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review 2017-01-01 00:00
Escaping from Him
Escaping from Him - Liam Livings Becky's 4 Star Review
Young Darryl/Ford escapes his emotionally abusive, older boyfriend and starts a new life. In this new life, he finds great friends and new love. A story we've heard before, right. That said, Livings does an awesome job of painting a picture with his words and tells a beautiful story. The characters are very well written and I felt like I got to know these people, right along with young Ford. I couldn't put this one down as I found myself wondering if Callum was the "right" one for Ford, feeling sorry for poor Charlie's unrequited love, and loving everything that Gavin had to say! And I can't forget Lena with her broken English and sometimes inappropriate questions and observations. Livings writing style pulled me in deeper and deeper and I had a hard time not turning to the end ahead of time!
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review 2016-12-25 21:58
Delightful and Touching
Escaping from Him - Liam Livings

“It was the heat of the summer, my inability to be comfortable in my own home, remembering things we’d talked about properly, without Chris there to correct me on my memory. All these had combined to this one feeling that I had to go. I had to leave this place and run.”

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started this book. The reference to a ‘controlling boyfriend’ in the blurb seemed to indicate this might be a tough and darker read. But then it also talked about a ‘deceased’ air-conditioner, which definitely pointed at a sense of humour. It is always wonderful when a blurb perfectly captures both the story and the tone in which it is told; this could have been a hard and heavy story, but thanks to Darryl’s way of addressing his reading audience, this book is anything but angsty.

 

Darryl is a wonderful main character. He’s fully aware of the shortcomings in his life but doesn’t obsess about them. Once he decides to make his break, he’s off into the unknown, trusting that something will come his way, and boy is he right. Not only does he find safety, he also finds a group of friends who will form the family he’s never really had. Glasgow was meant to be a hiding place as far away from Chris, his domineering and older boyfriend as he can get, but instead it turns out to be home.

 

The book is titled Escaping From Him and while getting away from Chris is certainly the catalyst to this story, I feel that ‘Finding Himself’ would have been as appropriate a title. In fact, to me this read as a coming of age / New Adult story. Darryl was only 16 when he fled the foster system and met and moved in with Chris. Young as he was he didn’t stand a chance against Chris’s dominance and manipulation. Four years later Darryl is ready to spread his wings, to become who he was always meant to be, to learn that he can take care of himself and find his own place in the world—assuming a new first name is only the start of it.

 

I loved the cast of secondary characters. From the ever practical and loyal Swedish Lena, to Charlie who first introduces Darryl to the people who will form his Glaswegian family, and from Devine, the glorious drag queen to the two Gavins who are each others’ opposites and all the more perfect together for it. And Callum was just perfection both as a character and as the person Darryl needed in his life.

 

There were one or two moments in this book that touched me deeply, but I’ll mostly remember this book for the smiles it brought me. The chapter about the Eurovision evening especially, had me giggling and laughing out loud. I also really want to throw a ‘naff nibbles’ party now.

 

In short, Escaping From Him was an utterly delightful and at the same time very touching story. It would appear I have found yet another author to add to my ‘must read’ list.

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review 2016-12-25 21:49
Delightful and Touching
Escaping from Him - Liam Livings

“It was the heat of the summer, my inability to be comfortable in my own home, remembering things we’d talked about properly, without Chris there to correct me on my memory. All these had combined to this one feeling that I had to go. I had to leave this place and run.”

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started this book. The reference to a ‘controlling boyfriend’ in the blurb seemed to indicate this might be a tough and darker read. But then it also talked about a ‘deceased’ air-conditioner, which definitely pointed at a sense of humour. It is always wonderful when a blurb perfectly captures both the story and the tone in which it is told; this could have been a hard and heavy story, but thanks to Darryl’s way of addressing his reading audience, this book is anything but angsty.

 

Darryl is a wonderful main character. He’s fully aware of the shortcomings in his life but doesn’t obsess about them. Once he decides to make his break, he’s off into the unknown, trusting that something will come his way, and boy is he right. Not only does he find safety, he also finds a group of friends who will form the family he’s never really had. Glasgow was meant to be a hiding place as far away from Chris, his domineering and older boyfriend as he can get, but instead it turns out to be home.

 

The book is titled Escaping From Him and while getting away from Chris is certainly the catalyst to this story, I feel that ‘Finding Himself’ would have been as appropriate a title. In fact, to me this read as a coming of age / New Adult story. Darryl was only 16 when he fled the foster system and met and moved in with Chris. Young as he was he didn’t stand a chance against Chris’s dominance and manipulation. Four years later Darryl is ready to spread his wings, to become who he was always meant to be, to learn that he can take care of himself and find his own place in the world—assuming a new first name is only the start of it.

 

I loved the cast of secondary characters. From the ever practical and loyal Swedish Lena, to Charlie who first introduces Darryl to the people who will form his Glaswegian family, and from Devine, the glorious drag queen to the two Gavins who are each others’ opposites and all the more perfect together for it. And Callum was just perfection both as a character and as the person Darryl needed in his life.

 

There were one or two moments in this book that touched me deeply, but I’ll mostly remember this book for the smiles it brought me. The chapter about the Eurovision evening especially, had me giggling and laughing out loud. I also really want to throw a ‘naff nibbles’ party now.

 

In short, Escaping From Him was an utterly delightful and at the same time very touching story. It would appear I have found yet another author to add to my ‘must read’ list.

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review 2015-04-08 16:38
Liam Livings – And Then That Happened
And Then That Happened - Liam Livings

Reviewer: Diane

Genre: M/M Contemporary

 

Review:
Dominic has been with Luke for 10 years and they have slipped into a space where passion seems to be gone, but neither want to say they might not want the same things anymore. Then Dominic meets Gabe at work, who has been in an open relationship for 4 years and seems to have all the passion of life that Dominic might be missing.
The story is told from Dominic’s point of view.

 

This was a very well written story, it comes across as a very realistic situation for a long term couple. It starts on New Year’s Eve of 1999, so the couple of Dominic and Luke have managed to be a couple through the high profile AIDS/HIV period and not only are they still a couple, they are still alive and clean. As wonderful as that is, is it enough to keep a relationship going after you’ve been together for 10 years? And that is what this book explores, somewhat, from Dominic’s point of view.

 

I have seen in a couple of other reviews that the synopsis did not really describe this book properly, and I would agree with that. I read it like one relationship had been going strong for 10 years but when the one long term person met someone who was in a relationship but wasn’t happy, the long term person decided to question his life. While that factors into the story, reading the book, the questioning was already there when Dominic met Gabe.

 

I will advise that while sexual cheating does not occur in this book, I would say that emotional cheating does and physical in the sense that the two main characters spend time together without their boyfriends knowing about it.

 

Normally, I am not a fan of stories with any kind of cheating, however, as you read further, there really are no bad guys in this story. Luke can be thoughtless in some ways, but when Dominic goes through a bout of depression, Luke is right there for him. For Gabe, the issue with his boyfriend is a codependence both of them have adopted – his boyfriend plays victim and Gabe accepts the guilt. That is why I say this book is very realistic in that the relationships are not unhealthy because of any kind of abuse or poor behavior, but one has gone for a long time because it is easy and one is ongoing because of dysfunctional emotional baggage.

 

Undoubtedly, Dominic and Gabe click when they first meet, but I did wonder if both Dominic and Luke had stopped trying to work on their relationship or just thought it should be easy after the amount of time they had been together and were not sure how to try when it now seemed like work. That, unfortunately, was not explored, although Dominic was able to appreciate Luke closer to the end of the book, but not enough to connect with him as a friend again, which I found a bit odd after spending 10 years with someone, but perhaps it was still too soon by the time the book finished.

 

As I have said, this is a well written book, and I would recommend it for readers who enjoy more realistic stories with a fair amount of drama, twists and turns – not a clear romantic journey!

Source: heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=32789
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review 2014-06-19 00:00
Best Friends Perfect: Book One
Best Friends Perfect: Book One - Liam Livings 4.5 Stars ~ Book Review by Beverley

This is a wonderful character driven novel, which I know is going to be published in three parts. This first part introduces us to the main characters. The structure is a little different in that we always return to the present, but certain chapters show the past and how Kieran met and became friends with each of the main protagonists. This is a story about coming to terms with yourself and other people’s reactions to you. It is also a story about friends and how each friend serves a certain purpose in your life and you in theirs. I love the idea that when talking about coming out to his parents, Kev advises Kieran,

You just have to be it, you don’t need to announce it.

As it must be for any child faced with telling its parents something as personal and intimate as, being gay, Kieran spends a lot of his time hiding the fact...

Read more at Prism Book Alliance
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