A huge Thank-You to Nine-Star Press, LLC, via NetGalley for allowing me to read Speedbump by Charli Coty in exchange for an honest review.
Mentioning of Self-harm, Mentioning of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Abuse.
Ezra Cook is sole caregiver to older brother Tray, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in his forties. They live outside the small town of Drop, Oregon, on property Tray bought with his Microsoft settlement money. For years, Ezra has been going on and off low doses of testosterone to maintain a comfortable level of androgyny. Ezra spends most days juggling Tray’s needs and the work required to survive in rural Oregon on a small income, ignoring their own needs, especially companionship and sleep.
Ellred “Red” Long escaped Drop at seventeen but returns to his hometown in disgrace after his band dumped him on the streets of LA. Coming back doesn’t seem like such a dead end, though, after he sees a guy walking along the side of the road in the rain and gives him a lift.
Ezra and Red’s chance meeting begins an uncomfortable friendship neither had expected, and both allow fear to keep it from escalating into a hookup, or worse, a romance. Red never meant to return to Drop and doesn’t want to get stuck there again, while Ezra’s protective walls may be too strong to breach, from either side.
All I really knew about Speedbump was that it was listed on NetGalley as a LGBTQIA, Romance. The synopsis was interesting so I thought that I’d check it out.
Speedbump tells the story of two very different individuals who are both queer. Each character has led different lives, and I like that they talk about it when they’re ready. I like that both Ezra and Red are supportive of the other.
The beginning of the book was a little iffy for me. There are two points of view, each individual chapter was slow to gain momentum since we’re getting to know everyone and their story from Ezra and Red. During the beginning of the book, I don’t know if it was the awkwardness of the characters, but the writing felt like the author was trying to find their way to write the novel.
Both Ezra and Red are interesting characters. They prove that time and time again. One thing that I like about this book is that we see in Ezra’s mind that they’re having quite a run with how they view them-self.
Speedbump story was never a dull story. Of course there are some really rude characters, but that’s life. And Speedbump certainly pertains to the LGBTQIA crowd. In a way, I kind of wish there were more LGBTQIA+ characters, but Speedbump IS about Ezra and Red. So keeping the focus on them was very important, and the point of this story.
Speedbump pleasantly surprised me. There were many moments in this book where I was legitimately worried for the characters in them. One thing that will stick with me though is that no one died a tragic death (since most of these characters are LGBTQIA+).
I give Speedbump 4 stars!