DiscoverLGBTQ Fiction

Stolen Heart


Worth reading 😎

A touching story that is brave in exposing homophobia in its truest, cruellest forms.

Stolen Heart takes the reader on Elliot’s entire journey of childhood to manhood, with the focus being his gay identity. We see his sense of self as a closeted, timid teenager full of shame transform to his adult years as a man of pride, who still struggles chiefly because of the backwards opinions of those around him. As the focus of the story is on hate crime, LGBTQ+ rights and relationships, there are a few trigger warnings surrounding suicidal ideation, violence and graphic, sexual content that I feel must be highlighted before reading the novel.

Throughout the novel, there is an argument to be made that the story barely scratches the surface of Elliot’s life due to the lightning-quick pacing. For example, chapter headings include ‘Two Years Later’ and ‘Four Years Later’, which I feel makes the story become a little rushed. Experiencing Elliot’s life with him becomes confusing and more difficult to relate to because of the speed in which we witness him at his different ages. Personally, I would have preferred a more subtly woven narrative that gives the reader more of a deep dive into Elliot’s personal thoughts and feelings, rather than the briefer descriptions that we are presented with.

Although the novel also occasionally lacks subtly in terms of dialogue, for example with the staple religious insult of gay people as ‘sinners’, this is also a clever reflection of how language that seems so outdated is still relevant in the present day. Therefore, terminology like this is included to show how out of touch ‘religious nuts’ are in comparison to peaceful believers of religion. Daniels beautifully lays bare the hypocrisy of extreme religion, and this is shown through Elliot’s realisation that ‘for the first time, I saw how tightly their lives revolved around their interpretation of the bible. It destroyed our family, the very opposite of what the bible should do’. However, the story is in no way anti-Christianity; it represents learning to become a more accepting and tolerant person to be a journey that can be hard to undertake, but is ultimately very rewarding. There is a very real and raw feel to Stolen Heart in the way that it displays both positive and negative responses to living ones’ truth, but at the heart of the novel is the warmness of acceptance, hope and celebration.

I would recommend this book to avid readers of LGBTQ+ fiction, and beyond. Its message is heart-warming and important, and showcases a voice that needs to be heard in order to enact necessary change. 

Reviewed by

Hi, I'm Sam! My life has been books books books from birth, to University, to beyond. I love to be a part of a community that has a genuine interest in seeking out these perhaps 'undiscovered' books and helping them get the appreciation that they deserve.


About the author

Kristian Daniels is the author of Stolen Heart, Poursuivi par la Haine and Sins of our Sons. Kristian was born and raised in Canada. Kristian is passionate about writing. Fiction, mystery and coming–of–age stories are the genres he writes and reads. Kristian lives in Ottawa, Canada. view profile

Published on April 12, 2021

Published by FriesenPress

50000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: LGBTQ Fiction

Reviewed by