Susi Hawke is one of my favorite MM omegaverse writers, but she also writes contemporary MM, and that’s what How to Forgive is. This is the 6th book in her Lovestrong series. They are all standalone, but they are all connected. I highly recommend reading them all from the very start. There’s a lot of fun, tears, love, and learning in them. There are several years in between the first one and this one, and we first meet Grayson in that book. Gray comes as non-binary in the first book, but in this book, which is theirs, they consider themself to be genderqueer. Their pronouns are obviously they/them/theirs. As part of their expression of their gender identity, they wear clothes that are both traditionally female and male. Their sexual identity is gay.
So, Gray has come home. Home isn’t necessarily the best place for them, not because they hate their family or anything, but because their hometown is also the hometown of the man who bullied them as a teenager. (Check out the first book, How Not to Blend for the story). Clark, the bully, has grown and changed, quite a bit, and it turns out that he was nearly as much a victim as Gray was. (Clark’s story is one of my favorite books, and so intense, How to Heal) As part of Clark’s growth and recovery, he started a foundation that would help LGBTQIA at-risk youth. Gray has the training and the schooling to work at the foundation, and they really want to, but on the day of their interview, they remember that Clark will be there.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or at least the MC compound, we have Wolf, who is, interestingly enough Clark’s husband’s brother. He is the president of the local MC. They aren’t outlaws though, strictly on the up and up, because Wolf’s mama would smack him around if they were. What the club does, though, is help out with security when people need help. In the situation where someone is being abused, Wolf and his boys will show up and provide the victim some safety. Anyway, Wolf is a pan playboy. He likes everyone, and he’s out to prove it. One morning, as he rolls out of the bed of one man, he decides to stop and get some coffee. When he does, he sees the most perfect marvelous unicorn of a person. When Wolf tries to be all cute and stuff to the person, it turns out it’s Gray, and Gray knocks him back, mentioning, among other things, that Wolf is wearing a come encrusted t-shirt.
OK, I have to go back to Clark a little bit here. He’s a fantastic character, and he has done a lot of work on himself to get over and beyond what he did as a teenager. As part of that, he apologised to Gray. Now, just because you apologise to someone doesn’t mean that they have to accept it. Clark apologised to them as part of his own growth and journey. He accepted that it was was Gray’s right to forgive or not to forgive and accepted that. For Clark, at that point, getting Gray’s forgiveness was not the important thing. The important thing was the making of amends, and that’s what Clark did. Clark is still one of my favorite characters. I have his book in every format I can.
So, back to Gray and Wolf. Grayson has become a very good person. They are very happy within themself, and they are not ashamed of who they are. They also want to do everything they can to help out kids who were in the same place as them. Gray does a very good job at it, and obviously makes a difference in many lives. They are also more than willing to go out and have fun, which is what happens with Wolf. I love how confident Gray is, and it’s not easy to be a unicorn in a world where people want you to be a horse, especially if you live in a small town. I admire that confidence and that courage. Living your truth is hard, so hard. And many people aren’t able to find that truth and to live it at such a young age.
Wolf is just a hoot. I mean, he’s funny AF. Gray and Wolf’s meet cute isn’t necessarily the cutest one out there, but it is definitely one of the funniest. Wolf is also a very good man. He really wants to make the world a better place too. He wants to help out, and he does in a way that others aren’t able to. I think that he is perfect for Gray. He won’t hold Gray back in any way, and will give them all the support that they need when they are out fighting the demons of the world.
Again, I honestly cannot recommend this entire series highly enough. It has drag queens, motorcycle clubs, alternative healers, pastors, and just about anyone else you might want to meet. The relationships aren’t always easy, and bad things do happen, but there’s always a happy ending.
OMG, Clark. Poor, sweet, good-hearted Clark. And good for Gray.
OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!