Review and promo – Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks

Title: Bleeding Like Me
Author: Riley Parks
Genre: M/M Romance

Length: 324 pages 

Released: November 21, 2017
Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn?t exist in their volatile world.
He didn’t paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs. He didn’t paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn’t feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn’t paint people until he painted Jackson.


In this story we delve in to the world of street gangs in Chicago.  We are introduced to Evan a new gang member, who has been alone and sleeping on park benches etc until he joins a gang.  Even has to keep his sexuality a secret from his gang mates, as being gay in a gang is unheard off.


Then we meet Jackson A gang member from a rival street gang, who shares the same secret as Evan.

What are they to do when they meet up at a cruising ground for anonymous sex?  Well to begin with, nothing as neither of them have brought condoms.   But there is a instant spark between them, a spark that neither of them can deny or resist.


They soon become regular hook ups, with neither of them knowing about their rival gangs.  We follow the guys as they try and navigate their relationship around their commitments to their rival gangs.  Some how they pretty much manage to keep their relationship on the downlow.  


The author gives us a real and authentic glimpse into the gritty world of street life.  She brings the broken characters to life and you are so engaged with them, wanting their relationship to work, wanting them to find a way out of the life they must live. 


This novel is right up my street,  I love the gritty world and the dangerous but tender and loyal characters, which makes such a contradiction of personality traits.

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Author Bio: 

Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, she began to write novels that focus on LGBTQ+ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation.