Real World by Amy Jo Cousins (Bend or Break #5)
M/M Contemporary Novella
Released: November 17, 2015
Reviewed by Mandi
Late last year I read Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins featuring Tom and Reese. I really enjoyed it and was happy to see a new novella that revisits this couple. Tom and Reese meet in college both dealing with dark issues. Tom’s dad had been arrested for a massive Ponzi scheme and Reese was recovering after a sexual assault. Reese was openly gay, Tom thought he was straight. (Seriously, check out Off Campus).
This novella takes place about five years later. Tom and Reese are happily living together, but things are about to get a little tense. Tom finds out his dad is getting out of jail soon, which puts a lot of stress on Tom as he wants nothing to do with his dad. Tom has a hard time sharing and communicating, even with Reese, so he holds everything in. Reese knows this, and knows once in a while Tom goes quiet, and he can usually deal with it – but this time it’s worse than ever. Tom clams up, and it affects their relationship. Meanwhile, Reese gets a great opportunity at work, but Tom has a hard time celebrating with Reese.
There is just enough angst in this novella to make me slightly stressed out but not enough that it ever felt forced. I like checking in on couples – because let’s face it, although we get that happy ever after – we all know there are always some kind of issues that are going to bring our happy couple back down to earth. Tom and Reese love each other fiercely, it’s just all that day to day stress that seeps in a bit. But they are in it for the long haul and they figure out how to make it all work.
There are a lot of sexy times in it and some very sweet moments. The end made me smile so big.
You could probably read this as a stand alone but I highly recommend Off Campus. I’ve enjoyed this entire series by this author. I really like her voice.
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