Author: Eli Easton
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Holiday
Summary: When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.
It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.
Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.
Review: I am a sucker for holiday stories, especially ones that give me the warm and fuzzies. This one did it. I love these guys. I admit to being a complete Sheldon Cooper fan and Fielding Monroe is like a sweeter, kinder version of Sheldon.
Told in first person from the point of view of the (former) jock and ladies’ man Mick, we are introduced to the glory that is Fielding as he is attacking a latte – Santa’s Death by Peppermint. Considering Mick is a nutrition and physical therapy major who appreciates how important healthy habits are, you can already see how different these two are. Add in that Fielding firmly resides in the genius category – he is 19 and in graduate school majoring in physics, and it’s a nerd/jock dream.
Not as easy as that, however. We get an awesome flashback as to when they met – Mick had advertised for a roommate and got Fielding’s mother. That should have been a definitive NO on Mick’s part and probably would have been, but then he met Fielding, lugging in two giant suitcases and firmly escorting mom out the door, looking the part of the world’s biggest nerd. Except his smile makes Mick smile back. Then finding out Fielding missed out on a lot of childhood things (like Star Wars!) and yep, “to say no would have been like kicking Mr. Rogers in the groin”. And so a best friendship is born.
Fielding has no concept of healthy eating, works too long at his computer and doesn’t exercise, gets overly focused on things and is sometimes socially inept. Oh and he’s never kissed anyone before. So when he finds out that Mick as the reputation as the best kisser at Cornell, well, that’s who he wants to teach him to kiss. When Mick tells of his own first kiss, I was sad for him. That was molestation, pure and simple. Even as he wants something better for Fielding, he knows he can’t be the one to provide it.
This is not a simple “hey, you are a guy but that’s okay” kind of story. Fielding has been pretty sheltered his whole life, with classes and studying taking up his time. He hasn’t had friends, even. For his part, Mick has been somewhat of a slut (at least that’s the rumor) and has a big reputation as a player – he sleeps with the girls but doesn’t keep any of them.
The story made me laugh and smile. Fielding’s approach to things is very focused or very excited or both. Simple things, like a snowball fight or cooking, make him extraordinarily happy. When the nerd manages to clock the jock first in the back of the head and then smack in the face with the snowballs, I laughed out loud. Mick takes care of Fielding without ever stopping to think of his own feelings. He acts like a protector and still can’t bring himself to think of Fielding “that way”. And of course, thereby hurts Fielding in the process, just what he didn’t want anyone to do.
Mick’s best friend, Sam, is awesome. She is firmly in love with her long time boyfriend and she is supportive and honest with Mick, not afraid to tell him he’s being an idiot. I also loved Fielding’s dad. That man loves his unique son, just as he is.
Of course Mick acts like an asshat in his confusion, avoiding Fielding and hurting him. Ack, Mick, get it together! And yet, through that, I felt like Mick was in a realistic place. This is a difficult concept, that you might not be who you’ve always thought you were. More than that, worrying about what other people think. Takes guts, because really, “This love thing was not for wimps.” It never is.
This is just a lovely read and I highly recommend it.