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 of 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.
©2014 Amy Jo Cousins (P)2016 Insatiable Press
I started reading this book – intending to maybe only skim it – so that I could read books 6 and 7 which I’ve been asked to review. I thought I’d get some background and leave it at that. (Don’t ask why I hadn’t read it before now – I don’t know either!)
I couldn’t put it down!
I loved all of it from start to finish!
Tom’s father disgraced the family and Tom has been hiding from the paparazzi and broke and is struggling to make his own – legit – money to finish school so he can hold his head up high and make his way in the world on his own merits. He finally scrapes together enough cash to make the payments and finds his roommate in off campus housing is a gay kid with a huge chip on his shoulder.
Reese had been told that he’d be getting a single dorm room after his last dorm-mates were involved in doing something terrible to Reese. So he’s understandably wary of a roommate, especially another jock. Little does he know that he has nothing to fear from Tom.
Tom had previous experience in being “bi-curious” but still identifies as straight, until… he overhears his roomie having sex and can’t help but be turned on.
What starts out as a love/hate relationship between these guys slowly develops into a slow burn romance. Then… just as things are warming up between the two of them sexually – their friendship ends up straining the limits as both of them are in denial of their need to seek help for their hang-ups and the other is in no position to offer mental help advice.
Luckily they have friends like Cash and Steph who help them see the light and to keep them from disintegrating as a couple.
This book is full of pain, real people, funny lines, lots of angst and some seriously steamy times.
I just fell in love with Tom – even though sometimes I wanted to strangle him for his near-sightedness. He’s such a big hearted guy and the perfect anchor for the more high-strung and emotional Reese.
Reese – however – is the braver of the two – and though he hides his pain in ways that are unhealthy – he doesn’t let tragedy take him away from life.
I really appreciated that though this is a solidly HEA story – the couple faces real struggles and they don’t just magically disappear because one guy said I love you to the other.
4.5 of 5 stars
Cooper North is a new to me narrator. I really like his voice quality. He definitely knows the difference between "reading" and "performing". He's great with the emotion, dialog, physical scenes and pacing. I thought his take on Reese was PERFECT. This is absolutely the best way to enjoy this story and is highly recommended!
5 of 5 stars
I will absolutely listen to Off Campus again. The intonation of the voice actor was spot on how I heard Tom and Reese in my head. Kudos to Cooper North.
The honesty and lyrical flow of the words building into sentences crafting paragraphs and chapters ... I can't get enough of Cousins' writing!
While this audiobook has a promising start and interesting premise, the heat just did not last. I found the ending unsatisfying, and would have liked more action and less naval gazing from Tom.
"A great read by Cooper North...."
This is still my favourite story of the Bend or Break series...full of angst, bittersweet moments and some hot sexy times thrown in for good measure. Cooper North was a new narrator to me [I now know he'll be narrating the rest of the series], and I thought he did a really good job with sexy, growly, insecure Tom and younger, more experienced but wary Reese.
When I shelve this as intense, I mean that there was a lot of angst...BUT there were humorous touches too. Yes, there were lots of 'should I throttle or hug him now?? ' moments as far as Tom was concerned, although given what he'd gone through and was still going through to some extent, I was really glad he made it to the other side with his head more or less intact. Reese, well he'd had a helluva time already at Uni, and for these two broken guys to get together when one of them wasn't even certain he was gay, took exceptional writing....and this book had that in spades!! For a writer relatively new to the m/m genre, credit to Amy Jo for the realistic way she wrote the characters and some of the scenes.
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