Saturday, December 14, 2019

ARC Review: Campus Call Boy (Guilty Pleasures #1) by Romeo Preminger

Campus Call Boy (Guilty Pleasures #1)
Twenty-one-year-old Noah Jeffries has a secret. He’s putting himself through college under the rent boy name Max Wilde. He doesn’t mind the sex, most of the time, and he sure doesn’t mind the money. But when he falls hard for Carlos, a hot student activist, he’s clobbered by a tough decision. Can he give up making big money on a chance for love? Will the guy even want to be with him if he knows his secret? 

Meanwhile, being Max Wilde is getting complicated. A high paying client who’s the provost of Noah’s university wants Noah all for himself. There’s danger as the guy gets more obsessive, and now it could spill out and impact Carlos as well. 

The first title in Romeo Preminger’s Guilty Pleasures series of erotic thrillers.

Todd's rating:

Wow. This story was a WHOLE LOT of crazy.

The book started off pretty interestingly, as I got to know Noah, what his college life was like, and how he just so happened to be a high end call boy, known as Max, to pay his way through school and avoid graduating with a mountain of student debt.

Through four or five regular clients, along with some intermittent tourist trade, Noah was able to meet his financial needs, though, so it wasn't like many other sex worker stories that I've read, where working street corners was involved.

The book included a few on-page sessions with clients (the giggling guy with the glove was freaking hilarious), but largely focused on one older regular, Philip, the provost of Noah's college, who made me nervous right from the get go.

Then Noah met and started dating Carlos, a college junior, like Noah, but also the school's head social justice warrior with a heart of gold.

I was pretty sold up until that point; however, after literally 2.5 milliseconds, i.e. one coffee meet-up and one date, the "I love you's" started flowing, which felt insanely premature, and much more high school infatuation than the development of genuine, adult feelings. Insta-love, anyone?

The majority of the drama from that point on centered around the obsessive / possessive Philip climbing behind the wheel of the Crazy Train and throwing the throttle to full steam ahead.

Throw in a lawyer, a restraining order, kidnapping, and a murder side-plot and that about covers the rest of the story.

After all of the built-up suspense, I was a bit disappointed that there was no resolution to Josh's thread in the book, but I'm not sure that I even fully expected that to happen.

Overall, the angst was moderate, and the same for the steam, with the romance feeling a bit light, ending in what felt like an HFN, so I'd rate this one at 3 stars.

I am curious to see if the next book in the series will be that of Noah's best friend, Darius, who was also a sex worker. His situation was much more dire than Noah's, so I'd like to see him also get his own HFN/HEA.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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