Benny From the Block (Blockers Series #2) by K.C Kassidy

Benny From the Block (Blockers Series #2) by K.C Kassidy is a  bi-awakening story which brings together a man who spent his high school years being bullied and one of the men who did the bullying...

From the Blurb:

When high school principal, William Garrison, steps in to help a bullied freshman boy, he is surprised to learn that fifteen-year-old Ben is the son of his former high school nemesis, Benito “Benny” Vega.

William has mixed feelings about seeing Benny again, considering Benny was the one who used to torment and pick on William for being different. But Benny is a changed man, in more ways than one, and he wants the chance to prove to both his son and William that he’s not the same guy he once was.

Can William be the bigger man and let go of his unresolved feelings toward Benny or will their shared personal history get in the way of helping Ben?

After all, love always wins, right?

Jacquie's Review:

William helps Ben after discovering the boy is being bullied and meets Ben's father, Benny, who used to bully him.

There's a lot to like about this redemption and coming out story. There is a decent connection between  William and Benny, though I would say that William is too forgiving and Benny never really apologises for his past bullying ways. 

The end was rather abrupt for me but they were sweet together and I really liked Ben. Lower on steam which was fitting and a necessary slow burn. 

Content warnings for homophobia and physical assault.

Rating: 4 Stars

Heather's Review:

Internalized homophobia is a tough thing to write well and I think that K.C. Kassidy is able to bring Benny's struggle to life very well in Benny From the Block, and I love how the story progresses from the prologue where we meet young Benny and William through their first adult meet up and subsequent careful but budding friendship and potential relationship... it was necessarily a slow burn and that fit.    Where the book fell down for me was at the end... the series of crises seemed to be more forgotten than resolved and you read the words The End before the epilogue that offered the first real glimpse of a true HEA.  

I did not read the first book in the series, and I don't think I missed anything.  Benny From the Block was a quick read that I think could have benefited from being a few chapters longer.  I think this book works as a bully-redemption story and I hope that if the series continues, the characters might be revisited to see more of their relationship and how it actually works... 

I also agree that this book should have content warnings for homophobia, physical assault and (historically mentioned) child abandonment.

Rating: 4 Stars