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Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite
Parkwood Hills by Kristian Daniels introduces Joshua Redgrave, who has never been in a relationship and can no longer hide who he is. Michael Pendergrass, a new teacher, awakens the feelings that Joshua has been repressing for years. Michael was accepted by the community of this small town, but he was afraid that the townsfolk and his family would learn that he was gay. Katie Benson, a single thirty-year-old with one thing on her mind, worked at Parkwood Hills High School. Katie is interested in Michael, but he does not want anything to do with her. Katie is not used to being rejected and spills Michael’s secret. Joshua meets Frederick, and they are forced to find other ways to be together because of rejection and societal stigmas.
Parkwood Hills was a page-turner, and I could not put it down. Kristian Daniels created a roller coaster ride of emotions, involving fear, denial, and rejection. The story was much darker than I expected, with verbal and physical abuse. Joshua, Frederick, and Michael just wanted to live their lives as gays but were not accepted by the community. The romance between Joshua and Frederick was believable, and I enjoyed it. The two of them were strong enough to continue with the relationship despite opposition from their parents. Katie was a horrible person, and despite her background, I had no sympathy for her. The story was beautifully written, and the emotions and struggles of the gay community were handled with great sensitivity. It is a heartwarming story of bravery and self-discovery in a challenging situation.