Reviewed by Susan65
Title: On the Outside
Author: Louise Lyons
Heroes: Craig Ferguson/Rocky Kirk
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 112 Pages
Publisher: Louise Lyons
Release Date: April 30, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When Craig Ferguson is released from prison after a year’s sentence for fighting, he returns home to his father and brother, and the family business. Throwing himself back into the life he left, with family, work, and women, Craig tries to forget his time on the inside, but there’s one thing he just can’t get out of his mind.
Cell mate, Rocky Kirk, still has six months of his sentence to go, and after a year together in a tiny cell, Craig misses him more than he cares to admit. He does his best to forget, but when Rocky is released, and arrives on Craig’s doorstep, homeless and hurt, everything that happened between them comes flooding back.
Craig’s family takes in Rocky, now known as Kirk, and gives him a home and a job, but he’s reluctant to join in with their partying, and never seems entirely comfortable in their home. A few months later Kirk announces he has to leave, and when Craig presses him for an explanation, Kirk blurts out that his unwanted feelings for his friend are hurting him too much to stay. His admission changes everything, but Craig’s uncertainty, and fears of his father discovering their secret, threatens to ruin anything that could develop between them.
Review: I am always hesitant to read about prison stories because they tend to be a little rougher than I like, however this one takes place after the cell mates are released, so I decided to give it a try. It was much better than I expected and even though some parts might tick off a few people, I thought it was well written and realistic for the most part.
Craig and Kirk (Rocky) are not hardened criminals…one was in for fighting, the other was unlucky enough to be caught with a pocket full of party drugs. Society, however, is not so forgiving. In addition to these two men coming to terms with their feelings for each other, they are also finding that it’s almost impossible to find a job, a rental, or even a mortgage when one has a prison record.
Craig is straight, until he spends a year in a tiny cell with Rocky. Rocky is gay, but he never tells that to Craig. Not that he was being deceptive, but hey he was in prison and who needs that kind of unwanted attention? Craig is released first and falls back into his old ways of womanizing with his dad and brother. Both accept him back and put his unfortunate past behind them. Kirk is not so lucky. Mom and Dad are not too interested in having an ex-con for a son and send him packing. When Kirk shows up on Craig’s doorstep, Craig is a little unsettled by how happy is his to have him there, and so the story begins…
This book is one about discovery, acceptance, and moving forward. There were many parts where I wanted to smack Craig for hurting Kirk, but Craig had a lot to come to terms with and overcome, and that takes time. I loved Craig’s brother, Stuart. He was awesome, and even though I thought their father was a complete knucklehead, he ended up being a great father to them all in the end. I will warn you, as the blurb does, that there is a bit of womanizing, but it not descriptive and is necessary to the context of the story. This is a MM romance and ends on a fantastic note, so don’t that those little female parts sway you from reading this book
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*