For What It's Worth

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mini’s: The Roommate Situation by Zoe X. Rider, The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen



23340785College 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.

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What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

22701480Five 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.)

19 comments:

  1. Maybe I could deal with real angst, not the angst that makes me want to smack people over the head

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  2. oh these sound good. Goes to add them to the pile. :) Great reviews

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    1. Do you read m/m? I think you would like The Understatement of the Year.

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  3. My experience with M/M fiction is rather limited, and the blurb of The Roommate Situation is definitely misleading, so thanks for clearing that up. And, any story that's low on angst is a-ok with me! Rikker sounds like a great character, can't wait to meet him.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

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    1. TRS does have some BDSM but it's so mild and really about more than that.

      Rikker = best boyfriend EVER lol

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  4. I generally avoid angst but sometimes, it just works. Real longing and real issues do have to play a big role, not just someone who's made a mountain out of a molehill. (And, yeah, that first blurb makes the book seem really leather bondage-heavy!)

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    1. I always say how much I hate angst but then I find a book where it all feels so real & not contrived and I'm like - OMG I love this! So maybe it's just trying o find the right angst and right book for me.

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  5. Both are m/m? I should try and read more m/m, f/f Iike and romance is romance. I really need to spice up my genres.

    You know I dislike angst too but I'm with you in that if it's genuine and not convoluted I can get behind it.

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    1. I rarely read f/f and I would like to try more. The m/m shows up in my twitter feed do often with convenient purchase links :-))

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  6. Good angst? Hmmm...I guess I can see that. Neither of these are really in my comfort zone but I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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  7. Aw... I like sweet! I also hate angst... but if you say it is good.. I believe you! Curious about Rikker now. :)

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    1. I think it's good angst when the problems aren't contrived or dragged out just for drama and for me - I love when he couple works towards a goal/tries to do better. I don't handle…"I'm damaged so I'll act mean or I don't deserve anything" very well. I do get it but 300 pages of it annoys me after awhile.

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  8. So. Much. YES to Understatement. I loved this book so much. I'm going to keep The Roommate Situation in mind!

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    1. I didn't love the Year We Fell Down so I was worried about TUotY but I adored it.

      TRS is kind of fun/lighter but also very sweet.

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  9. I am not an angsty reader either but the angst you described sounds like something I could live with. I haven't heard of either of these books and all honesty I would have passed on the first book, I am glad you clarified it for me.

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  10. Thanks for the clarification on the first book as well! The summary left me unsure, but I might like it! I do want to read Understatement. I've read another review that was positive as well.

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