Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins (Bend or Break #1)
M/M New Adult Romance
Released: December 30, 2014
Reviewed by Mandi
All Tom wants to do is graduate from college and start a career – to basically live a normal life. But last year when his father was arrested by the FBI for one of the largest price-fixing takedowns ever, his life is no longer so normal. Besides his family’s name being on the front page of every newspaper, Tom no longer has any money, which means paying for college sucks, big time. After taking time off during the semester his life went to hell, Tom is back but wants to go unnoticed. His college places him in the a dorm reserved for older or non-traditional students so he is not on the main campus. Every weekend he drives a cab around Boston to make money, so he is barely scraping by and barely sleeping. Not a good combination. When he arrives at his new dorm room the first night, all he wants to do is sleep – but his new roommate isn’t as cooperative.
Reese is gay and after being sexually assaulted on campus, he is now living in the non-traditional housing. The sexual assault leaves Reese wary and scared and cautious. But, he doesn’t want the guys that did it to him to win everything, so Reese brings back anonymous yet safe guys to his dorm to have sex with. Reese thought he had a single room, so when Tom barges in, Reese isn’t thrilled with having a roommate. To annoy Tom, he makes sure he brings back guy after guy to make Tom feel uncomfortable. But after some time has passed and Tom starts to give Reese meaningful stares and such and Reese realizes Tom may be interested in starting something with him. (See Smex Scene Sunday for one such stare…)
Tom struggles initially with his attraction towards Reese. While he admits he may have fooled around once or twice with another guy in his teenage years, he leans more towards women. But Reese, with his emo hair cut and sad eyes draws him in. Tom is greatly annoyed by the men Reese drags home, but then is greatly turned on by it. He is more confused than anything, but doesn’t fight his urges towards another man too much. When he learns of Reese’s assault, he starts to understand Reese’s hot/cold behavior and why Reese acts scared of him sometimes.
Tom is twenty-two in this book (I think Reese is a couple of years younger) but to me he acted much older. He calls Reese “kid” and has a very mature, rougher side to him. It was hard for me to picture him as a twenty-two year old. To me, he came across as I don’t know – someone in his mid-30’s. So I pretended that was how old he was. I liked the older/younger vibe and I kind of wish Tom really was a lot older than Reese. I liked the fact that Tom was the older, more in charge guy, but also the one struggling with being bisexual and coming out and displaying his feelings for Reese in public. Reese’s concern over his assault and how it affected him is well done too. Reese is sweet and kind and together they work their way through their hard past year and find a way to be happy together.
Plus the sex is really hot.
Sweet and sexy romance. I liked.
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Just bought this after reading your review, as well as the Love Bytes review. B&N was then good enough to recommend the new Riley Hart. With so many wonderful newly released books to read I think my problem will be deciding which to read next :)