Title: Academic Pursuits
Author: Lou Harper
Publisher: Amber Allure
Length: 29k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Lou Harper Week!, Hot College Daze collection, College, Playboy/Manslut, Straight Men, Multiple Partners, Awesome Female Characters, Art, Artists, Self-Discovery Focus
Rating: Pretty Good
Jamie Brennan is putting “cad” back into academia!
The son of a well-to-do family and blessed with both dark good looks and buckets of confidence, Jamie lives for the chase. He has a well-deserved reputation around college as a seducer of straight frat boys. No man is off-limits to Jamie—he’s happy to help fellow gay students out of the closet, too. He even has lustful designs on his oblivious English professor, so it’s no surprise that his amorous pursuits often land him in sticky situations.
There’s just one flaw in Jamie’s perfect world—Roger Hunt. The hunky grad student, who dresses more like a lumberjack than the talented artist he is, gives Jamie hostile looks every time their paths cross. Jamie tries to ignore Roger, but they can’t seem to stop running into each other, and Jamie’s beginning to wonder if it’s more than chance that continues to steer them down the same halls…
The reviews are coming… slowly! But I’m getting there, slowly but surely 😉 I have to admit that this was one of the books that I read back in May when I decided to review Lou Harper’s backlist that I read immediately because I already had it and then promptly forgot to review it. I had an oopsie moment this week when I started to write the review because I’ve read so many college themed stories in the past few months that I wanted to be sure I completely remembered everything. And that’s kindof a big deal when you think back to how well you remember books that you’ve read because how much you remember the book and how you felt about it says what impact it makes on you. So when I opened the book again for a little refresher read, it immediately came storming back to me.
I wrote a review yesterday for Hanging Loose where I talked quite a bit about my happiness that that book took the plot completely through the romance, instead of stopping early on in their relationship. Of course, there is an exception to every rule — no author or book is the same. But, I’ve read quite a few books that just take the story up to the honeymoon phase and then leave things at that, and my disappointment when at that point the book often feels unfinished. Academic Pursuits is the one major exception to that, in that this book is really about self-discovery over the romance and your feelings about this book will most likely depend entirely on how you like Jamie. We first meet him while he’s initiating Hollins, another straight frat boy, into the joys of gay sex, something he’s grown quite the reputation for. But Jamie isn’t really that great at reading situations or people, which shows in his ignorance of how some people at his college view his promiscuity. And the promiscuity really suits Jamie just fine. He loves sex and he’s rather charming and good looking, and he certainly makes no mistake about what sex with him entails. In fact, he often makes sure that he’s not leading a guy along. He makes no excuses because he’s rather happy with his life and the way he lives it. It isn’t really until he meets Roger that those perceptions start to change. At first, all he knows about Roger is that the man seems to hate him, which is a shame because the artist is really pretty sexy. It isn’t until the two run into each other enough to finally really start getting to know the other, when they can break down the facade they both see in the other.
I really kindof liked Jamie because he’s so at home in his skin. He makes no secret of his sexual liaisons nor his intentions. He isn’t playing anyone. He just likes sex and has no need to settle down. Nor has he met anyone yet that he feels that way about. I totally got that. But that also means that he has sex with multiple partners, even after he’s met Roger. So for those who really like their main characters to stick with each other and to have a pretty pure romance plot, this might not be your book. For most of the book, he and Roger aren’t together. The course of their romance on-page is in the barely getting to know you’s, and then later in the book Jamie’s change in perception about his feelings for Roger, what that means for him, and his understanding about Roger’s perception of him. This really is a book of self-discovery. Jamie is spending his college years having casual sex and it is only with serious feelings for someone that he starts to understand how others might have viewed him, and also how he wants to change. Not really because his behavior was bad, but because it just doesn’t suit him anymore.
I’ll let you discover the details yourself, but there’s a lot else in this book to like, like his cousin/roommate Jo who is totally awesome, and his own matchmaking efforts for her and for some of his conquests. And you know, for a guy in college, his sexual portrayal is pretty spot-on, you know? The whole reputation as a seducer of straight frat boys might put a funny spin on the situation, but I liked that this was a pretty accurate portrayal of college life.
So, don’t miss out on this one folks. It’s pretty short at 29k words and it’s a fun read. And I didn’t even feel like I needed a sequel!
Posted by Cole in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors G-I, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Amber Allure, Art, Artists, Awesome Female Characters, College, Hot College Daze collection, Lou Harper, Lou Harper Week!, Multiple/Other Partners, Playboys, Self-Discovery Focus, Straight Men
Title: Just Call Me Angel
Author: Jack Greene
Length: 15,400 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Scientist, Science (Geology), Technology Sector, Businessmen, On Vacation, Bahamas, Hurricane, Nerds/Geeks, Playboys, Bisexual, Famous, Super Rich, Second Chances
Rating: Pretty Good
Seeking funding to complete his breakthrough research, Ben meets Chase Mitchell, billionaire CEO of Mitchell Industries.
Chase agrees to fund Ben’s research, but what Ben didn’t count on was how handsome Chase is, or how much Ben wants him.
I’ve really grown to love Jack Greene’s writing over the last couple of years. But while I first naturally assumed that he was solely an erotica writer, I’ve had to change my expectations every time he sends me a new story. And I’m really glad that I’ve been able to. Ever since he wrote and published his first novel, Indiscretion (reviewed here), I’ve seen a real upswing in his writing. I mean, I always enjoyed his stories, don’t get me wrong. But this year has seen some of Jack’s best writing, as well as some branching out into romance. The novel did that really well while exploring extra-marital affairs, and this story, Just Call Me Angel, does it as well.
Ben knows that as far as he is concerned, intelligence comes before beauty. He’s too skinny and he’s a giant nerd. He’d prefer to be alone in his lab over pretty much anything else. Except to have a boyfriend again, maybe. And of course, Ben has had to learn that it doesn’t matter how much intelligence someone has if no one is willing to invest in them. He’s been trying to get funding for his discovery for ages. After going through all of his preferred sources of investment while those he pitched to nodded off in boredom the moment he started to explain metals and geology, Ben has been forced swallow his pride and enter the private sector.
This decision brings him to Mitchell Industries, but instead of the lackey he’s expecting them to send to talk to him the man himself comes to the meeting, eccentric billionaire Chase Mitchell. The venture capitalist soon surprises Ben into silence, not only by his utter sexiness in that powerful mature way, but the man’s humor, intelligence and down to earth personality. Soon Ben is swept up into a world of success…nouveau. Chase lives life among splendor of the likes Ben (who lives in a studio apartment and eats ramen) has never known, but isn’t completely taken away by his own wealth and success and is more socially cognizant than a stereotypical multi-billionaire. The two are smitten right away, but Ben knows all about the rumors of Chase’s personal life. He’s a player, and more than most, Ben has a lot to lose by a souring relationship between the two — his professional success, his pet project, and his fragile, self-depreciating ego.
Not only was I in for a surprise finding out that the romance in this story was way more front and center than the sex, but I was even more surprised to find that this story had very little sex in it. If I were used to Jack Greene being primarily a romance author then I might say that this had an average amount of sex for a short story (meaning, one scene near the end), but I’m not. I’m used to quite a bit of sizzling sex from this author! I wasn’t disappointed, because I liked the story a lot and Jack has show that he’s just as good or better of a romance author than as an erotica author, but it was a bit of an adjustment waiting for the sex to start, lol. The sex we do get though, is really hot, so there are no complaints from me.
I think it’s important to talk about the fact that Jack and now writing more romance-heavy stories because I think many readers probably have pre-conceived notions of his writing, like I did. The target audience of this story is going to be somewhat different than some of his others. I recommend this one for a quick and cute read!
Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Just Call Me Angel. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Friday, May 18. I will choose the winner using Random.org and email the winner who will then have 48 hours from the time of the drawing to reply to my email. I will then forward the winner’s information to Jack so the winner can receive their ebook.
Please enter the email you’d wish me to contact you at in the comment form, or if you prefer, leave it in the message.
Thank you and good luck!
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, Authors G-I, Contemporary, Giveaways, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between, up to 15k Tags: Bahamas, Bisexual, Businessmen, Famous, Hurricane, Jack Greene, Nerds/Geeks, On Vacation, Phaze, Playboys, Science, Scientist, Second Chances, Short Story, Super Rich