“Hard Truths” by Alex Whitehall follows Isaac (Zack) Landes as he builds a relationship with his sister’s fake date to a family gathering. Their growing attraction to each other is complicated by Zack’s reluctance to come out to his parents and the hard truths that need to be revealed may be too much to overcome.
This contemporary gay romance has an interesting twist, in that the sister is trying to avoid family censure by bringing Logan along, but attraction flares between her brother and her “date.” I liked the diversity in the story and enjoyed the text messages, but I was uncomfortable with the ultimatum and the reasons for it and was disappointed and shocked by the bigotry and violence that fractures the family, although it made Zack’s reluctance understandable. The statement, “Family is made up of people who love you, not people connected by blood.” definitely resonated with me, as I am sure it will with many others who have dysfunctional family dynamics. At times I wanted to shake Zack, especially as his insecurity caused such angst and drama. Despite all of this, I like these guys and hope that there will be other stories that feature them.
Isaac didn't expect to find love at his family's Christmas dinner, but that was before he met his sister's new fake boyfriend. Tall, muscular, and tattooed, Logan is what Isaac would love in a partner--and also everything his parents would hate in one. Not that they know Isaac's gay.
That doesn't stop him from dating Logan--unbeknownst to his parents, and with his sister's approval after she fake dumps him. The pair dive into a whirlwind romance of motorcycle rides, cheesy puns, and hot sex. They meet each other's friends and fill their time with happiness and laughter. It's all perfect.
Until Isaac suggests they move in together, and Logan asks Isaac to come out to his parents. Isaac wants to, but he's scared; he doesn't want to lose his family. Unfortunately, he can't see that his real family has been right beside him all along.