Author: Sara Winters
Genre: GLBT Contemporary
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Carlos Valendez has everything under control: his boxing career, his academic life and the string of men who never manage to encourage more than a passing interest. When his friend Michael Dywer moves into his dorm room, he never imagines how easily it could all change.
Michael is a distraction. A sexy, bewildering temptation who entices Carlos with the briefest of looks but refuses to act on, or even acknowledge, the tension between them. When Michael hints that his fantasies have the potential to be more, Carlos finds his priorities shifting to accommodate the unexpected complications of exploring a relationship he never knew he wanted and can’t easily control…
Review: I’ve always enjoyed the “not so straight guy” stories. And Hooked is an example of good story with a nice range of emotion, conflict and character development.
Carlos is buried under with commitments – junior year in college, brutal training schedule for his boxing and an unrelenting crush on his dorm mate Michael. Can anyone say pressure cooker? Michael, the not so straight guy, is in a long-term relationship and there doesn’t seem to be any doubt of his straight guy status… until there is… doubt.
Once they realize that the attraction goes both ways you expect it to develop quickly but it actually became more emotionally fraught for Carlos. I had trouble accepting that Michael would see Carlos behind the girlfriends back. It just seemed dishonorable for a guy who holds himself back emotionally from Carlos until he can trust his commitment.
There are some parts where I had difficulty deciphering between Carlos’ fantasies and reality. But one thing that was crystal clear is that not everything was going to magically be rectified. Between the insightful dialogue and the internal mutterings of conscience the characters are realistic, honest and believable.