Thirteen Therapists

by Russell J. Sanders

Thirteen Therapists - Russell J. Sanders
Editions:Paperback
ISBN: 1608208273
Pages: 296
Kindle

He’s the son of one of Chicago’s richest families.  He’ll graduate from an exclusive Chicago prep-school.  He cruises in a Benz SLK300, a grad present from his father.  Aaron Hardaway has it all.

But a boyfriend.

And a loving mother.

Sylvia Karnes Hardaway, evil Queen of Chicago society, long ago thrust her son into therapy hell.  Twelve shrinks later, Thirteen enters Aaron’s life.  Thirteen’s mantra is eyes wide open.

Thirteen will transform Aaron’s life.

So will bad boy Derrick.  Aaron hooks up with Derrick, and things will never be the same.

Maybe he should have kept his eyes wide open.

Excerpt:
Reviews:Jamie Deacon on boys on the brink wrote:

I’ve long since harbored a weakness for novels surrounding the rich and privileged. There’s just something about the glamour of high society that captures my imagination, like being allowed a glimpse into another world. Of course, what makes these stories all the more intriguing are the secrets and hostilities that lurk beneath the perfect façades, and for the hero in this highly original debut novel by Russell J. Sanders, his seemingly idyllic lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
To an outsider, seventeen-year-old Aaron has it all—wealthy parents, an education at a prestigious prep school, even his own Mercedes Benz to drive around in. Yet, being the middle son of Sylvia Karnes Hardaway, queen of Chicago society, is far from easy. For one thing, he is convinced his mother doesn’t love him, favoring her more artistic offspring. For another, and for reasons Aaron has never fully understood, Sylvia put him in therapy at the age of six. Since then, he has gone through twelve therapists, all of whom have tried and failed to persuade him to open up. Now, therapist number thirteen enters Aaron’s life, forcing him to confront truths he was scarcely even aware of.
Aaron is a good boy, the sort who does his homework on time and keeps out of trouble…that is, until he meets Derek, a rebel with charm and an irresistible air of danger. Suddenly, Aaron finds himself falling madly in love, while Derek introduces him to a heady existence of drugs, wild parties, and even wilder sex. For all Derek’s tenderness, however, there is a darkness in him—a darkness Aaron does his best to ignore. His therapist warns him to keep his eyes wide open, but Aaron is too blinded by infatuation to listen. By the time he realizes what’s going on, it is already too late.
I couldn’t help but be swept along by this story of an affluent but incredibly dysfunctional family. It was one of those novels where the author kept adding layers, so that it became deeper and more complex the farther I read. Though there are some grim moments, these are more than offset by the considerable warmth, both in Aaron’s closeness to his siblings and the relationship he develops with his therapist. Most of all, I loved the mix of grit and glamour, the way the world of drugs and sleazy parties provides a contrast for the propriety of charity functions, so if this appeals to you, I would certainly pick up this book.


About the Author

Russell J. Sanders is a life-long devotee of the theater. He’s a singer, actor, and director, winning awards for his acting roles and shows he has directed. As a teacher, he has taught theater arts to hundreds of students, plus he’s also taught literature and writing to hundreds of others.

Russell has also travelled the world, visiting Indonesia, Japan, India, Canada, the Caribbean, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Venice—and almost all the US states. His friends think he’s crazy, but wherever he goes, he seeks out Mexican restaurants. The Mexican food in Tokyo was great, he says; in Rome, not so good. Texans cut their teeth on barbecue and Mexican food. Russell’s love for enchiladas led him on a quest to try them wherever he can find them, and he has found them in some very out of the way places. And good or bad, he’s delighted to sample his favorite food.

Most importantly, Russell is an out and proud Gay man, living in Houston with his husband—a relationship that has lasted almost twenty years. He hopes that his novels inspire confidence and instill pride in his young Gay fans, and he also hopes others learn from his work.


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