Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.
When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.
However, Christian is not a boy any more. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.
There was a lot that I liked about this story, but also a few things I could have done without.
Alex met Christian on vacation in Spain, when they were 30 and 18, respectively. Christian was about to get eaten alive by some seriously skeezy Eurotrash, so Alex pretended to be his boyfriend to save him from that fate.
Then, after talking for hours, they exchanged contact information and remained friends for the next three years through constant communication and the occasional short visit.
I loved how this story played out at the beginning, as I got to know each character more in-depth. They were both great guys and very good friends, but that was all.
Then Christian transferred to medical school in Alex's remote hometown, which changed everything, including blurring some lines for Alex that he'd never even considered crossing.
All of this was great, UNTIL Alex started mentally harping on their twelve year age difference. Over and over and over again. Ad nauseam. That got extremely old, extremely quickly and I really wanted to reach on-page and bitch slap him. Also... over and over and over again.
But, as clueless, insecure MC's are prone to do, he finally pulled his head out of his arse, accepted the fact that they were inevitable and put in the work to make up for his previous, repeated, idiotic behavior.
“I never stood a chance,” I wheezed.Unlike Horvat's previous story, " The Layover ," this story did actually have a good bit of steam, once both MC's were on the same page relationship-wise, which was nice.
“Nope,” he murmured against my cheek.
This story didn't have quite the same level of impact as his first book, which I suspect was in part due to the fact that "The Layover" had both MC's living out of one another's pockets.
In this book, we're mostly in Alex's head, but with Christian across town in medical school. Yes, Christian visits on occasion, but he isn't a constant presence.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story and wound rate this one at around 3.75 stars and recommend it for anyone looking for a nice, contemporary, M/M romance with a *slight*, but not immense, age gap.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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