Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?
Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.
Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.
When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly café and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?
Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.
*Sigh* My favorite thing about reading romance is that it takes me on a journey that makes me *feel* all sorts of emotions. And while this story was fine, the only thing I truly felt was mild frustration. : (
I fully admit that this could just be me in a reading mood, which happens, but I felt like I'd been 'told' why Cam was reluctant to pursue a romantic relationship with Alex, instead of being shown.
So no, in my mind, Cam's reasons didn't feel genuine enough for me to really believe in his conviction behind his 'friends-only' stance with Alex.
And their remaining in the friend zone wasn't a bad thing; however, it took a really, really, REALLY long time for Cam to get over himself (at 83% in) and allow the book to progress past being a big ole pine-fest.
So I waited and waited and waited, but as written, the book felt like there were way more pages than there was actual story being told.
Don't get me wrong, I truly liked both Alex and Cam, but the pacing of the story felt pretty slow and I kept waiting for more 'something' to happen -- other than waiting for Cam to get over his fear and Alex to wait semi-patiently in the wings.
The two points of conflict in the story are, as I mentioned, Cam's reluctance to be more than friends with Alex, and the aftermath of Alex's dad finding him with a Grindr hookup.
I'm not a huge fan of angst, but here, the Drama Quotient felt pretty light, so maybe Alex taking a second stab at Grindr, ramping up Cam's jealousy might have given me a bit more of what I was looking for. I do love a reluctant MC brought around by the green-eyed monster. ;- )
Other than sporadic kisses, one 'Oopsie Wank' (Trade Mark pending, heh), and one penetration scene, that was it for steam, which felt much less sexy and romantic than Jay's stories typically do.
The story felt more coming-of-age NA than YA, as neither character really went all teen angst and "my life is over" on the reader, so I did feel that it fit in with the series.
The bottom line is that I just needed "more", so I'd rate this story at around 3 stars and am looking forward to reading what I figure will be Dylan's story (?), since there was a section included that seemed to serve no purpose other than (possibly?) setting up Dylan's book.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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