Saturday, June 7, 2014

Stuck in Oz by Andrew Grey

Title:    Stuck In Oz

Series title:  Tales From Kansas, Book 2

Author:    Andrew Grey

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press 

Genre:    MM, Contemporary

Pages: 176

Reviewer: Cassiopeia

Buy link:

Publisher Blurb:

When Jeremy and Petey’s mother died, their house was taken to pay the debts she left behind, leaving them homeless. Afraid Petey will be put in foster care, they have no one to turn to but their Uncle Milt, so they pack up Jeremy’s beat-up car and leave San Diego for Wamego, Kansas.

They arrive in the middle of a snowstorm and stop at the local diner to contact their uncle, where they meet Nate. Nate and his aunt help them contact Uncle Milt, and he agrees to help.

Jeremy and Nate hit it off quickly, but Jeremy runs when he’s made to believe their new home isn’t permanent. Nate goes after him, finds him, and convinces him that he’s wanted. However, just as Jeremy and Nate begin to trust each other, Petey’s estranged father appears and threatens to tear Jeremy’s new life and fledgling family apart.

Review of book:

Book two in the Tales From Kansas series, Stuck in Oz by Andrew Grey was a nice change of pace from the books I've been reading lately.  Centered around Jeremy's family primarily, readers are treated to a plot filled with personal growth that comes from working through some heart wrenching troubles.  His mother has recently passed, and it's just he and his much younger brother, Petey against the world.  Or so he thinks.  In a fit of desperation he makes contact with his uncle, Milt, who has a falling out with Jeremy's mother some time ago over his sexual orientation.  He's not sure if Milt is really alright with the two of them staying there, and is positive that at any moment, he and Petey will be asked to leave. 

I really felt for Jeremy.  He's been dealt a really crappy hand his entire life, with a mother that had multiple addiction issues, with all of the selfish and self destructive personality traits that all too often accompany them.  He could have easily been a hard hearted person that looked out only for himself; he was anything but.  He gladly raised his younger brother with a lot of love and compassion, even in spite of how young he seemed to be.  I was glad that he had a support system in Milt and Nate (an employee of Milt's that eventually became Jeremy's love interest).  It did annoy me that he seemed so overly unable to see his own value, but then again I suppose that if I'd lived his life, I might feel like "not enough" too. Nate came cross as very loving, and his own vulnerabilities only added depth to the book.

Mr. Grey has always created great secondary characters, this story being no exception.  Petey cracked me up with his patented, "toons", and would have loved to see more of him in the plot.  Even Milt, as quiet and no nonsense as he was, piqued my interest.  I hope that he's allowed his own book, because I bet it would be riveting to see exactly what type of guy could break down those walls.  This was definitely a "win" for me, and I'll be picking up the first book in the Tales From Kansas series, Dumped In Oz.

                                                       Four Twinkling Stars

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