Release Date: August 12th
This book had all the potential.
First-time gay, Gay-For-You, Bi/Gay awakening. Whatever you want to call it, it’s without a doubt, my favourite MM trope. No contest.
And the story being part of Sarina Bowen’s True North universe? I was prepared for epic-ness.
Synopsis: Gay boy (Murph) running from past mistakes and trying to start over in a new town meets straight (?), suit-wearing insurance salesman (Jason) and they immediately click. But only as roommates, right?
The story started out perfectly with the sparkly and unapologetically out Murph moving in with the buttoned-up, and very straight, Jason. Only, the very first time Jason – who’s most definitely not gay – lays eyes on Murph, he reflects upon how graceful and adorable he is.
Huh. That’s a little on the nose, but okay. Moving on.
Murph immediately crushes hard on Jason.
Understandable. Jason’s hot AF and such a sweet guy. A huge big teddybear really. And their growing friendship and affection is just super cute.
But then comes a huge WTF moment that practically ruined the entire read for me. Namely, Murph having an internal monologue about “Operation Push Jason Into Being Gay”.
I mean. What the everlovin’ eff.
Murph having a crush is perfectly fine. Murph being flirty, despite knowing Jason is straight, is perfectly fine. Even offering Jason a BJ is fine. Yes, even after Jason saying he’s only into women. But a gay man even thinking in the terms of trying to change someone’s sexuality is downright offensive.
So in my eyes, those six words turned Murph into a pretty unpleasant character. It doesn’t matter if he’s not really serious. It’s such an unpalatable thought it shouldn’t have crossed his mind, never mind as a capitalized mission.
However, the rest of the book is great and sweet and wholesome. Jason starts to notice more and more about Murph until he finally has an epiphany and realizes that he might not be entirely straight after all. I adored Murph and Jason together. And there’s some sizzling shenaningans. But I tried my damndest to pretend that the OPJIBG thing never happened.
I also thought it was refreshing as heck that Jason handled everything like an actual adult without unnecessary drama. On the other hand, Murph brought enough drama for the both of them. And I could have done without the “I’m-giving-you-up-because-you’re-better-off-without-me” self-sacrificing BS.
But all in all. If you just ignore Murph’s temporary insanity about a third into the book, this is actually a very strong 4-star. However, since I can’t ignore it, my rating drops to a 3.5.
* A free copy of this book was kindly provided by Heart Eyes Press *