Review: Losing Faith by Scotty Cade

Father Cullen Kiley, a gay Episcopal priest on hiatus from the church, decides to take his boat, T-Time, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Southport, North Carolina, a place that holds an abundance of bittersweet memories for him. While on a run his first day in Southport, Cullen comes upon a man sitting on a park bench staring out over the Cape Fear River with his Bible in hand. The man’s body language reeks of defeat and desperation, and unable to ignore his compassion for his fellow man, Cullen stops to offer a helping hand.

Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.

An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.

Religion fascinates me. As an Atheist it’s not a thing for me, but I am always interested in understanding other people’s perspective, from a purely anthropological point of view.
I know there is an entire sub-genre of Christian Romance, but I’m not sure what the proportion of those is reserved for gay romance.

This story was heartwarming, and I can appreciate that for a Christian this would be something enjoyable to read. I really like Scotty’s preface, and the intent behind it. As someone who is shy around strangers, I have many moments where I wonder if I should have reached out. Just ignore my deep discomfort and ask someone if they are okay. Of course, I’m way too socially awkward for that (truth) and so I will forever wonder ‘what happened’ in most of my day to day interactions. I’m glad Scotty could write this with the kind of outcome he desired.

Father Cullen was a convincing widower. I understood his need to escape and try and let go. I thought he was a practical man, and even though he was having difficulty, his head and heart were in the right place.

Abel was deeply repressed, and I can’t really imagine not having the freedom to be myself like that. Feeling like he is failing God, with the help of very fundamentalist Christian parish, he is struggling to know what is right for him.

I didn’t find the story overly preachy. Even though we are talking about two church leaders, it wasn’t bogged down in scripture, anecdotes, or religious content. There was enough to get the message across, to convince me of these men, but I didn’t feel heavy with it.

It was good to read a positive Christian story for a change. I imagine that Christianity has damaged a lot of LGBT people, so a lot of the stories I have read have been soaked in that bitter water. I like that this wasn’t about choosing one or the other. And it was good to read Cullen point Abel in the direction that was a better fit for him.

The relationship development was a slow burn. We are talking about a grieving widower and a Fundamentalist Christian Pastor. Even so, it covered a lot, and I felt that I knew both characters well.

There was some problematic content regarding the Parish gossip, as well as the other members of Abel’s church. While I have no experience in conversion therapy, and shudder at the thought of anyone being subjected to it, the way that this was approached in the story did not ring true for me.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Christian Romance. I think this would also be enjoyable for those who just enjoy romance. It is not heavy on the Religion, but is definitely present in this book.

Trigger warning: Discussions of conversion therapy.

Dreamspinner Press


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