Book Reviews

Pay It Forward (Giving Back 1) by Nic Starr

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 08-January-2019

Book Blurb

Forced to leave home as soon as he finished high school, Bailey McCreedy’s focus has been on earning enough money to survive. All he needs is a roof over his head and to keep his small mobile lending library running. Books are Bailey’s escape, and he loves to share the joy of reading with those who don’t have access to them.

Tom Brooks’s upbringing is very different to Bailey’s, with a loving family, a good education, and a high-flying job—that is, until things came crashing down. Tom opens a coffee shop, struggling to build his business and reluctant to accept help, operating under the misguided belief that he must pay penance for his sins. Watching Bailey work with the street kids opens Tom’s eyes to the reality that accepting help is not a sign of weakness, and that he is so much more than his past mistakes.

But as Bailey falls for Tom, with his charming manner, obvious care for others, and group of successful friends, Bailey’s own sense of self-worth threatens to tear them apart. In the face of intensifying challenges, he’s reluctant to confide in Tom, afraid he’s not good enough.

A bright future will require Bailey to heed his own advice—people aren’t defined by their failures or inability to live up to the expectations of others. It’s time for Tom to pay it forward, and Bailey needs to accept the help and love that Tom offers.

Book Review

“Our actions are like ships which we may watch set out to sea, and not know when or with what cargo they will return to port.” ~ Iris Murdoch, (The Bell)

Bailey McCreedy, of 'Pay it Forward' by Nic Starr, hasn't had it easy. His father had little use for a son who wasn't macho and let him know at every turn. When he threw him out at eighteen, instead of going to college or finding an occupation he wanted, Bailey is forced to take whatever he can get, just to survive. Bailey doesn't believe he will ever be any better off than he is right now, that is, until he meets Tom, owner of the coffee shop he frequents.

Due to his upbringing, Bailey has low self-esteem. He has had a crush on the handsome, friendly barista for weeks, but never would have dreamed that he had a chance with him. Bailey figures that Tom is way out of his league. When Tom asks Bailey on a date, Bailey is pleasantly surprised. In a later conversation, Tom asks Bailey about his job; Bailey explains that he works for a call center, but that it’s not where he wants to stay forever. Reading has been Bailey's escape for years. He collects books and gives them to the homeless to be returned so they can take out more books. Bailey tries to provide an escape for his patrons, hoping his enthusiasm for books will rub off and that reading will help lighten their burden, at least for a little while. Tom gives him high praise for his “book mobile” efforts, but Bailey brushes it off, saying anyone would do it. Tom disagrees, but he can't change Bailey's mind.

Tom Brooks is the proprietor of a local coffee shop. He notices the cute guy who frequents his establishment, but isn't sure that he should approach Bailey. He has been out of the dating game for a while now and is out of practice. Tom is trying to make a new start, but the truth is, he's not able to get over his past mistakes. His friends are worried about him because he has practically become a hermit, a far cry from the man he was before. When Bailey comes on the scene, Tom is so impressed and attracted to him, that he decides to 'take the plunge' and the more Tom gets to know him, the more he admires Bailey's altruism and compassion for others. Instead of relaxing in the relationship and let the natural pace to develop, Tom's guilt comes back to plague him, causing him to think he may not deserve Bailey, Tom is having a great deal of difficulty forgiving himself; due to his past bad choices, he still doesn't believe he deserves to be happy. Tom and Bailey are struggling with loving themselves enough to be able to love each other. If they can't come to terms with their issues, they will not make it.

Nic has written an endearing story of how if you keep reliving the past, the present will pass you by. Tom and Bailey are great guys who do deserve each other – if they can get past the past and make a future together. Thanks, Nic, for a very entertaining story.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 203 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-November-2018
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link