Author: Grace R. Duncan
Publication Date: April 3, 2020
Length: 579 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s happily married to a woman and has a sweet son, Avery. So, straight. Right?
One night he goes to drink his worries away and meets the gorgeous Chance Dillon. After too many drinks, Patrick spills his problems to Chance, who helps him realize he’s probably bisexual, and the new understanding helps him sleep better. It turns out Chance is a sound technician on the same set, and the two become fast friends.
Their friendship grows, Patrick’s marriage ends, and he returns from his family’s home in Hawai’i with Avery who captures Chance’s heart. Patrick and Chance’s romance blossoms, giving both dreams of a life together as a family of three. When Patrick is outed by the press to his unaccepting mother, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick's life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.
Patrick is married and he and his wife, Emily, are both actors—which means when they are on different sets, like now, they don’t get to see very much of each other. That, among other reasons, is why their marriage just isn’t working and he and Emily come to an agreement to divorce—amicably. But things in Patrick’s life are just beginning to unravel. He finds himself attracted more and more to his co-star—relishing the kisses they share on camera. But he can’t be gay—he is married and a father—surely he is straight? Patrick is about to meet a man, Chance, who will help him understand that there is more than just straight or gay out there and that Patrick is most probably bisexual.
So begins a journey for Patrick of coming out, self-discovery, and learning about his own sexuality—sometimes having to explain it to others and deal with their doubt and derision. Patrick may not be the smartest of men but he has a good heart and if Chance is willing to stick by him they have a chance of having a relationship Patrick desires more than anything else.
Grace R. Duncan has re-released her novel, No Sacrifice. While I do wish the author had taken some time to edit the original story some, there is no doubting that this is a feel good novel—more fluff than drama sometimes with all too easy fixes for some major problems. From things like wanting to see his son more and his former wife easily giving up sole custody to his not worrying about being out as bisexual until the press report it and suddenly he realizes his family will find out and panics—there are some plot elements that seemed a bit too contrived. I am still struggling with why his very Catholic family was okay with him being on a gay TV show with multiple partners but not with being bisexual—that just didn’t make any sense to me.
What was lovely about this novel was the relationship that develops between Chance and Patrick. In many ways this felt realistic and the time the author spent on this facet of the novel was well worth it. I do wish that the pretty constant inner dialogue and lesser important page fillers had been edited a bit—they got repetitive and boring to read, if I’m frank. This novel had very little angst—but a great deal of soul-searching. With a main character coming to terms with his sexuality after leading a life he knew was intrinsically not fully truthful to himself or his immediate family that introspection made a great deal of sense and worked well.
I think that No Sacrifice could use a bit of tightening up in terms of the long-winded plotline. This novel deals with important subject matter—the delineation of what it means to be bisexual and recognizing it as a valid and honest sexual orientation. It also shows us just how important it is for one to be true to themselves—even if that means family will be hurt by it or dismissive of it. The story is a good one—a bit long and a bit to easily resolved, at times, but still a lovely romance.
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