Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
[xrr rating= 4/5]
Dave is enjoying his junior year at a big New England university, even if none of his relationships have been especially satisfying. He plans to hang around with his best friend Joe and focus on his studies until he graduates, and then he’ll figure out the rest.
Meeting Noel changes his plans.
Noel is strikingly beautiful and unlike anyone Dave knows. Something about Noel draws Dave to him—an attraction Dave doesn’t feel ready to label. And even if he was, why would Noel be interested in Dave? And what about Joe? He hates Noel and everything he represents, and he might hate Dave if he finds out about Dave’s secret desires. So Dave will have to keep those feelings hidden—along with his relationship with Noel.
But Noel has fought too hard for his identity to be Dave’s dirty secret. Will Dave tell the truth and risk the life he’s always known… or live a lie and risk losing the love of his life?
Sometimes I think the greatest thing about life is the lack of an apparent reason for everything – especially when it comes to love. Who wants everything to be black and white when a little mystery, intrigue, and the unexpected are so much more romantic?
This was a wonderful coming-of-age story in which both characters experience coming out with very different results. Noel always knew he was gay, but Dave on the other hand, struggled very much to come up with the appropriate label for himself given that he definitely wasn’t as straight as he believed he always was. It took only one chance encounter with a visibly upset Noel to crack his shell and set the wheels in motion that caused him to start to re-examine his prior hook-ups and relationships and settle on the fact that he may actually like both girls and boys, but that no one can compare to Noel.
The very slow and tentative exploration that took place as the relationship started to develop between Dave and Noel along with the various fears and reactions all seemed to lend an air of authenticity to the story. I could totally envision a real-life relationship playing out in similar fashion.
I suspect that anyone who loves coming-of-age, coming out, and/or friends-to-lovers stories will have a high likelihood of falling in love with this one!