Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Arts student Kyler Morris has heard all about The Nova Britannia Brotherhood at college. Unlike the other fraternities, The Nova Britannia Brotherhood works for charities and supports the college clubs and athletics that none of the other Greek organizations do, like fencing, the Chess Club ,the Knitting Club and more. But the real reason Kyler applies for membership is that the members of the Nova Britannia Brotherhood are some of the most well connected people in every known industry. Once a member graduates, he is assured of a job in the profession of his choice. But first Kyler has to get accepted and that means passing the inspection of the most idolized and important man in the fraternity, Nova Britannia Brotherhood President Hunter Kingsley.
Once accepted Kyler finds out that Hunter isn’t as intimidating as he thought. In fact, Hunter takes Tyler as his protege and a relationship is formed. But both young men are hiding secrets. Kyler is gay and crushing heavily on Hunter. Hunter too has a hidden agenda, one he has pursued for several years. When all the secrets come out in the open, will Kyler, Hunter and the Nova Britannia Brotherhood survive?
Welcome, Brother is the fifth book in the College Fun and Gays series by Erica Pike and one I enjoyed immensely. I have read most of the books in this series and found them generally to be an uneven lot. But like the stories I liked best, These Walls Have Ears and Grade-A-Sex Deal, these story has memorable characters and a great plot.
The Nova Britannia Brotherhood is unlike the other Greek fraternities in that it is more inclined toward social good and charities than bongs and beer parties or at least that was its origin. There was an interval where a certain faction dismissed it founding mission and guidelines and tarnished its reputation. But under the leadership of Hunter Kingsley, the organization has returned to its illustrious status and moving forward with new goals and membership. Pike gives the reader a neat twist on the typical college fraternity story while still holding on to the elements that draw a reader in. I liked her setting and thought her descriptions really brought the college and Brotherhood alive for us.
Placed in this setting is a trio of likable and endearing characters. Kyler Morris, Hunter Kingsley, and Liu Wong, a trio of vulnerability and intelligence. While the main characters involved in a romance are Kyler and Hunter, Liu adds a lively and ultimately pain filled note to the story. Gay bashing figures strongly in this story as does its impact upon its victim. Pike treats this issue with intelligence and sensitivity, just a great job. Pike has made all three young students not only realistic but worthy of our empathy and affection. Hunter Kingsley especially could have and initially does come off as too good to be true. But there are hidden depths and angst to Hunter that are slowly revealed as the story moves forward. Kyler is adorably young and impressionable. And Liu is a friend anyone would be proud to have. We like them and therefore, care greatly about their future.
If there is to be a quibble, it deals with the ending. It seems to be missing a chapter or two, an epilogue at the very least. For me, it just seems it ends without a clear resolution or additional information. And these are characters that deserve that and so much more. If this story came with a more polished and complete ending, it would have garnered a 5 star rating. But that quibble aside, I loved these characters and this story. I recommend it as a quick and delightful read.
The books in this series can be read as stand alone stories. Books in the College Fun and Gays series are as follows:
Hot Hands (College Fun and Gays, # 1)
Grade-A-Sex Deal (College Fun and Gays, #2)
The Walls Have Ears (College Fun and Gays, #3)
Little Stalker (College Fun and Gays #4)
Welcome, Brother (College Fun and Gays #5)
Cold Hands (College Fun and Gays, #6)
College Fun and Gays: Anthology One
ebook, Second Edition, 35 pages