Boys Come First

Belt. May 2022. 388p. ISBN 9781953368256. pap. $17.95. F
DEBUT Nonfiction author Foley (How To Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass) spares no detail in this fiction debut set in the Motor City, including depictions of sexual relationships. Dominick has moved back to Detroit from New York after going through a breakup and losing his job. Troy is a teacher whose school may be closing. Remy, or Mr. Detroit, is a realtor in charge of converting the school property into a series of studio apartments. The three men are friends who are navigating being Black and gay in Detroit and coping with the way in which changes in the city affect their friendship (for instance, Remy is concealing the truth about the school from Troy). Foley creates a rich setting and strong characters. Each chapter shifts perspectives among the three men; Dominick’s and Troy’s chapters are written in third person, while Remy’s is written in the first to show his strong sense of self.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy character-driven romance, especially LGBTQ+ fiction, will appreciate this book. Some may be put off by the explicit sexual content, but the plot and the strong characters should keep them turning pages.
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