Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: The Fight Within
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: The Good Fight #2
Heroes: Bryce Morton/Paytah Stillwater
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 206 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 4, 2013
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Bryce Morton needs a change of scenery. Since his partner’s death a year ago, he’s become withdrawn and quiet, so his friends, Jerry Lincoln and Akecheta (John) Black Raven, convince him to go camping with them on a Sioux reservation. Though he’s not immediately sure he’s done the right thing, Bryce becomes more interested when he meets Paytah, the man who owns the reservation’s trading post.
Paytah Stillwater’s life is filled with hurt, and sometimes the only thing he has left is pride. After being abused as a child and disbelieved when he spoke up, he has withdrawn into himself – but he can never truly put his past behind him, because the source of his pain still lives on the reservation. Paytah is proud of his heritage and careful with his heart, but when Bryce commits a selfless act of kindness for one of the reservation’s children, the walls around Paytah’s heart begin to melt.
Bryce and Paytah each fight the pain within them. When Paytah’s abuser sets his sights on one of the reservation youngsters, Bryce and Payton must set their individual fights aside. Finding a way to stop the abuser unites them to fight their way forward – together.
This is not a spoiler, Bryce’s Percy dies in the first pages of this book, while Bryce is planning the wedding! Bryce is crushed, starts to recover, and travels with Jerry and John up to the reservation to go camping.
At the reservation, he meets the grumpy Paytah, and though at first they squabble, they later turn into friends, then more.
While knocking down Paytah’s grumpy walls, Bryce uncovers Paytah’s childhood of abuse. He calls in for reinforcements to help Paytah deal with his past, and together they uncover even more abuse.
Though Paytah and Bryce are getting closer, the hurdle of where to live still remains, and what to do with their newfound love.
Andrew Grey does an excellent job of discussing some very difficult subjects in this book. Child abuse. Alcoholism. Racism. Poverty. Death. All in all, there was a lot of tough stuff to get through for these guys. Because of these difficult subjects, I think it was good that Bryce was so light hearted (most of the time) and optimistic. It would have been difficult to have both MCs full of angst and dealing with all those dark subjects.
I also appreciated the delicacy with which Andrew handles the challenges faced by the Sioux in this story. I think he really shows how difficult their situation is, trying to remain true to their heritage while not subjecting others to the racism they themselves face. I thought the Andrew Jackson story was great! I’ll never look at a twenty-dollar bill the same way!
I didn’t like this book as well as book one, mostly because I didn’t feel the connection between Paytah and Bryce as authentically as I did John and Jerry. Maybe it was Percy. Maybe it was because Paytah did such a fast 180 from grump to boyfriend. Maybe because the relationship moved through some pretty difficult subjects – partner death, childhood abuse, racism – pretty quickly. I’m not sure. But, I just didn’t click with them like I did the other MCs.
I still really enjoyed the look into the Sioux culture and appreciate the daunting task of tackling all those difficult subjects in one book and thought it was a good addition to the series.
I would definitely recommend reading this if you enjoyed the first book – we get to see more of John and Jerry and their family on the reservation, if nothing else.
Overal Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*