Hidden Love

Fiction - LGBTQ
270 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Golder Hazelton for Readers' Favorite

Hidden Love by Eskay Kabba is a breathtaking, whirlwind M/M romance that is not afraid to show the darker side of real life or to portray authentic issues with complete candor. Connor McIntyre and Jamel Jones, the book’s central characters, are both veterans of different branches of the military but, apart from their military service, they are as different as can be: Connor is white; Jamel is black; Connor engages with multiple sexual partners without the faintest trace of commitment; Jamel does not believe in casual sex; Connor is deeply closeted, except to his closest friends; Jamel is accepted completely by his family and friends – the list goes on and on. The chemistry between Connor and Jamel is instantaneous and will surely prove thoroughly engrossing for readers. Eskay Kabba’s writing style is easy to read and conversational without ever being ordinary, and the numerous erotic passages in the narrative are highly descriptive but never vulgar. Connor and Jamel’s relationship develops at a quick but completely believable pace, and the overall effect is enchanting. Connor and Jamel’s relationship is helped along by Connor’s best friend Afia, who (conveniently) has her own developing relationship with a surprise player.

Despite the breezy and sexually charged romance at its core, the storyline in Hidden Love is not without tension and darkness: real-world themes of bullying, racism, homophobia, fear of trust, police brutality against people of color, and domestic abuse are presented with absolute clarity and unflinching honesty – enough so that the author generously included a ‘trigger warning’ prior to chapter one. Hidden Love is full of brave choices, from both the main characters and from the author herself. As a result of its fearless lens, the book takes on a sense of social and emotional importance far beyond what one might expect of a romantic tale. Hidden Love by Eskay Kabba is much more than a mere romance – it is a call to action and a blessed breath of hope and affirmation for the LGBTQ community and for people of color everywhere.