Title: Rise: A Gay Fairy Tale
Author: Leta Blake, Keira Andrews
Why you should read this book: Because it’s a fairy tale and it is a nice one!
Summary from Goodreads:
What happens when Jack meets a sexy man atop that beanstalk?
Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold and glittering jewels with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.
Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world is turned upside down. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. But do they have the courage to let go of the past and follow their dreams?
Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose.
This certainly had more backstory than the first fairy tale in this series. I found myself frustrated and angry and deeply sad because the world is a mess, there’s no denying it; it truly is a big mess. Sure, this is a fantasy story, set in a past that doesn’t exist, yet the dynamics, the bullies and the ignorance is so very present in our world nowadays and it makes me furious.
Jack has ginger hair. He was born this way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him; he only has very bright red-orange hair. Maybe I can understand why his father left, he obviously felt his wife cheated on him but that’s no excuse. Demonizing his hair, treating the poor guy like trash because of his appearance, because of something he could not do anything about, was very hard to digest. I wanted to punish the entire village, his mother, and his sister. Can you believe it? All the abuse he had to face since he was born?
Luckily this is a fairy tale so I was full of hope and revenge! There was the famous legend of the giant, and his treasure, living in a castle in the sky, just above the clouds that you could reach from a stalk that grew yearly. Jack is desperate, he wants to have money to leave the village forever so he climbs and reaches the castle. But there’s no giant and the treasure is nowhere to be found.
Rion is the “giant”. He is the lonely soul living in the castle protecting the treasure after his parents’ death. He grew up hearing stories about the Outsiders, the unclean demons living in the village below the clouds so when Jack climbs and they find themselves face to face it’s HATE AT FIRST SIGHT!
This is a nice fairy tale with a great epilogue. It is short which is good and it has a lot of elements playing in its favor. The love is not instant, the trust must be won and secrets must be revealed, one by one. There are slow steps to take in order to find that they must be meant for each other. First of all, Rion thinks Jack’s hair is beautiful; second, he too shares the same interest in men rather than women. Third, he fell in love; they both fell hard for each other.
Yeah, of course there are set backs, enemies, things that weren’t supposed to happen that made me so mad. But, I repeat, this is a fairy tale and I demanded a happy ending and I got one that satisfied me. Plus a lot of steamy stuff in-between and everyone knows how much I love those!
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is HOT.