Bend or Break Series, Book 1
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.
Bend or Break, Book 1
With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.
But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.
Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.
Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.
Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.
Rarely have I read a story that I find as unexpectedly charming and delightful as I do Off Campus. Tom, suddenly homeless and poor after his uber wealthy father’s Ponzi scheme destroys his family, is truly an empathetic character. His reluctant new college roommate, gay Reese, is prickly and wary of trusting Tom on the heels of Reese’s recent sexual assault.
I really like stories with a “hurt/comfort” theme, and Off Campus is a fantastic example of this genre. Tom’s fall from extreme wealth to living out of his car is harsh, but his self-destructive drive to earn enough money to continue his college career without anyone’s help is both admirable and sad. His drive to distance himself from anything related to his dishonest father, who essentially cuts Tom loose to fend for himself, is lonely and exhausting. One of the most poignant scenes is Tom’s palatable relief and delight at finally having a bed of his own when he is assigned to Reese’s dorm room. Reese is an equally sympathetic character. The victim of sexual assault by a prior roommate’s athlete buddies leaves Reese fearful of former athlete Tom. Reese’s pain and wariness are understandably initially a barrier between Reese and Tom.
However, it’s the sincere friendship and slow burning attraction between the two young men that is so deliciously sexy and sweet. They grow close, and Reese learns that he can trust Tom with both his safety and his heart. Tom, who identifies as a straight before falling for Reese, has taken to heart his hard earned lessons about the value of those who truly love you. Although he’s on unfamiliar sexual ground, Tom doesn’t shy from his attraction to Reese, who is there to support Tom when he needs him. Together they are simply adorable.
This is a wonderfully sexy and heartwarming story. I highly recommend you read this charming story, and I can’t wait to read the next story in this great series!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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