The Official Description: Noah Lancaster’s life is a mess. He doesn’t know much about his past or who is parents were. When he’s beaten on the streets one night while sleeping rough, the attack doesn’t feel like just another random assault on a vulnerable target. Somebody wanted Noah dead. But who’d want to hurt him? He’s a nobody who doesn’t know where he came from or who he truly is.
Harry Cooper wants to launch his career as an investigative journalist by telling the stories of the hardships faced by the homeless. His latest subject was lucky to survive a brutal attack—the mean streets almost swallowing him up like so many others. Noah is a mystery to Harry and it seems to the man himself.
When Noah’s attack brings these two men together neither could imagine they’re about to be pulled into a mystery one-hundred and thirty years old—and half a world away. They’re about to discover a secret someone has already killed once to protect and one that might get them both killed.
Sometimes who you are goes far beyond who you thought you were.
Just the facts: M/M romance, contemporary, mystery, intrigue, violence, hurt-comfort
An emotional, convoluted mystery! Didn’t see the twist coming and I loved it! – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: Noah is living on the streets when he is attacked and beaten. He ends up in the hospital and meets up with Harry. Harry is a reporter who is attempting to write an article about people who are street-involved that will highlight the dangers and possibilities for change. They part after a short meeting but then Harry is contacted when Noah is attacked again.
First Noah is beaten, then he’s shot. There’s definitely more going on than someone simply having an issue with a guy living on the streets. The two men form a quick friendship and begin looking into Noah’s past.
The characters are well-rounded. Noah and Harry are very different from one another and I enjoyed that.
Noah is a young man with a complicated history. On his own from a young age, he was taken into foster care. He has a very no-nonsense way of looking at his past: he survived it and nothing was too terrible once he was in foster care. Living with dyslexia has derailed Noah a little, but he’s determined and independent. If there’s one thing that becomes clear very quickly, it’s that Noah doesn’t like being a burden to anyone. I felt as though his character was pretty authentic although he did trust Harry very quickly. I found that a little hard to believe. Living on the streets is pretty tough and one of the first rules is not trusting anyone without a very good reason.
Harry comes from money but is obviously a man who likes to work. He’s principled and falls into the role of wanting to protect Noah very quickly. It’s a natural place for this character, he’s very compassionate. I enjoyed the characterization of a journalist who wanted to really make a change in the world or even make the world a better place for just one person.
At its core, this story is a mystery wrapped up in a lovely gay romance. Noah and Harry are forging an emotional bond with one another as they travel across the world to try and find any clues they can about Noah’s family. I’m not going to give away the plot twist because I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was believable and I love that in a good mystery! I was truly surprised at the end… and I thank the author for that! What an adventure!
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In This book: (SPOILERS) Vivid description of murder, graphic depiction of assault and the aftermath, depiction of homelessness and repercussions, description of living in the foster care system, assault and kidnapping, description of being trapped in a small box,
Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel
- Building Up to Love by J.V. Speyer
- The Ghosts Between Us (The West Hills #1) by Brigham Vaughn
- Back to You by Chris Scully
I received an ARC of Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.