Author: L.A. Gilbert
Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 1st, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3~3.5Hearts
Blurb: Kieran Appleby can’t wait until graduation to escape his life in the Keys. His only friend is the school janitor, his father doesn’t talk to him, and Kieran doesn’t know how to mention he’s gay. No wonder he daydreams about college anywhere but Florida.
High school baseball star Drew Anderson has only one wish in life: to be able to care for those he loves. With an absent father, an agoraphobic mother, and a closet he’s not ready to come out of, he can barely stand under the pressure. No one knows how alone he feels.
When Drew finally notices Kieran’s long-time crush, it jumpstarts a relationship that introduces them to sex, intimacy, and love. Neither has ever been this happy. But lasting happiness is evasive, and Kieran’s desperation to get out of Florida and Drew’s desire to stay and care for his family cannot be reconciled.
Review: Now, this is a difficult book for me to review because I got some negative emotions at the beginning from this author. I understand that we have our likes and dislikes, and our opinions matter to us, but when you start slanting books or movies you don’t like in your current work, while all the while you’re in the middle of an exact replica of a scene from said book, it’s just not cool.
I’m talking about a scene here that was so remarkably similar to the one in Twilight when Bella Swan is having a talk with an admirer and dear Edward beside her takes an interest on their conversation. Anyone who has read it will know the scene I’m talking about as it marked the beginning of the pair’s relationship. Same here with the difference that there is no Bella, but a Kieran and oh, yeah, Kieran and Drew are having similar thoughts about the absurd Twilight book/movie… Now again, I don’t mind opinions, but please refrain from replicating scenes from books/movies you dislike…
Another interesting thing for me was the fact that this book, with the exception of the above scene, awfully reminded me of Outfield Menace by Mark A. Roeder. Yes, Roeder’s book is set back in the 50’s but other than that I kept going on flashbacks and comparison.
Admittedly this book was much better approached and the characters had an outstanding realistic portrayal. They not only felt real, but they felt closer to today’s youth than any other character I’ve read recently.
The core of the story is a classic jock/geek type. Kieran is the weird guy, the odd one, always feeling out-of-place and alone. He (thinks) is the only gay in a very small town, he is weird and therefore sneered at constantly by his peers and, what probably hurts him more, he has a nonexistent relationship with his dad. Sure, he never lack money or luxury, but being in a single parent family, with his dad all day way from the house Kieran is completely alone. No friends, no family, no lover, no one to talk to and being bullied at school.
And here comes Drew, gorgeous, strong, a jock with the most incredible smile oh, and the guy Kieran harbors a huge crush for. Drew has never thought about Kieran, the quiet guy who tries as much as possible to be invisible, but utterly failing on a daily basis. But when he notices their initials looped on hearts on Kieran’s notebook, it hits him that Kieran might be… into him.
What follows is a great story that I really, really liked. The character’s emotions, while being very juvenile and very teen-like lacked the unbearable drama that we usually witness whenever teens are involved, and that was invigorating. Oh, I’m not saying this book was drama free as both boys have some heavy family and emotional issues. An agoraphobic mother going hand to hand with a father that abandoned him and an uncle overseas has Drew trapped between a rock and a hard place. And a father that doesn’t see him in addition to being the freak of the school has Kieran on the brick of mentally falling. But all those added wonderfully to the story.
It also impressed me the turn around the author managed for her characters in the end. How beautifully she turned the roles and made it all happen without stepping over sappy clichés.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for the above mentioned things that I disliked, this book was easily a 4~4.5 hearts for me. Anyhow this book is quite entertaining and will give you a fit of laughter in the end, for which I must warn that you should NOT be drinking or reading less you want to be snorting it out of your nose like I did, and if you’re ever so slightly inclined toward Contemporary Romance I strongly recommend it for you.