A MelanieM Review:That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James

Standard

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published September 16th 2018 by May Books
ASINB07DTB7MJ4
Series#lovehim #1

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When

No Big Deal

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James

Standard

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

That feeling when…you realize you need to read the blurb to figure out what’s going on.

I may be in the minority, but I just didn’t care for this book. It was okay at best. Partly, because of the use of present tense and first person POV, but mostly, I didn’t get the attraction between a movie star of unknown age and a 17-year-old camper.

I finally read the blurb after I was over a quarter of the way through because I just didn’t get why an actor, whose age is never mentioned, would fall for a teen. According to the blurb, Landon Summers is a teen heartthrob, but his age is never mentioned in the story. He does state, at one point, that legal age for drinking in Australia is eighteen so when he offers a drink to the 17-year-old he has a crush on, he jokes that his trailer can be the Australian embassy. To me, that means he’s over eighteen.

The story also indicates he’s done three seasons on a teen show and he’s doing the movie for a teen audience and it’s filming at the camp where 17-year-old Archie and his twin are attending. We know Landon is on his own in Hollywood as his parents and siblings are still down under. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my math brain makes him a minimum of eighteen or nineteen, more likely twenty or twenty-one. And that just doesn’t float for me with his crush on and “insta”love for the formerly straight, now questioning, teen. More food for thought: Archie and his sister are there to improve their SAT scores but have apparently applied for colleges already because Archie has received a rejection from the dance academy he wanted to attend. That makes me believe they are going to be high school seniors. If true, I just don’t get this “romance” at all.

Landon is an okay character, but his decisions and worries seem rather childish. Most of his friends and family know he’s bi but coming out for someone has the potential to ruin his career. His behaviors in those instances are teen-worthy, but again, no age is specified. Archie, however, is worse with his worries about his father’s ambitions for him and his statements about not wanting to be both gay and a dancer. And he’s totally clueless as to why he’s attracted to Landon. Honestly, given the first person present tense of the story, I felt as if I were reading a girl’s diary.

I honestly don’t have anything good to say about the story, though I made a commitment to go to the end, where we discover the guys are finally going to spend some time together as more than friends. There were so many holes in the story and so much of it made me squeamish about Landon’s age that the most I can say is it was okay. Two stars.

The cover was cute—an attractive light blue color with a sketch of a man falling from the clouds toward another peeking out over the bottom frame.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published September 16th 2018 by May Books
ASINB07DTB7MJ4
Series#lovehim #1