One of Brad’s frat brothers bent over naked in the locker room showers early one Thursday morning, and he thought, “I’d tap that.”
He stood there frozen, skin stinging from the pelletized water, soap suds streaming down his chest while his world made a . . . What did they call that? Paradigm shift.
Brad basically comes to the conclusion that years of trying to deny it have been totally fruitless and he may as well face up to the fact that he's gay and it's not going to 'go away'. It takes a little while for him to reconcile this fact with the denial he's had going on since he was fourteen, but once he accepts it he goes about cautiously trying fit this new self awareness into his life. Part of that is finding someone to have sex with and that person comes in the form of the gorgeous TA in his history class, Sebastian. After a few mis-steps he manages to get Sebastian into bed and from then on he spends the rest of the book trying to work out (often with very amusing results) how he's going to tell everyone he's gay because there's no way he's going to hide it now.
Let's face it, Brad is a complete darling. I loved him almost immediately for his honesty and his wry take on life. He's not perfect in any way and makes some really stupid mistakes, but his charming bumbling about as he tries to come to terms with the shift is his life is very endearing. This is not a GFY or an Out for You even. Brad has always been gay but well meaning, but ultimately selfish, advice from his coach when he was 14 has meant that Brad has suppressed his feelings for men. This has led to some frankly rather arseholish behaviour on Brad's part, but again part of his facing up to his being gay also meant facing up to those times he'd used women and treated them like crap. For example, one great secondary character is Ashley, an ex-girlfriend of Brad:
Brad had dated her for a few boring-as-hell weeks, so he was pretty familiar with it.
I used her for cover. It made his stomach churn. If someone did that to one of his sisters, he’d kick the guy’s ass.
Ashley is one of the characters, along with one of his Frat friends, Collin and also Sebastian, who help Brad during this time of change. I liked Ashley a great deal, thought her initial hurt very realistic, but she ultimately ends up a good friend to Brad.
I was a little less sure of Sebastian. His job as a TA puts him directly responsible for Brad's grades, which made me a little uncomfortable, especially as it wasn't ever dealt with in the story. Sebastian and Brad even have sex within hearing distance of Sebastian's office workers but aside from a bit of pettiness from one of Sebastian's friends, they mostly find it amusing. Maybe it's my lack of understanding of the US university system but you would have thought that Sebastian would have breaking a few rules by having a sexual relationship with a student he is responsible for. Aside from that, I liked the theme of the 'party boy brought low by the virgin' twist to the story. Brad's earnest attempts to embrace his homosexuality means that he worms his way into Sebastian's heart. Sebastian is the cool and collected one, who's happy to sleep around and not get into a committed relationship, and I really enjoyed watching the way that slowly changes during the book. The title suggests that there's some D/s in the book. There was a bit, but only in that Brad is naturally submissive in the bedroom, so don't let that put you off.
Another thing I liked a great deal was the lighthearted tone to the writing, which was supplemented by a number of amusing scenes at Brad's expense. He's trying to be serious and slightly angsty about his situation but this is scuppered by the reactions of his family, his friends and even the members of his fraternity. It made for a few funny scenes and I often smiled as I was reading. The sex is hot and there's plenty of it. It worked as a way of showing the change in Sebastian, because we see how he changes from viewing Brad as another lay, to someone with whom he cared about and wanted to the exclusion of others.
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable and very swift read. I ate up the pages as I was drawn into Brad's journey of self-discovery. With Brad's engaging narration, a swift paced and often amusing plot, plus a number of excellent secondary characters, this will surely be a book I will read again. It gets a grade of 'Excellent' from me and I highly recommend it
Buy this book HERE..