Blue-Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues Book 2)

Blue-Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues Book 2) - Alex Beecroft Blue Eyed Stranger is an emotional journey for Billy Wright and Martin Deng as they struggle through individual challenges and the hurdles of a new relationship. Billy’s depression and Martin’s closet anxiety are fully third and fourth main characters in the book. Beecroft does an exceptional job of sharing the depression and anxiety for each character; I felt stomach aching pain for them both, though I had a bit more empathy for Billy.

Billy’s hurdles were largely out of his control and he struggled to find he methods to cope with those hurdles. While it can be easy to tell someone with depression that they “need help”, and it can even be easy for someone with depression to know there are resources available, there is absolutely nothing easy about the crippling despair and self-doubts one must conquer in order to reach those resources.

Martin’s challenges, in his professional, personal, and hobby lives, are more of his own choosing. He creates some of his own worst situations, and his journey follows a path focused on conquering his external fears. He’s spent most of his life fighting his parents's expectation that a black man must be above reproach and at the top of his profession. The conversations with his family help to solidify his struggle there. It can be hard to sympathize with a character making these choices if you haven’t lived a life as a minority let alone two of them. I felt there was a good amount of “show” rather than “tell” for these issues, and it helped reinforce the sometimes extreme panic Martin often suffers from.

Full review can be found at All About Romance.