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Review – Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: December 30, 2014
Reviewed by: Heller
How I got this book: E-Arc from Publisher

Bend or Break #1

22857416“Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.”

First of all I’m going to be completely superficial and say that I really love this cover. Simple but gorgeous.

The story inside isn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s darker and more intense with a high level of angst. Both Tom and Reese are damaged characters and are each in their own way fighting to heal.

There was also a surprising amount of humour here that balanced all the intensity. A lovely snarky humour that’s just the kind I adore reading. So with every wince at the layers of angst that were peeled back I found myself snerking at the inner thoughts and one liners that kept popping up.

This is definitely on the darker side so be prepared for that. The young men are dealing with heavy issues. They have a very passionate chemistry like a antagonist sexual one that mellows as they get to know each other and lower their defences.

They are incredibly sexually compatible. Every sexual encounter is off the hook incendiary. Arguments to quiet moments between them just sizzle. I love their interactions but I also love that nothing is easy for these guys. They work hard for their HEA and for their emotional health. They both deserve those wins.

There are some great secondary characters here. I’m definitely looking forward to book two, I like this author and I like their style. They write strong beautifully flawed characters.

I’m giving Off Campus a B+

By Heller

In the United Nations of Book Pushers I represent the Canadian contingent. I've known Has, Lou, E and Minn for a few years now and I've discovered many a new author from them for which I will be forever grateful. New to me often translates to "Where has this book been all my life?" and leads to endless re-reads.

The majority of my childhood was spent with my nose in a book (not that it's any different now) and I always carried at least one with me wherever I went no matter whatever trouble I was up to. My e-reader is something I could never give up now, despite my initial resistance to it. I love my books but carrying around a library in a small electronic device is a thrill that never gets old.

I read anything and everything that strikes my fancy: Regency, Retro-Romance, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apoc...the list is pretty much endless. I tend to cycle through interests so it really just depends on my mood at the time. I would say that right now M/M books have me firmly in their grasp and they've been the majority of my reads for the past couple of years. I think there's nothing better than headjacking into a story and characters created by an author, I'm always up for a ride to a place I've never been before.

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