Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ARC Review: Out in the Open by A.J. Truman


College sophomore Ethan Follett never says what’s on his mind and never wants to rock the boat. After a high school social life spent anonymous and alone, things are finally falling into place for him. He’s found a group of friends just as studious as he, and is on track for a promising legal career. Out in the open, things couldn’t be better, but secretly Ethan yearns for some real excitement in his life.

He finds it in cocky fratboy Greg Sanderson, who challenges every rigid, preconceived notion Ethan lives by. Soon, their sparring relationship turns sexual, and these enemies-with-benefits get their freak on all over campus. Yet the more Ethan comes out of his shell, the more Greg retreats into his, working overtime to keep his ladies man public persona intact. As the sex gets hotter, and they get closer to getting caught, one part of their arrangement can’t stay hidden any longer: love.

Dani's rating:

New author? I KNOW. It's always such a risk, but I'm vouching for this one. A.J. Truman is a pro. Out in the Open is well written with easy prose and good pacing. It kept me reading. And smiling.

Starting college means starting over. You have a chance to become someone else, or maybe just a new-and-improved version of you. The problem is that Ethan doesn't know who he is. Even as a sophomore, he doesn't really fit in. He dares not rock the boat. He's a bit dull and scheduled. He misses the moment in his quest for the ideal.

And then Ethan sits next to frat boy Greg in Constitutional Law and at some point grabs Greg's crotch (!) just to get Greg to shut the fuck up.

The two begin a hot 'n' heavy affair. They go at it in empty offices, at the movies, and in the theater during orchestra rehearsal. They are young, and they are horny, and the naughty just keeps on coming and coming and...(why, yes, pun intended).

It's all fun and games until their DIRTY LITTLE SECRET becomes not so little, and not so secret.

The book is told from Ethan's POV, and I liked seeing him grow and mature as a human being. He figures out a lot about himself and life.

The connection between Greg and Ethan was very believable. I didn't always like the way Greg, who was firmly set in the frat scene and very much in the closet, treated Ethan, but Ethan needed Greg. He became a better, braver person because of Greg.

The angst was kept to a minimum. At one point, an old crush resurfaces, and things take a slightly dramatic turn. But do not fear.

At its gooey, delicious core, this book is a tender, steamy romance between two young men. It's about making real friends, trusting others, taking risks, and figuring out where you belong. It's about finding your not-perfect-but-perfect-for-you boyfriend in the most unlikely place. And keeping him.
"He wanted to be like us," Ethan said."Too bad. There's only one us, and it's us."

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