Grey, Andrew. “A Helping of Love” (Love #3), Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
It is not easy being gay and in a wheelchair. Peter Christopoulos can testify to that. When he gets up the courage to ask Russ Baker out, he is not surprised that he is turned down and he is disappointed. However, there is more to Russ than Peter knows. It seems that Russ’s boyfriend is abusive and Russ has covered for him even though he knows that the relationship has reached an end. He finally gets it together and ends it and is a bit surprised that Peter has not lost interest in him. Before either Peter or Russ can realize, the two are falling in love with each other. Of course there are snags—Peter suddenly hears from a half-sister that he does not know and Russ’s boyfriend tries anything he can to get Russ back.
I have to commend Andrew Grey for writing about two very important topics—disabled gays and abuse. Russ has to deal being abused by the man he loves and sees how hard it is to walk away from it. Being a victim is not easy, especially when the relationship is otherwise comfortable. To his advantage, he had a group of friends who stood by him. It seems to me that this book is about dealing with hard situations and how to rise above them. We all face obstacles and find it hard to deal with them but here we see the value of patience and good friends. This is a story about the human spirit and by using the ideas of love and compassion, we see the characters take control of their lives and rise.
Of course, the fact that Andrew Grey is an excellent writer makes this a great read with wonderfully drawn characters. This is his third book in the “Love” series which focus on Café Belgie and the people who are involved in it. Regarding Peter, I especially like the way that Russ sees past the wheelchair and sees Peter, the man. We are also taken into the sexual lives of Russ and Peter in several very exciting sex scenes. I did find something that bothered me, however. Harry, Russ’s ex just kind of fades away and we are not given anything about what happened to him (although I was very happy to see him gone). The other has to do with Peter’s half-sister. This subplot just did not seem real to me and the book would have held up just fine without it. Regardless, this is another wonderful read from the very prolific Andrew Grey.