emile City.... Cardeno knows how to pull my heartstrings and does it very well.
I enjoyed this little novella primarily because of Isaac's sweet and tenacious desire for Rafi. The beginning made me smile as Rafi shares with readers why he disliked Isaac but also how he can't resist Isaac, either sexually or emotionally. The romance is quick moving as this is a novella but it still seemed a complete romance. I liked these characters so well that I would like another story featuring the gentle giant Isaac and the quirky Rafi in their simple, heartfelt romance
A Shot at Forgiveness is such a sweet tale of mistakes, forgiveness, and moving on. It's a story with a minor focus on bullying and the hurt it causes, but most of all it's a story of healing and love. It's an easy read full of promise for the characters and their future. And I love the interracial aspect. It highlights the beauty in diversity. And what I like most about this novella is that it's a chance at a new beginning for both characters. Mistakes were made. Hurts were harbored for a long time, but forgiveness is always an option. And of course, I love these characters. As always, Cardeno C has a way with characters.
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.