Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Mac is a college freshman who has been hiding his sexuality pretty much all through high school, but decides to start college out and proud, and has high hopes for dating. Gideon is the first man he meets that he thinks might be interested, but after one kiss, Gideon basically runs away screaming, leaving Mac scarred for life.
Fast forward 2 years later, and Gideon has broken up with his girlfriend, but is stuck with the apartment. Mac is in a similar situation having broken up with his boyfriend and is without housing. Although they both remember the disastrous first meeting, and Gideon is still a little afraid that “the gay” will rub off on him, they move in together because they have no other options.
With that setup, the men are now clear to develop and act on their attraction. Of course, Gideon is gay, but he’s hidden it so deep he doesn’t even acknowledge it to himself. As the story progresses, it becomes clear why Gideon does this to himself, and we also find out about Mac’s history that leads to his own hang-ups. Their path to a relationship is full of ups and downs, fueled of course by the usual lack of communication.
I think there was a lot to like about the book. The Jewish humor, with the stereotypical Jewish mother and the magic of matzo ball soup, was especially entertaining. Big Bird was hysterical (and you’ll have to read the book to know what that’s all about!) The secondary characters were interesting, and supported the story and the MCs. But overall, there were too many negatives, and while I was reading I found myself focusing on them instead of the story. The point of view alternates between the two men, which became very confusing and periodically I would have to back up a sentence or two to figure out who was doing/saying what to whom. There were character inconsistencies: in the first chapter Mac seems to be the geek with OCD, but later on Gideon is. Gideon is the excellent dancer, then Mac is. From one sentence to the next Gideon drops his girlfriend but then she drops him. They decide to have sex without a condom because they don’t have one, and then it appears in the scene. All questions and conflicts are solved with sex. There were a few points where there was some real drama and conflict (when extended families get involved), and I thought “Oh, it’s finally getting good!” but then it would devolve into the resolution via sex again. I think with some tighter editing, the book could have been much better, because it certainly had potential.
Least favorite quote:
“Mac yanked him into a kiss that dared to suck his lips off”
Ugh. Not sexy.
Cover art is cute.
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published September 19th 2016 by A.J. Truman
SeriesBrowerton University #3