Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.
Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.
Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.
But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?
I discovered S.M. James and her incredible series when I picked up and read the moving, 5 star story In Case You Missed It, the third novel in this #lovehim series. That one story just did it for me on so many levels that I had to seek out the rest of the series and, well, start from the beginning.
Why, oh why, have I not found S.M. James before? What a treasure! And this series! I’m running through them far too fast for my own liking because they should be enjoyed far more slowly for the precious caches of revelation, joy, romance, and love each represents. And what a better way to start a journey with a loosely connected group of people than with That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James.
A coming out and coming of age story set in a summer camp for privileged youth, it delves far below surface exteriors and expectations to get at the truths that lie below. The story is told from two points of view. That of Archie Corrigan, scion of one of America’s wealthiest, most influential men (and power couple, his mother is famous in her own right). His sister and twin is with him as well. That he is there is due to a lost bet with his father, one that he sees has altered his future permanently in an awful way. To say he’s unhappy is putting it mildly. Then he meets Landon and everything goes crashingly off course.
The other perspective? That of Landon Summers, famous actor, finishing a role in a movie on location at the camp. That white sounding name is everything he is not. He’s a bi aboriginal from Australian, homesick, his part in the movie isn’t going well, and he’s feeling lost. Until he meets Archie.
The relationship between Archie and Landon will make Archie reevaluate not only his sexuality, but his lack of action in making his own path, his being courageous and passionate towards those things that mean the most to him. After figuring out what they are, if he didn’t already know, and even eventually coming to a greater understanding of his parents and their love and role in his life. Austen doesn’t let any stereotype go unflipped or unshattered with her characters. Relationships were by turn subtle,funny, wry, and real at every turn/ It didn’t matter if it was a cringe inducing conversation with a girl over a phone or one you never expected to have with your mother. I could see each happening in real life as clear as could be. They each felt that authentic.
And while Archie is painfully trying to work his way through his thoughts about his sexuality, his parents, and, well, everything. Landon too is feeling lost in his own way. The author is so good at letting the reader into the heart and soul of this young man so far from his mum and home. In a place where the night sky’s are so foreign and no one sounds like him. His need for home becomes almost palpable and will bring you to tears….
The relationship dynamics between Archie and Landon? Oh, how special. It just clicks right off the page. You get it, because it’s magic, you feel the chemistry as though these two were real. The angst as Archie tries to figure out if he’s brave enough to be gay, Landon as he knows it has to be Archie to work it all out for himself…that’s real too.
There is still plenty of drama here and angst. But I love the ending. It’s HFN but these two get another book later on. Plus you will see them again in book two.
Well, as I said this author and series has me well and truly hooked. The writing is superb, the characters wonderful and the stories one to take into your heart. Over and over again.
I didn’t start here but I wish I did. Yes, I highly recommend That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James. I also recommend the author and series. Grab them all up and have a binge fest!
They are all on my must rec list!
Cover art is wonderful. Light, bright, yet contains elements from the story. Perfect.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published September 16th 2018 by May Books