Sunday, January 20, 2013

Daddy's Money by Alan Chin

Reviewer: Alex at Rainbow Reviews
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (Dec. 10th 2012)
Pages: 210

Everyone needs a little help now and then. For gay Muslim Sayen Homet, that help first came from his understanding mother, who brought him to America from the Middle East. Now that he’s working his way through Stanford Medical School, his help comes from a secret sugar daddy. But Sayen might be able to end their arrangement soon now that he has a boyfriend he can depend on, A student Campbell Reardon. Campbell is more than willing to support Sayen, even if it means coming out to his conservative family.

But when Campbell takes Sayen home to meet his parents, everything falls apart. Campbell doesn’t realize how his boyfriend pays for school… and neither of them knows Sayen’s sugar daddy is Campbell's father, Blake.

While everyone involved struggles to overcome their shock, it becomes obvious Blake will do anything to keep Sayen. Campbell and Sayen love each other, but in the face of so much hurt and betrayal, love might not be enough to hold them together.

This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. I picked it up and finished it in just over three hours because I simply could not put it down. At its end, I had tears in my eyes and I don’t know if it is because the story was so lovely or because it is so well written. I highly recommend this brilliant multicultural, contemporary male/male romance novel. Stunning in its ability to be both simple and complex, Mr. Chin captures the nuances of the Muslim lifestyle and that of the wealthily political family with equal aplomb, instilling the story with thorough, emotional passages that give great depth to both the lead characters, Sayen the Muslim medical student and Campbell the wealthy son of a judge, and the supporting cast alike.

Impoverished, but brilliant, medical student Sayen stays abreast of his tuition fees because he has a wealthy, albeit secret and married, sugar daddy as a lover. Well-to-do fellow med student, Campbell, has repeatedly made advances to him and is slowly wearing him down. He is attracted to Campbell whom he has much in common with and who is his own age. Plus there would be no need to hide a relationship with Campbell, but realistically Sayen cannot give up his entire medical future simply for a relationship. Without the money to finish his education, his promise to his mother will be broken and his plans to help others won’t pan out.

All bets are off when Campbell seduces him one evening, confessing love and offering to foot his bills. Forced to make a decision and realizing that what he feels for Campbell is growing ever stronger, Sayen breaks up with his sugar daddy and the two students become live-in lovers. 

The subsequent trip home to meet Campbell’s parents rivals the 1967 movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” in charm, humor, and complexity.

Never straying from the escalating romance between the two leads, the novel holds a wealth of equally powerful tales concerning family dynamics, secrets, and the fears that bind. Magical and powerful, each chapter of the book held me in throes of anticipation and read like an entire story on its own. Alan Chin utilizes evocative atmosphere, emotional subtlety, and brilliant characterization to convey a beautifully moving story in a concise, extremely captivating manner. I found myself rereading entire passages simply for the ripple of delight I felt at the wordplay. Realistic and heartwarming, with an excellent attention to detail, dazzling lovemaking scenes, and a fantastic supporting cast, the book is a treasure hiding behind a rather humorous and pimped out cover.

Upon reaching its end, I was smiling even as a tear rolled down my cheek. I realized that I held something truly rare and precious in my hands… a male/male romance novel that I, for one, will savor again and again. Thank you, Alan Chin, for sharing this poignant and enthralling tale; I’m off to find your other books.

To read the full, original review at Rainbow Reviews, go to

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