Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles

Darwin Hastings is seventeen and his dying aunt sends him from Pittsburgh to New York to a new guardian, a famous wealthy football player. He is excited and afraid; he wants to recapture the love he knew with his parents before they died and become a doctor like his father. But in his new home of celebrities, crooks, untrustworthiness, and excessively wealthy deviants, lust and want thwart his search for selfless caring love, and in his quest to become a doctor, he discovers the altruism of health care and scientific discovery riddled with profit motivation and deficient moral standards. A finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

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Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles

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Official review from OnlineBookClub.org

William H. Coles engages his readers fully within the first few pages of Guardian of Deceit. A complex story line demonstrates things like what a family is and what it means to be a part of a family, how reality differs from what one expects, and exploring what's important in life overall. Coles lets you delve into a story that brings out both the worst and the best in people.

Our protagonist is Darwin, a teenager who has been orphaned for several years. At the start of the book, he is sent to live with his Uncle Luther, a famous football player known just as much for bad behavior in his personal life as he is for his skills on the field. Such behavior is along the lines of what many people post on social media when sharing disgust with certain celebrities' actions. Darwin finds himself taken in by the household help and Granny rather than by Luther. Luther finds Darwin to be an inconvenience at first, someone that he needs to find a way to deal with, which he does in ways that would shock most sensible people.

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Review from meteku4 on OnlineBookClub.org

Being aware that you are an orphan who cannot afford to take care of yourself prepares your psychosomatic personality for life’s adversities. However, to be conscious of the fact that your dead parents left you a huge inheritance which is being held in trust for you by one famous footballer, who also is supposed to be your guardian, leaves you hoping to get the best of everything.

Guardian of Deceit is written by William H. Coles. The book falls within the fiction genre and has 320 standard pages. Told from the third person point of view, the author introduces us to the life and predicament of the 17-year-old orphan, Darwin Hastings, who, although has been living with his ailing aunt, leaves Pittsburgh for his cousin’s place at New York.

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Review from Gideon O on OnlineBookClub.org

Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles is a contemporary fiction story of family life, permeated with “…false values, hubris and lack of care”. The story, though a work of fiction has its setting as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA and Coles perfectly captures the rich cultural heritage of its people and their flair for sporting activities especially football in this novel.

The storyline is predominantly focused on young Darwin Hastings and his cousin Luther Pinnelli, a rich and famous football star. Darwin at the age of 17 found himself orphaned, confused and faced with an uncertain future. Darwin was born into a wealthy home but he couldn’t have access to his inheritance until he becomes of age. He was however certain of one thing; he wants to be a medical doctor and therefore would never allow his circumstances (not even his cruel guardian) to derail his goals. Luther, the supposed guardian of the young teen failed to provide the necessary guarding Darwin needed to succeed in life. Aside Luther’s football career, nothing about his social life and friends could inspire Darwin to reach his dreams. Luckily for Darwin he met Dr. Malverne on his way to Pittsburgh who volunteered to guide him through the rigors of medical education. This setback notwithstanding, Darwin amazingly coped so well on his own without Luther firmly supporting his dream. At a point in the story, I began to wonder who really the guardian should be; Luther or Darwin.

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Review from Miss ejay on OnlineBookClub.org

This is a truly enjoyable book with a complex story line demonstrating what a family is and what it means to be part of a family, how reality differs from what one expects. This is a coming of age story revealing a smart and strong willed teen becoming a man in a new and unfamiliar environment.

At the beginning of this novel, Darwin Hastings, a teenager who has been orphaned was sent by his aunt who could no longer take care of him due to her health issues to live with his football star cousin Luther Pinnelli. Darwin wants to recapture the love he knew with his parents and become a doctor like his father, his plans get muddled when he moves in with Luther, a cruel and self-serving celebrity who thinks he's doing right by denying Darwin his basic luxuries, making him live in a storage room, making him pay for his room and board and denying him access to the money his parent left him.

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Review from jennibabe31 for OnlineBookClub.org

I loved that Darwin had to experience good and bad throughout this story and he knows that money isn’t everything. Darwin experienced the loss of his parents, as well as being treated cruelly by Luther at the beginning and still managed to find the people he needed to help him get ahead. This showed people that no matter what, you can make it through anything.
I would suggest this book to anyone who likes other fiction or even to young adults in the older teenage range.
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Review from Spac3fr56a for OnlineBookClub.org

I gave this book 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed and recommend this book. The story moved along and kept me interested. It was nice how the story was written to encompass love, lust, corruption, exploits, drug abuse, loss of life, loveless marriage, morals and believe it or not kindness. Darwin and Laszlo were my favorite characters of the book. Aspects of those characters resonated with me. This book will be one that I can read over again and still enjoy.
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Review from RhondaBaughman for OnlineBookClub.org

There are most likely many reasons why this book was a finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner-Williams Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, but I detect much of Faulkner’s work to be inspired by setting and the often bumpy plight of the protagonist. There’s less attention to setting in Coles’ novel, but quite a bit of struggle on behalf of Darwin, the appropriately named protagonist, as he stumbles around familial and personal decay.

Throughout the entire novel, Coles does well with characterization. Even in the most mundane of situations, his command of dialogue and characters make the scene pop for the reader’s imagination. Even the characters you won’t like – you’ll still want to read about them. Again – that is the prowess of Coles’ writing style. I appreciated it and I think all readers of recent fiction will as well.

Finally, the overall plot (series of events) and themes (main ideas) are at once approachable and complex. Coles’ characterization and prose are never written in condescending style to the reader – as I’ve seen in a lot of recent fiction. There’s no snark, just truth, and that goes a long way in the professional standards I hold for excellent modern storytelling.
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Review from Makena Mugendi for OnlineBookClub.org

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. What I love about this book is that it never settles on one point. It is forever shifting, the timelines on his life are changing, moving with him as he grows, from a boy to a man. The book also combines different genres, building suspense and jumping from one character’s point of view to another flawlessly. The book is incredibly well-written and the author’s expertise on the subject is obvious. We are taken on a constant emotional roller-coaster from the beginning to the end. We sympathize with the young Darwin, admire his fortitude as we get to know him better, cry with lovely Sweeney as she worries about her life, fume over Luther and Hellen, and so on. It could not be captured any better. I also love that the book has a lot of parallels with real life, that the dilemmas faced are everyday problems that we face. The author leaves us to make our own conclusions based on what he tells us. He only gives us half the puzzle, and that is the beauty of it.
I highly recommend this book to readers. It is a lovely book, very emotional and beautiful to read. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year.
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Review from cheriechel for OnlineBookClub.org

What I liked most about the book is that it inspires a reader, especially one that has gone through so many trials, to fight, be strong and work his/her way to the top just like Darwin worked so hard for Luther to get his allowances despite his parents leaving him a huge inheritance which was withheld by Luther, yet he still found time to study to venture into medicine as has always been his life long dream. Through Helen, the reader is also taught that the only person who can make oneself happy and contented is him/herself and not anyone else.
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Review from Clara B OnlineBookClub.org

Guardian of Deceit is a work of literary fiction written by William H. Coles. Coles has received critical acclaim for his character-based style of writing and mastery of character development in this novel and other writings throughout his literary career. Coles style is based on his belief that what happens in the plot is determined by the actions of the characters. So, in typical Coles style, Guardian of Deceit has the elements of drama, romance, crime, action, mystery, and more, all resulting from the development of the characters in the book.
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Review from Kolig595 OnlineBookClub.org

Coles successfully created Darwin to be a mature and likeable teenager who is trustworthy and wise beyond his years. Darwin possesses attributes that gives society a run for their money when comparing others of similar ages. He is driven to be successful and wishes to be accepted to medical school and no matter the obstacle, is stubborn to the core at fighting for his beliefs. His Uncle, Luther, often acts as a barrier to Darwin instead of a loving guardian, but this fuels Darwin’s character to rise up rather than burn down.

The crime and fame driven storyline offers internal perspectives of societal topics generally not covered in other novels. While he is often surrounded by conflict and others wrenching at his moral standards, he is able to disengage himself from traps and proceed on his journey to find a love similar to his parent’s.
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Review from Alymparker OnlineBookClub.org

What a fantastic story! Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles was a very satisfying read from start to finish. There were many moments where I could not put it down. The story has many twists and turns that were not expected, which is engaging and congenial. It is a fictional story with multiple genres. Love, lust, fame, intrigue, mystery, friendship and life lessons from a young man with many challenges early on in life.
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Review from mamalui for OnlineBookClub.org

The author does a good job creating a multi-layered storyline with a lot of twists and turns which keeps the reader engaged throughout.The book also has a mixture of very interesting characters who are well developed and easy to relate to. My own favourite was, of course, Darwin who is the protagonist in this story. I like Darwin because he made the best out of the cards he was dealt. Whereas Luther was a bad influence on him, Darwin still managed to stick to his morals. He stayed in school and kept up the pursuit of his dream to become a doctor. I think we can all learn something from Darwin’s perseverance.
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Review from qsusan for OnlineBookClub.org

Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles is a slice-of-life novel with Darwin as its main character. At the start of the book, Darwin is on his way to Pittsburgh following the passing of his guardianship from his aunt to his cousin Luther-a famous football player. Although he is reluctant to part with his aunt, he is also rife with enthusiasm at the prospect of living with a blood-related celebrity. The reality that awaits him, however, is not so pleasant.
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Review from Rollison_d1 on OnlineBookClub.org

You will meet many characters in this book and the author makes sure you get to know all of them. For example, Sweeney is a famous singer and songwriter who becomes Darwin’s best friend but is also Luther’s girlfriend. They’re there for each other throughout the book.

This story will walk you through Darwins life and his struggles. The struggles include financials, schooling, relationships, secrets, etc. It even throws it in a mystery. You will see Darwin grow up and how he handles making money, who he learns to care for, what he values and what he learns from others. You will literally learn all about Darwin! You will also learn other character’s struggles and how they deal with them.
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Review from Joshua Nyakego on OnlineBookClub.org

The book is not a fast paced novel which brings in detail the characteristics of Darwin as an assertive, kind, humorous, aggressive and obedient young man with ambitions to achieve his goals in life. Due to his aggressiveness and humorous nature, Darwin became Luther’s backup chauffer after getting a training for driving from Laszlo who is Luther`s senior security officer. Darwin`s kindness and obedience was admired by Laszlo, Dr. & Mrs. Malverne, Sweeney who was Luther`s fiance, Granny, Coral and Helen who were Malverne`s daughters, Pearlstein who was Darwin`s home English tutor and Dominique who was Darwin`s colleague in the Medical School.
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Review from NeonKay on OnlineBookClub.org

I enjoy reading this book a lot. It has a lot of events that made me ponder at times. The characters are interesting. They are famous and high profiled people who strived to retain social reputation and integrity. The author was able to properly deliver a series of event by which you need not to worry so much if you’ll remember them. Every read is like an uninterrupted flow by which when you choose to rest, a series of events still linger to your thoughts. In every character you understand every hesitance or abruptness, every disappointment, and desperation; their needs and wants and their emotional interactions with different situations they’re in.
The entire story simply has its own valuable touch to reality. Most interactions are relatable and very smart. It is more of personal validity and building relationship and the effects of being under the magic of love and affection rather than parenting sort of story which I thought this story is all about at first. But despite of that, I enjoyed reading the story so much. I did not see any typos or any kind of errors that I can share in this review. Finally, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I strongly suggest this book to anyone who wants to unwind with a good book in their hands. And I haven’t mentioned yet, this book has unpredictable storylines and might not be suitable for people who are underage but is surely recommendable to anyone who has the habits of reading.
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Review from Sarah Tariq on OnlineBookClub.org

The author openly portrays the positive and negative traits prevailing in society. The selfishness of society is evident in the story. Each character is in struggle to achieve his or her goal by hook or by crook. When we see the positive side of the story, the case of dismissal of Betsy (daughter of Bonita Thomas) shows a sign of cooperativeness as they (characters) consider themselves a “family.” The author beautifully moves the story forward relating all events in a sequence. His omniscient view of each character kept me on my toe until I finished the story.

The author aptly describes the cultural values of upper class in American society. The poor condition of women in which she is mostly considered a sex symbol is ironical. Unending lust for wealth, debauchery and callousness of attitudes goes throughout the story, which may sadden the reader. But of course he (author) has rightly depicted a reality. The book is free from typos, so I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I hope readers would like it much.
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D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Mature teen to new adult fiction readers will find in The Guardian of Deceit a compelling story exploring seventeen-year-old Darwin’s journey as he leaves his dying aunt and guardian to go live with an unknown cousin; a new custodian who is both rich and a famous sports figure. Luther harbors some serious personality defects, however, which make him anything but the perfect guardian, and through Darwin solidifies his desire to become a doctor and pursues his dream, Luther seems determined to thwart this goal.


Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite

In another of William H. Coles’ literary fiction novels, Guardian of Deceit, is Darwin Hastings, who lands wide-eyed, bushy-tailed and driven to succeed under the care of his sports celebrity cousin, Luther. Luther is wealthy and insensitive to those who love and even worship him, like his celebrity pop star girlfriend, Sweeney Pale. Like Sweeney, young Darwin is loyal to a fault. With every challenge Luther throws at him, Darwin becomes stronger, wiser and eventually very rich, while also fulfilling his role as the Guardian of Deceit…and deceits surround him. From Luther, to Darwin’s mentor in the medical field, to his mentor’s chalk and cheese daughters, Helen and Coral, to their boyfriends, to Darwin’s own relationships, secrets abound. Darwin handles all them expertly, ever mindful of the possible pain and damage to those he cares about if the truth were revealed.

Mamta Madhavan

In Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles, we see seventeen-year-old Darwin Hastings being sent away to New York from Pittsburgh as his dying aunt is unable to take care of him He is sent to a new guardian, his cousin Luther Pinnelli, who is not only rich, but also a famous football player. He meets Doctor Adrian Malverne on the flight, who will later on play an important role in Darwin’s life and career. His dream is to become a doctor like his father. Darwin does not know what he is getting into until he starts living with Luther, who forces him to earn his living instead of giving him the allowance that came from his inheritance. He realizes that life with his celebrity cousin is not going to be an easy one. Living with Luther, and his flamboyant lifestyle of gambling, and reckless behavior results in Darwin also getting involved in the same at med school. As the story unfolds, readers see twists and turns, secrets, lies, scandals, and complications, which make it a compelling book.

Review by Sefina Hawke for Readers’ Favorite

Guardian of Deceit by William H Coles is a contemporary literary fiction novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults and young adults who enjoy mystery adventure stories. Darwin Hastings lost his parents and now his aunt can no longer care for him, which forces him to travel from Pittsburgh to New York to live with his cousin. Darwin Hastings’ cousin, Luther Pinnelli, is a well-known football star who is an arrogant, selfish person with no interest in helping Darwin, but instead prefers to show him cruelty. However, Darwin has a high level of intelligence and empathy that allows him to get around the obstacles Luther throws in his path by befriending allies. Will Darwin’s allies help him to achieve his dream of studying medicine, or will all his work go down the drain, thanks to his arrogant cousin?

Review by Grant Leishman

When Darwin Hastings’ aunt can no longer take care of the talented young man, whose parents had died in a car accident five years earlier, Darwin’s guardianship reverted to his famous football star cousin, Luther Pinnelli. In William H Coles’ Guardian of Deceit, we first meet Darwin on the flight from Pittsburgh to New York, where he meets Doctor Adrian Malverne who will have a big impact on the young man’s future career and personal life. Staying in a converted storage closet at his cousin’s mansion in the Hamptons, Darwin soon discovers that life with his erratic, drunken and gambling cousin was not going to be an easy one. Nevertheless, Darwin sets out to make his life’s dream of becoming a doctor a reality. Along the way, he will meet and associate with many famous and many dangerous persons, but always manage to keep his dreams and his morals intact.

Review By Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

Guardian of Deceit by William H Coles is an entertaining literary novel with well developed and rock solid characters. Darwin Hastings is an orphan and has been under the care of his aunt until she can’t take care of him any longer. Now, he boards a plane from Pittsburgh to New York to join his cousin, a football star, Luther Pinnelli. But things aren’t what he’d expected to find. His cousin is a self-serving and arrogant guy who lives luxuriously and does everything to make life miserable for Darwin, including cutting his access to an inheritance that is rightfully his. Darwin is determined to win and to pursue his dreams of studying medicine. Read on to find out how he learns to be shrewd, to connect with people that matter, and to get the help he needs to achieve his goals.

Guardian of Deceit Review

A coming-of-age story reveals a smart and strong-willed teen becoming a man in a new and unfamiliar environment.

At the beginning of this novel, Darwin Hastings is on a flight to New York from Pittsburgh to live with his football star cousin Luther Pinnelli. Darwin’s parents died years before, and his aunt can no longer take care of him. He’s ambitious and wants to study medicine after graduating from private school. His plans get muddled when he moves in with Luther, a self-serving celebrity who thinks he’s doing right by Darwin by denying him basic luxuries, making him live in a storage room on his estate, and denying him easy access to the money his parents left him. Darwin is able to overcome just about every obstacle with his keen intellect and genuine empathy for people. It gives him allies in the house, including

read 30 more reviews for Guardian of Deceit

– I found GUARDIAN OF DECEIT to be absolutely riveting! I started reading it one night after supper with every intention of reading just a few chapters for that evening and could not put it down. Not only is it an emotionally inspiring story with well-drawn characters whom you grow to care about deeply, but it is also informative on various aspects of life that we might not think about in the day-to-day….It is very impressive how Coles can so astutely put himself in these characters’ shoes in such a convincing manner, from a young boy to an elderly woman, to a country singer star, to an abusive and ruthless pro athlete… Read this book. It will open your eyes to things that you might not really think about, or even just take for granted in life Yet it is things that affect all of us and our lives, whether or not we realize it. Great, fast dialogue, profound discussions and great suspenseful action and plot twists. Awesome! (5 stars)


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