Author: Leo d’Entremont
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alice Girlanda
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/30/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction
Elliot “Ray” Douglas is an army veteran with PTSD and a closet full of secrets. Discharged and alone after an explosion on the battlefield and the implosion of his sham marriage, Ray is salvaging what’s left of his life. Attending a community college should help him adjust to civilian life and give him a sense of direction again—if Ray survives one hot teacher hell-bent on getting to know him.
Young adjunct English professor Brian Randall enjoys challenging his students and tends to get under their skins. Brian decides to push Ray not only in Composition I, but also in facing himself and dealing with his issues. While coping with the death of a squadmate and the destruction of the only life he’s known, Ray will face his greatest fear—admitting he’s gay.
This semester is Ray’s chance at making a new life for himself, and if all goes well, Brian will make sure he’s a part of it.
Rough Draft was an extremely interesting and unique read with an original plot and great characters.
I’m not sure if I can do justice for this story. On the surface it doesn’t seem like much happens but the characters are just so engaging I was enthralled from beginning to end.
Ray Douglas is man dealing with a lot including a recent divorce and PTSD from an explosion on the battle field. There’s also the fact that he’s gay, which has affected a lot of his life. He just wants to move on and that includes getting a degree. Doing that entails taking a writing a class, which he is not happy about.
English professor Brian Randall is the type of teacher I wish I’d had more of in college. He cares about his students and wants to make sure they learn, not just skate by. He takes an interest in Ray and pushes him to really try on the assignments and not just do the bare minimum.
I loved how Ray and Brian are first introduced to each other, it’s a total meet-cute but it works. Their slow building relationship, mainly as teacher-student but also as friends, was portrayed perfectly. It wouldn’t have worked done any other way.
This isn’t really a romance story, though there is romance in it. Brian and Ray are attracted to each other, but neither act on it until after the class is over. I’m glad they didn’t jump into bed right away or a couple reasons. First, it would’ve been against the rules for a teacher to get involved with a student. Secondly, Ray was in no way ready for romance or sex in the beginning. In fact, Ray only becomes ready for love because Brian pushes him to write about personal issues, deep personal issues.
I’d almost call this a coming of age story if it weren’t for the fact that Ray is a grown man. For him it’s an all-new coming of age, a second coming, if you will. He has to learn to accept his sexuality and deal with everything he’s been pushing to the side. And he does it all with Brian’s help.
I would’ve loved to have seen more of Brian and Ray’s romance. Maybe the author has plans to write a sequel. Leo, I would give you a huge hug if you write that story.
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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