My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Point of View: 3rd Person (Brandon & Alex)
Genres & Themes: M/M Romance, LGBTQA+, College, New Adult, Abuse, Humor
Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.
Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.
When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.
Have you ever loved a book so much that you were afraid to read the sequel? Mark Cooper versus America ever so often pops into my head and I have this giddy feeling. This flashback of surprise and amusement and love and when I heard there would be another book in the series I was beyond excited. So what happened? I’m not sure. Perhaps I didn’t want to be disappointed, perhaps I was still stuck on Mark and Deke, perhaps I was scared I wasn’t going to like Brandon’s POV. I don’t know. But I was so wrong. I should probably get smacked in the face by the book.
Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock gave me the book I didn’t deserve, and they gave me Mark and Deke. Basically everything I ever wanted and didn’t know I needed.
“Look,” he’d said last night at the bar, “I’ll eat your fried instead of chips, and I’ll learn what the difference is between a gallon and a liter, and how far it takes to walk a mile instead of a kilometer, but you will never take my are away from me. Are we clear?”
Mark is back and he’s as hilarious and crazy as ever, if not more so. And I missed him, so much. Him and Deke, who you can tell belong together and just are a blast to witness. If this is the first book in the series that you’re reading their little whispers will leave you intrigued, but book one might answer those questions for you *wink*. I love the way he was present in this book and it settle that nagging worried that I had that they wouldn’t be there, you know? The way authors forget to write companion novel appearances and quite frankly I love how they were incorporated. Not taking the spotlight from Brandon and Alex, but just being there.
“All it took to trigger the memory was a word, or a touch, or a smell, and then it was there again.”
Brandon was very interesting, he was since book one and I definitely wanted to know more. There’s is this darkness and loneliness to him that I wanted to figure out, and I felt for him in so many levels. I wanted someone to hug the hell out of him, permitted by him of course, and I just wanted everyone to tell him he wasn’t ruined. I think people forget words have damaging and lasting effects, that what they say can impact a person’s life.
Add to his past, there is the fact that Brandon has eidetic memory. I remember reading about this in my psychology class, and the responses were a resounding, “How cool!” How cool would that be, they all repeated, myself included. But then we got down to it, what about the bad parts, would we love to relive those as if the moment was happening, drudging up a memory without being able to put in a box and lock it away? Brandon has all the answers to this and let me tell you it isn’t pretty. In fact, it is quite unbearable.
“I got you this.” Alex took the object. A dinosaur. Not just any dinosaur. A Sinosauropteryx.
Two nerds in love is seriously the best thing you could read about. Brandon and Alex made my world a happier place for the time I was reading it and I couldn’t stop cheering them on. Whenever the would play with their dinosaurs it just made me inexplicably happy. Like yes, boos, do you!
“He suddenly wanted to give Alex anything—everything—Alex needed to be happy. Private jokes, romantic evenings, a thousand million plastic dinosaurs.”
I felt for Brandon and I love how believable the authors made everything he went through. How the power of love couldn’t heal him over night and how he little by little came to trust Alex and those around him. How he asked for help, because yes, show people that asking for help isn’t bad.
I love the secondary characters and Blake is an hell of a friend. I love it all, I got to say.
Remember: YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.
“If I like start repeating your name or something, it’s to remind myself I’m here with you, not in a flashback.”
“If I start repeating yours, it’s to remind myself I’m not dreaming. That you’re real.”