Reviewed by Ami
Title: True & False
Author: Megan Linden
Series: D.C. Files #4
Heroes: Pascal Tirado/Jeremy Callan
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 165 Pages
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: November 24, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Senator Pascal Tirado’s last relationship has ended years ago and he blames his busy schedule for the lack of dates ever since. His pull towards Jeremy is unmistakable, though, so when he discovers it’s mutual, Pascal wants to try to make it work. Whatever “it” is.
He thinks he knows what he’s getting himself into, but his patience will be stretched to the limits.
Jeremy Callan is so deep in the closet that even people closest to him have no idea he’s gay. It has suited him all his life…in and out of the Corps…and he’s set in his ways even when he gets a new start in D.C. But then he starts sleeping with Pascal, and things get…complicated.
Openly gay US senator and the guy who has spent all his life in the closet…is the disaster imminent or can they come up on top?
Review: I have followed this series from the very beginning. For me, The D.C. Files is like a political gay utopia where we have gay Chief of Staff, gay senators, gay political blogger, as well as a female president. With the current U.S. political climate, I found it a comfort read. Especially since this series doesn’t have a heavy political ugliness attached to it. True & False is the fourth book but can be read as stand-alone. Of course, if you follow the series like myself, it felt more like returning to group of friends. The couple in this book is Jeremy Callan, a former Recon Marine who is very deep in the closet, and Pascal Tirado, an out Democrat Senator.
Due to Jeremy’s closeted status, personally I thought this book was slightly ‘meatier’ than the previous books. Jeremy clearly struggles with this all his life. Aside from one-off hook-ups, Jeremy never tells any soul in his life. Not even his cousin, Stevie, who actually came out to Jeremy when Stevie was only sixteen.
When Jeremy begins to pursue sexual relationship with Pascal, his closeted status becomes eminently problematic. Because Pascal is one of the out gay senators in D.C., Jeremy knows sooner or later, Pascal will get tired of hiding and demand something more.
I found Jeremy’s struggle to be compelling. I know that closeted characters are not everyone’s cup of tea. I think as a reader, it would be easier for me to feel frustrated with Jeremy not wanting to come out. However, I also know that it’s not very easy. I’m an asexual – and I am only partially out to people in my real life. It’s easier to state my asexuality online, under the protection of anonymity. Due to that, Jeremy’s struggle spoke loudly to me.
I have never been a fan of relationships where the love interest demands the closeted character to come out. I always think that coming out is a personal choice. So I loved Pascal for understanding. Yes, in the end, Pascal does have expectations … but it’s not about Jeremy’s being closeted. It is more about the fact that Jeremy doesn’t really want to talk about things that bother him.
There was a quiet push-and-pull, but nonetheless tender, in Jeremy and Pascal’s romantic entanglement that kept me glued to the pages. I loved their conversations – the easy ones and the hard ones. Heck, I even liked the sex scenes – I usually skim them – since I thought it helped me understand Jeremy as a character. Just so you know, Jeremy doesn’t want to do anal sex; which is another personal fight within himself since Jeremy thinks that every gay man does.
I highly enjoyed Jeremy’s personal journey of finally being able to acknowledge his sexuality to his closest family and friends. I loved that Pascal was the guy on his side. Because of that, True & False was definitely my favorite of the series so far.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*