Blog Tour Stop including Excerpt, Review & Giveaway – Forsaken by J.R. Gray Release



Forsaken by J.R. Gray



Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming. He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.

God spoke and with His word He created. But God made a mistake. Titus isn’t worthy. He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.




“Is this okay?” Angel asked.

“Is what okay?” Titus had a hard time getting words out. He had a hard time making his brain function with Angel’s hands on him.

Angel laughed and scooted his body closer so their legs were pressed together. “Me touching you.”

“Yes,” his voice was unsteady.

“What about this?” Angel put his other hand on the side of Titus’ neck.

“Sure.” Titus swallowed past the lump in his throat, and was happy for the way he was sitting, because he was as hard as he’d ever been in his entire life. Harder maybe.

“What about this,” Angel whispered over his lips and then brought them together.

This wasn’t like back at his workshop. Angel parted his lips, and used his tongue. Titus was left trying to keep up. As soon as he got the hang of something Angel would change it. He’d done a little necking with girls, but this was completely different. He hadn’t been turned on while kissing those girls. It was more like something to do just to try it, but this was heat and his entire body reacted. There wasn’t a part of him that wasn’t flushed and on fire.

Angel’s fingers slid around to the back of his neck and tightened, keeping Titus close. He grabbed Angel’s bicep, needing something to hold on to so he didn’t spin out of control. Angel seemed to like it, groaning into his mouth. It spurred Titus on. He wrapped his other arm around Angel’s back, desperate to feel more of him.

There was a fire demon inside him demanding more and he wanted nothing but to listen.




I did not give this a star rating as I’m not sure where I stand on this book.  I’m a bit torn and confused and I didn’t want to be unfair to the author.  I have read several books by the author and I AM a fan of his however as I was writing my review it seemed less than positive.

I typically stay away from books with religiously themed books.  I have strong opinions about faith and typically find exception to what is included in those stories.  I often find them preachy as well which I don’t care for either.  This book is NOT about religion per se but more about the hypocrisy and controlling nature of religious cults and their effect on those living in one.  While I’ve never been in a cult, the things that were happening in this one are very believable (unfortunately) and hard to read.  That is not my problem with this book…those scenes were well written and realistic which made me hate the situation Titus was in even more.

So here are my conflicts/issues with the story.

The scene transitions were awkward at times and hard to follow.  I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs because I thought I missed something.  (not sure if this was because I had an unedited ARC and was caught by an editor or if this is just Gray’s writing style)

There was a lot of detail in some areas and in others the story felt rushed.  Titus struggling with his ‘two sides’ was repetitive and extraneous considering there was (I felt) missing or shortened parts to the story.

Titus was ‘naïve’ to the ways of the world even after reading a TON of books; he hardly knew anything about the ‘real world’ but then would know something that contradicted that notion and surprised me with his knowledge.

Either this book is the start of a series or is missing some vital details (or both).

  • How did Angel end up beaten and on the grounds of the compound? If the speculation about who did it was true, how did he encounter those guys and why did they attack him and steal his stuff?
  • The instalove KILLED me. Angel is the first gay man Titus has ever met.  They’ve known each other for 3 days (and they honestly didn’t learn that much about each other).  They spend more time apart than together but are willing to risk everything to be together.  Did NOT work for me.  They did have fantastic sexual chemistry but was that because Titus was so sexually repressed or are they really meant to be?
  • Toward the end, Titus mentions ‘sticking with his workshop’ which to me means he has one setup outside the compound. Where is that workshop – is it at the house or freestanding?  How did he purchase the tools and materials to start the workshop?
  • Titus was the ‘chosen one’ to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather…so they just let him go after what was done to him? Never tried to find him?
  • What’s the real story with Titus’ dad? Was he genuine or did he betray him?  Was he coerced somehow in doing what he did?
  • What is Angel’s back story? Are we just supposed to fill in the blanks about what really happened?
  • What about Paul? What happens with him?  Titus wanted to stay close because of him so does that mean more is coming about him?  I felt like David and Paul might have something…a possible story there was maybe a little bit hinted about (or maybe not and I’m just reading too much into their interaction).
  • The ending felt abrupt. Titus is still struggling with his conflicting emotions.  Does he ever get help with that?

I always try to balance the positive and negative in my reviews but I’m having a tough time finding the positive.  Their banter was cute.  I liked Titus started to see the cult for what it is.  David and Paul were good guys.  That’s pretty much all I could come up with on the positive, so take my review as you will and decide for yourself whether to read this one.




When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it’s half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.

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