Thursday, 19 September 2013

Thai Cruz by Robert Bell
Thai Cruz, the second part of the Cruz series is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.
It will shortly be available from Kobi, iBookstore and other online bookstores
Simon arrives early in Manila to surprise Cruz and his friends, to find they have surprises of their own. But the reason for the visit is to get them away, get them to Thailand for a break and let them compare cultures. Simon hopes for culture shock, and succeeds with what he shows them. It helps them put Luke into perspective. In Nut they find a soul mate as they find the similarities between their lives. Thai Bars aren’t what the guys were expecting, and in many they aren’t comfortable as Simon starts at the rough end.

Of course, Nut doesn’t have a ‘Luke’ to deal with. As the holiday passes, Simon realizes that something has to be done about Luke. He devises a permanent solution if everyone agrees

The story concludes in Cruz Control when Simon and Nut arrive in Manila, and Luke is dealt with before the weddings. Or so they think.

What happened in Filipino Cruz -

Simon wants to put things right with Ace. Except Ace is really Cruz. Simon travels to Manila in the hope that he can meet Ace, and Leonardo. And Leonardo is really Matt. Welcome to the world of stage names. Simon wants to talk, and put aside the ill feelings; part as friends, or learn he had been right a year earlier and leave for ever. He wasn’t sure why, but it seemed the right thing to do.
It was Ace who had kept him coming back to Manila. He had met him in a macho dancer bar. He was new, young, naive. Fresh from the provinces. Shy, always kept his underwear on. Maybe that’s what intrigued Simon. And with very little English. That’s where Rey had come in. The staff had brought Rey over to help translate. Simon had tried to ignore Rey, but he kept butting in, and asking for a drink. He was about to tell the staff to remove Rey when this other guy walked over. Tall, handsome. He introduced himself. He was Leonardo, Rey’s cousin. If he hadn’t found Ace, Simon would have gone for Leonardo.
There had been something about Ace. Simon couldn’t place it. He tried a few times in the early days to get Ace alone, but he seemed too shy. But all that changed.
Now, Simon’s return starts a chain reaction. Brothers and cousins, parents. All realise it’s time to be true to themselves, and find happiness. Except Rey. For Rey, there will be loneliness unless he can accept things. It turns out that he can’t and that despite having sex on stage with boys, he can’t accept that his brother and cousin are gay. Or that they have boyfriends. He hates that his attempts to cut Cruz out of the picture with Simon have failed, and that Cruz and Matt are now boyfriends, living together.
Rey, who is really Luke, can just about cope with the fact that his mother is remarrying, Tim isn’t that bad. But his brother John, and Cruz’s brother Paul as boyfriends. It’s all wrong. He can’t see that they are being honest, and true to their feelings. To him what he does to earn money, and what they do in their personal lives, however similar, are totally different.
A series of battles follow as Luke sinks into the state where he’ll do almost anything, with just about anyone to repay his debts. Money he’d borrowed and frittered away. Debt that is mounting when he misses payments. In the process, he’d lost his family. But if they were going to against everything the bible taught, then he didn’t want them. He knew his work was wrong, but it was only until he got some money, and he did go to church every morning to ask forgiveness and make penance.
The climax of Filipino Cruz is a meeting between Luke and the others, where Cruz and his friends take their pound of flesh, and Luke feels he walks away the stronger, even if a total outcast.


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