When I came up with the idea of Let Me Live, I knew it was going to be Marshall’s story. He had made such an impression on me in Rage to Life, the first book in the Finding the Strength series that I wanted him to shine. Marshall is unique because not only is he a proud gay man who’s well-liked and an excellent swimmer, but he wants to become something big, such as the first gay president of the United States. But the events of Let Me Live, which involves a school shooting at his college by his friend makes him rethink his dreams. Because he has experienced such a trauma, he doesn’t think he’s worthy of becoming something larger than life like he used to believe. He’s now a former shell of himself and has to rethink his future. What he doesn’t know is that his future has changed in ways he could have never imagined because someone new enters his life who can help Marshall heal.
There are many topics in Let Me Live. One such topic is the opposites attract trope. That involves Benny, the somewhat older, bearded tattoo artist whose personality is incredibly sexy (so says me 😉). He’s a very insightful individual who recognizes Marshall and his attraction to him. But Benny is left in the dark on why Marshall suffers. Instead of Benny investigating Marshal by talking to Marshall’s friends or going as far to research Marshall on the internet or in news publications, he gets to know Marshall the person. Marshall is a clean slate to Benny, and that is where Benny’s initial physical attraction for Marshall becomes much more. Unlike many people, Benny doesn’t judge Marshall.
Marshall and Benny are a couple who complete each other even though they have very different childhoods and lifestyles. Watching their friendship and then romance unfold is a great way to grab readers’ interest. But as Marshall and Benny learn about one another, and why they are a perfect pair, there are deeper emotions and reactions at play, especially when the reader finds out why Marshall has such guilt over the school shooting he was a victim of. He’s also a survivor but one who has to face the truth of his actions. In order to do that he has to rely on Benny who wants to be that person Marshall can turn to in all things, both good and bad.
Like the series name- Finding the Strength, Let Me Live is all about Marshall finding the strength to forgive himself and embrace love with Benny.
P.S.- Oh, and the mention about Marshall wanting to become the first gay president of the United States? I think readers will be in for a big surprise when they read the epilogue 😉
Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who discovered her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age and, since then, has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head. Shirley is also a brownie addict who loves to bake when she’s not busy writing. Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.
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