College freshman Shane Hahn finds himself unexpectedly shuffled to a new dorm room--which is fine by him, but his over-involved mother takes one look at toothpick-chewing, motorcycle-riding Derek McClain, his new roommate, and gets on the phone with the school. The school requires that Shane be the one to file the room-change paperwork, but Shane's reluctant.
He's attracted to Derek's independence, even though that independence means Derek has to pay his own way through college, which he does by making leather products (you know: belts, wallets...bondage gear) and selling it online. Shane isn't even allowed to work while he's in school, much less join a band, which is what he really wants to do with his life. Unfortunately, his parents are holding his guitar hostage until he can prove he's taking his future seriously.
When he decides he needs a way to come up with cash--the kind his parents won't find out about--so he can buy a guitar his parents can't take away from him, he turns to Derek with what sounds like a win-win solution: he'll model bondage gear for Derek's online store photos, Derek will get more sales, and Shane will get a cut. The one thing he doesn't factor into his plan is the giddy stomach-flip feeling Derek McClain causes whenever he walks in the room--and what that might mean for them when Derek starts locking leather cuffs on his wrists. ~ Goodreads | Source: Purchased
My thoughts: I guess the summary makes this book seem like a bondage kink fest with the bondage gear/leather cuff reference but it’s not. It’s just a really sweet, well written (m/m) NA story. Low angst, real life problems and conflict, great characters and yes, a few kinky (light bondage), sexy times.
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.
So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.
And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.
Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother. ~ Goodreads | Source: Purchased
My thoughts: While The Roommate Situation was low angst – The Understatement of the Year was high level angst but oh so good! I don’t make that statement lightly. I hate angst. But I do love the type of angst that comes from real longing and real issues. And when two people work towards something rather than wallowing in self pity. Really good stuff! (P.S. I do believe that Rikker deserves the most patient boyfriend of the year award.)