Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.
When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.
As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?
More than once while I was reading this book I started a mental list of all the people I wanted to anonymously recommend it to. Sadly, I’m reasonably sure that 99% of those people would not only never read it, but they would condemn me for even suggesting it. Which is why my recommendation would have to be anonymous. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I just wish those opinions didn’t so often turn into personal attacks. Have you guessed that Lead Me Not pushed a few sensitive buttons for me?
Readers didn’t have to wait long to find out exactly where Isaac and his church stood on the Gay agenda. For lack of a better description, they were basically a fire and brimstone congregation. I have to admit, because of that, along with his personal attitude, it took me a while to come close to sympathizing with Isaac. I felt sorry for him, I wanted to believe he would come around, but my main emotional focus in Lead Me Not was on Colton.
Colton was teetering on the edge. He was in a good place, but he guarded his heart as well as his body and with good reason. His parents had thrown him out, he did what he had to do to survive on the streets and he abused his body with drugs and alcohol until he found help through Pastor Mike and the church that saved him… or helped him save himself.
Isaac and Colton were both Christians, but their interpretations of what that meant were worlds apart. I personally have a hard time with extremes when it comes to faith. To me, it’s a very personal thing. I don’t think that you have to preach the ‘Word’ constantly to profess your faith. The way you live your life and how you treat others goes further… but then, that’s my opinion. In a perfect world, Colton and Pastor Mike’s church wouldn’t have had to fly rainbow flags to let people know that everyone was welcome there. But we don’t live in a perfect world and people, especially young adults, need to know that regardless of who they are or who they love, they will not only be welcome but safe.
I know that I rambled through this review much more than necessary, but to me, the message that Ann Gallagher delivered in Lead Me Not was important. Isaac learned a lot about himself and his faith and Colton learned to trust his faith. I knew that there was no way that this book would end without someone getting hurt, but I also trusted the author to give everyone hope by the end. I got more than I bargained for and I hope that other readers do as well.
On a side note… some of L.A. Witt’s characters make a few appearances, which loosely connects Lead Me Not to her Distance Between Us series. Which reminds me, I need to go back and play catch up with the Wilde’s crew. 🙂