Blue-Eyed Stranger, A Trowchester Blues Novel, Alex Beecroft

Blue-Eyed Stranger, A Trowchester Blues Novel, Alex Beecroft
Genre:  Romance, GLBT
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Somehow I thought I’d read Alex work before, and in fact I haven’t – but certainly will look out for more. this was an insightful, tender romance that I really enjoyed.
Billy – somehow he reminds me some someone who’s really got a bit of Fae blood ( I read a lot of fantasy/paranormal and maybe it spills over a bit in my mind!). Its the way he’s described, he’s slight in build, very acrobatic and an incredibly talented musician, and yet the everyday world presents problems to him. He doesn’t have regular work, he’d be unable to cope, but he’s such a kind man, so much to give that he needs to be valued for himself. Part of the problem is his depression, but I get the feeling that sometimes all the noise, all the turmoil and people are just too much for him to cope with – as if he’s really used to a different sort of world. I loved him. He’s such a different character, and I felt so sad when his internal voices were putting him down. It didn’t help that he was all but invisible to even his friends, they interrupted him, talked over him, and didn’t listen to his views. Its a shame as he’s really a very intelligent man with a lot going on in his head – too much sometimes…
Then he meets Martin. Martin’s a teacher, but hiding his nature. His dad brought the family up to try to stay out of minority groups – having coloured skin can be a huge bar in career success – its shouldn’t be, but like many things it is, and so he’s hidden the fact he’s gay. He can just see how well that would go down – with teachers and parents screaming possible abuse. It always amazes me how some people think that just because someone is gay or lesbian – or some other minority – they’ve no control over their sexual desires. Why should the fact someone likes a different sex to the usual mean you’re some kind of pervert? We don’t expect hetero people to be jumping on everyone, so why should it be seen as ok to assume others will? Sad isn’t it? Its only a minority of course that feel this way, but as with everything they tend to be overly vocal about it….an artist friend paints erotic works, she’s a talented and popular artist but when the school where she worked as a TA found out they were Not Happy, and said she’s have to stop painting or leave. Weird, she’s the same lady she’d always been but the knowledge that she painted erotic stuff changed the head teacher’s view. It wasn’t pornographic, but….and that’s my rant over- back to the book!
Both Billy and Martin perform at country fairs, Billy with his Morris troupe and Martin with his Viking battle re-enactments. They manage to meet at several of the same events but Martin is very circumspect at these, making sure his group know nothing about his sexuality. He started the new group as the old one was very bigoted, and even though he’s deep in the closet he couldn’t take the snide remarks and jokes about gays any more. He tells himself and Billy that when the time is right he’ll come out, but really he’s scared of what people will think – he’s in need of a new job, he’s afraid of what his Viking group will think and his parents …well, his dad is always asking if he’s met a nice girl! Its hard living a lie though, especially now he has Billy and he’s so happy – at some point these two worlds are going to collide. Billy isn’t happy either being a secret when they’re out, although everyone knows he’s gay and his group have guessed about Martin… just know that there’s going to be a fireball at some time and when it erupts – wow, poor Billy! It just reinforces what his inner voices tell him, he’s worthless, not good enough and Martin doesn’t really want him.
As well as a thought provoking and tender romance the historical side of this was fascination, and I enjoyed learning more – though I’m not a musician I loved reading about the instruments and looked up more info. there’s something special about doing what people hundreds – thousands even – of years ago did.
Stars: Five, a really great read.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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