Screwups by Jamie Fessenden

ScrewupsLGTitle: Screwups
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (204 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 7th, 2014)
Heat Level: Mild to Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: In 1996, Jake Stewart is starting his third year at the University of New Hampshire. Even as a successful business major, he is absolutely miserable. Not only is Jake pursuing a field he hates when he’d rather study art, he is utterly terrified of what will happen if his father finds out he’s gay. When he finally gets up the courage to move into the creative arts dorm on campus, his new roommate, Danny, is openly gay—and there’s no denying the attraction between them.

Danny Sullivan has been out since high school, and he appears comfortable with his sexuality. But something happened in Danny’s past—something that gives him nightmares he refuses to talk about. Unknown to Jake, the way he mistreated his friend, Tom Langois, when Tom came out to him in high school, is mild compared to the way someone very much like Jake treated Danny.

It may be too late to fix the mess Jake made with Tom, but if Jake wants to be with Danny, he’s going to have to fix the mess made by another closeted jock he’s never even met.

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Review: Jake Stewart is a third year university business major. While he excels at his courses, he would rather be studying the arts. He chose business to impress his father, but he is never far from his sketchbook. When there is an opening in the creative arts dorm, he jumps at the chance to be accepted and get the room. He worries briefly, what his father will say about this decision, but he’s determined to do something he wants to do.

Danny Sullivan is out and proud and Jake’s new roommate. The attraction is evident between them, but both young men have a dark past they try to hide from themselves as well as each other. Whereas Jake’s father would disown him when/if Jake ever admits he’s gay, Danny’s family openly accepts his sexuality. Jake still carries the guilt of denying his first love, Tom, because of his father’s hatred and anger. Danny’s secret is far darker and deeper, the stuff of nightmares.

The story starts when Jake applies for the dorm room and progresses from there. Fessenden slowly gives more details of each guy’s past as they get closer in the present. The question is, will the past bleed over enough to hinder any possibility of them having a future?

I liked the way Fessenden slowly told the story of each character in flashbacks and memories. I also liked that he made each character realistic to their past and their flaws, it wasn’t insta love, and they didn’t get over their issues immediately upon meeting and coming together. They had to work at it. The story was a little disconnected at times, and I didn’t always feel a connection to the characters. But overall I enjoyed to base story of two imperfect characters that struggle with their past, their sexuality and their relationship, and how the aforemention affect their relationship. It’s not all sugary sweet, hearts, and flowers.
If you’re a fan of coming of age stories with a bit of grit and reality, then this is the story for you.

** I received a copy of this audio book from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **