Kelly, Wade.“The Cost of Loving” (Unconditional Love #2), Dreamspinner Press, 2013.
Matt and Darian
Matt Dixon is a firefighter who never thought about what would happen if he came out. So that he could live a quiet life, he hid his homosexuality but he was soon provoked by a preacher and he came to the defense of his best friend, Jamie, who had committed suicide. In doing so, he outed himself and suffered because of it. Now everyone in his life including his family and his lover, Darian, are forced to come to terms with Matt’s struggles with guilt and shame and his belief in God.
Lately we have seen a lot of stories about homosexuality and religion and unfortunately none of them have been able to provide anything new. The struggle between man and God has been around as long as the concept of God has been. Naturally we see a lot of anger and rightfully so but I feel I have already read too much about the same subject and no new conclusions have been reached. It is all about families coming to terms, guilt, and the hatefulness of the church and so on and so on.
Jamie’s suicide affected both Matt and Darian who Jamie had planned to spend the rest of his life with. With his death, Matt and Jamie began a tenuous relationship as a result of both grief and lust. The two were attracted to each other but they both were struggling with a relationship that began because of death. On one hand they felt guilty but on the other hand they felt for each other. Matt had just recently come out to his parents as well as his church and he is still dealing with that. His parents come to terms with his sexuality but the church only adds to his grief. Add to that the guilt he feels over Jamie’s death and the fact that he is now with his best friend’s lover.
Darian is totally grief-stricken over Jamie and he spirals down and is unhappy with life. Matt and Darian feel the attraction. Jamie had kept Matt and Darian apart and they met for the first time at his funeral. It seems that Jamie was as afraid of losing a lover as he was of losing a friend. Both men were important to him and it seems that he could sense that they would like each other. Matt learned that Jamie thought that if they ever met, he would lose them both.
Darian had had problems before he and Jamie got together but with professional help he got over his drug and cutting addictions and he moved in with Jamie and his father Dan who he loved. After the funeral, however, he stayed with Matt and there was a sense of sexual obsession felt between the two men. Dan sensed this and gets Darian to come and live with him but he misses Matt and Dan forbids him to see or speak to him and we never really understand why but probably because of both love for and grief over Jamie. Soon Darian is back to drugs and cutting himself.
Matt, at the same time, is dealing with the ramifications of coming out—his best friend is gone and the members of the church do not speak to him; he loses his job and his family is having a hard time with all that is going on. However, he is sure that he wants to be with Darian and he is willing to take what he has to in order to get to Darian. I will not discuss what happens next except to say that to get to a happy ending will be rough on the guys.
There are several difficult issues here and Kelly deals with them; it is just too bad that there is not a lot of originality here. While the book is well written and character development is excellent, there is nothing new for me to sink my teeth into.