These college roommates might be lovers, but old hurts may keep forever out of reach…
Best friends. Jude is more than Cam’s roommate—he’s his best friend. Cam loves how they fit so perfectly into each other’s lives. The last thing Cam wants is to upset the most important relationship in his life, especially since he’s been burned by love before. And after surviving a near-fatal car accident, he’s content to keep his love life strictly casual.
Until the moment everything changes. Now Cam’s feeling things he thought he’d never feel again. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship, but he can’t seem to stay away from Jude. Just one time becomes just one more until his predictable life is upside down. He has no clue what he wants anymore.
He wants Jude. More than that, he needs Jude. In his life, in his heart, in his home. But if they are going to have a shot at forever, Cam’s going to have to work through his painful past. Cam doesn’t want to break his best friend’s heart, but is he willing to risk his own?
Give Me a Hand is a full-length new adult friends-to-lovers romance between two stubborn heroes. Happy ending guaranteed with plenty of feels and steam along the way!
Gwen Martin grew up in Florida where the sun was always shining, the humidity was high, and Disney was just a hop skip away. She currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee to experience seasons and be closer to the mountains. When she’s not trying to write one of her million story ideas, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and four cats.
Gwen first started writing at a young age, coming up with stories in class instead of paying attention to the math lesson. Since then she has been exploring her love of writing in various fan communities where she has learned how to cultivate character development and romantic interactions.
She has a strong love affair with cold brew coffee, black cats, and nerding out in various fandoms. When she’s not writing, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on, listening to a lot of lo-fi and making playlists, chilling with her four gatos and obsessing about Pusheen. Because it’s always about Pusheen.
I had high hopes this would be sort of an NA version of Want Me. Alas, it was not.
Give Me a Hand follows your basic romance algorithm: MCs meet/are hot for each other, the courting ritual, feelings happen, conflict/misunderstanding which leads one of them to realize how many feelings they had for the other MC which leads to the big finish of HFN/HEA.
I like the romance algorithm otherwise we wouldn't be here. Martin delivered the bones of the algorithm but the filling needs some polish and here's a quick rundown of my biggest issues:
Telling vs. Showing: it's all told from Cam's POV and he's been through some hardships thus he's guarded with his heart. Understandable. He talks an awful lot about his feelings for Jude but all of those feelings always, and I do mean always, leads back to sex. Sex is great but it doesn't equal love and when you're trying to convince me that the characters are 'right for each other' I need to be shown that connection on more than just a sexual level. Most of their time together is spent doing sexy things rather than discovering each other's personalities and whether or not they mesh, so when we got to the HFN my first thought was 'less than a year' before Jude moves on.
Anthropomorphizing: if I had to read about Cam's innards jumping, swooping, turning, twisting, skipping, etc. I was going to call the ambulance myself.
Characters: not only did I not invest in them as a couple but they never reached fully realized status and-death knell-I didn't like them.
All that being said, not many authors can hit a home run their first time up at bat but I do think Martin shows promise, though to be fair, many will likely not have the issues I did. However, my opinions are my own and YMMV.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Holy Unrefillable Prescriptions Batman , What's Going On?
Give Me A Hand is a Friends to Lovers, NA, College age , Steamy, Contemporary Romance story with a HEA.
Give Me A Hand it's an Ok read: was just expecting more , after reading the reviews.
I had some trouble connecting with the heroes Cam and Jude , their relationship and the overall plot of the story. It also has the frequently used and loved , by no-one I know, "the big misunderstanding" plot device.
The story is told from Cam POV; he was unnecessary secretive, willingly confusing in almost all his interactions ; that be with his best friend, his family, Jude and even himself.
In the positive side, if you like reading about two guys looking at each other , while pleasuring themselves with their hands and finishing on each other chests ; this is the story for you.
2.5 stars rating.
Received a ARC of this book and this is my honest opinion. Read2020 GRR Amazon
Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary copy via A Novel Take for an honest review.
I liked this quiet contemporary story of college roommates. Cam shies away from serious relationships. He's focusing on his college studies after Track and running, the thing he really loved, was taken away from him by a car accident with a drunk driver.
His roommate Jude and their new casual relationship sneaks up on him until Cam's taking Jude home with him to Thanksgiving dinner and his best friend Claudia (who is an awesome side character) is calling him out on his bs.
I loved Cam and Jude's dynamic together. The story's from Cam's point of view and it was interesting to try and guess Jude's motivations. It was obvious that Jude was in it for the long haul and although there is the inevitable falling out when Cam's insecurities rise, it doesn't take them too long to make up.
The ending felt a little abrupt, but I like that this is the start of a series, and we'll hopefully see Cam and Jude cross paths with future characters.
Jude and Cam have been roommates for the past couple years and are close as friends can be. But, when Cam walks in on Jude having a rather private moment it ultimately leads to a casual relationship starting between the two. But, how long can casual last until feelings get involved?
This was my first book by this author and I liked it for the most part. I enjoyed the first half of the Jude and Cam’s story a lot. It was steamy, fun and overall enjoyable. But,as the book went on the more increasingly frustrated I began to get with Cam. He kind of sucked a lot towards Jude there for a bit. Add in the disappointing ending and my enjoyment just kind of fell flat.
But, if you want a quick read with some pretty steamy times between two college roommates and aren’t expecting a huge hea then this is a good choice!
Cam & Jude have been college roommates for 2 years, they have a great friendship and everything is going fine until the day Cam walks in on Jude naked in the bathroom. Instead of turning and leaving , he watches Jude the scene to hot to leave. Then the does and instead of talking about what he saw and how he felt, Cam does what he does best... Avoids and shuts down . For a month this avoidance happens until Jude approaches Cam. What happens next has Cam seeing Jude in a totally different light .
The slow burn, the building friendship, the hot sexual chemistry... it all happens but what I loved the most was the angsty goodness, the miscommunications, the push and pull of their budding relationship. Cam has a backstory that is heartbreaking and traumatic, it gives us a front row seat as to why he acts the way he does, if you find him frustrating and closed off , then the more you read, the more you begin to understand why. Can Cam open up? Be Vulnerable? Let someone in when he’s been closed off for so long? Will he take a chance? Open his mind and heart to a new possibility he never thought he would want ? Or has his past burned him too bad?
Jude is an absolute angel, he knows exactly what he wants, he’s patient and kind and has secretly wanted Cam since he first laid eyes on him. His attributes are exactly what Cam needs even if the stubborn, closed off, hard headed Cam doesn’t realize it. I connected with them both for those exact different reasons and knew right from the start they were going to be explosive together. Not everything is hearts and flowers when trying to navigate new confusing feelings and emotions, this is raw, real and relatable. My heart broke in so many places reading this but I started to see hope with each new possibility of a HEA for these two sexy, Beautiful men. I loved this story so much and cannot wait to see what Gwen has for us next .
I highly recommend reading Give Me A Hand , easy 5 stars for me ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
New adult, especially college-set stories, are some of my favorites, and this one was pretty good, but for me, it could have been so much better.
I really liked both Cam and Jude and I thought their backstories were interesting. At first, I wasn’t sure how well we’d get to know them, as the first half of the story mainly consisted of mutual self-pleasuring sessions, so I was glad to see them finally sit down and talk a bit. But I wanted more talk. I wanted to get to know them, especially Jude, better. The story is told entirely from Cam’s POV, and I felt that Jude could have been a better developed character by adding more dialogue between the two of them.
Cam and Jude had explosive chemistry, I just wish there’d been more actual touching in the story. I think I get what the author was trying to show, with Cam holding back and not kissing, but for me, I wish the sex scenes had contained more of them pleasuring each other, rather than mutual pleasuring of themselves. I guess that’s a polite way of saying I wanted actual sex. Haha
As for the secondary characters, I don’t often care for bff’s because I find they get in the way a lot of the time, but I absolutely loved Cam’s bestie, Claudia. She was an awesome friend and character. I really liked Cam’s family, as well.
This is my first book by Gwen Martin, and I really enjoyed her writing style, and although I wanted more, I have to say, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to see what was going to happen next.
Overall, while I was left wanting more, including a much more solid ending to Cam and Jude’s story, this was still an enjoyable read and I’ll be checking out the next book in the series.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. **
3.5 stars - I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
This is an incredibly steamy new adult read. It is the story of Cam and Jude, two college roommates who start hooking up after Cam walks in on Jude having a wank. More erotica than romance, the boys are sexy and there is just enough story to keep readers engaged.
This is a sexy, uncomplicated story. The characters are likeable and the college setting is familiar. Cam’s fear of intimacy is explored in some depth but overall, the characters and relationships are fairly loosely sketched. There’s a bit of angst and drama at the end, but mostly, this is a story about two college kids getting each other off in increasingly inventive ways. The book is a relatively well written quick read.
When Cam walks in on his friend/roommate, Jude, in the most intimate yet awkward position, it sparks a change in their relationship. At first, Cam avoids him, and keeps a lid on his emotions. But when Jude finally gently confronts him, things take a turn. A hot, but not really satisfying, turn. And when Jude and Cam pretend a relationship that doesn't actually exist, to allow Cam to save face in front of an ex, it just might spark an even bigger change in their friendship. That is, if Cam get get out of his own head and go with the feelings he's scared of.
I was liking where this story was going, but I have to admit that by the end, I wasn't satisfied. It doesn't feel like a complete story, more like just a first installment or something. The ending is abrupt and not exactly clear on if the two were even in a relationship. It's not even a HFN ending, rather, a suggestion that perhaps someday they might get somewhere near a relationship. Hmmm...
The story, what there is, is interesting, it just, like I mentioned, is not complete. I do like Jude, though, and even felt a little for Cam, who had been so badly burned by his ex, that he allowed it to dictate his behavior into less than charming extremes. So 3 stars for the likable Jude and the beginning of what could be great.
ARC via Enticing Journey Book Promotions for an honest review.
This is the author’s debut full-length novel, and it’s a pretty solid story all around. The premise indicated in the synopsis was an immediate attention-grabber, so I was eager to get started reading this book.
I did like both main characters, though Jude definitely was my favorite of the two. He just felt more genuine to me, whereas Cam’s “we’re just friends getting off together” outlook that he kept trying to convince himself of did irritate me just a bit.
One thing the two absolutely had in spades was their physical chemistry, which was blatantly in evidence from their very first intimate scene together. The story does focus heavily on their physical connection, with the emotional side being more of a “tell not show” deal. And while every intimate scene is definitely hot and steamy, they did reach a point where what they were doing leveled off and didn’t advance any further—even though every scene as you get deeper into the story has you expecting them to venture into more explicit territory (read as: penetrative sex) at any moment. I only mention that as I’m well aware there are readers who expect this in their romance books as a matter of course; so if you do, you may be a tad disappointed in that aspect…but this is the first book in a series so let’s see where it goes from here before getting judgy, m’kay?
The requisite conflict is one we’ve all seen before, and for me personally the minor misunderstanding/aren’t we just friends bit is one that I’m not fond of in my romances. But in the end, I was still happy with how things turned out and I did enjoy the overall story. Give Me A Hand was a 3.5-star read for me, and will be enjoyed by most new adult M/M romance fans. This book is for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~
This is the first book in a new series. It will be interesting to see where future installments take us.
We get the story from Cam's point of view - and at times I really wished that we got hear from Jude, as we can only infer his feelings for most of the book. The story itself is quite simple, but wow the heat quotient is so high it blew off the head of the thermometer (amongst other things ;-) ) If you want to find out just how creative two people can be at finding times and places to be intimate, then these two will give you plenty of inspiration.
Overall I enjoyed the read, but sometimes felt that it could have been tighter, and found that I was impatient to get the whole story sooner. But the heat ... that cannot really be faulted!
The heartfelt story of Cam and Jude will bring you laughs, steam, and tug at your heartstrings while you watch these two disaster humans grapple with their relationship going from friendly roommates to friends with benefits to inevitably FWB with deeper feelings. Watching these two fall in love both slowly and all at once was a true joy.
I really enjoyed the humorous moments, cheeky dialogue, and the side characters that brought Cam and Jude’s world to life and the steaminess between these two is off the charts. Talk about getting along well with your roommate 😏😏
I also enjoyed the gradual reveal of Cam’s inner pain from his past and watching him work through those things to finally find true happiness and allow love into his heart in the end. My favorite part of this book is when Cam invites Jude home for Thanksgiving and watching these two have to face new situations while still dancing away from their true feelings for each other.
Jude and Cam share a dorm room. Close friends, very comfortable with each other. Until Cam found Jude in a compromising position. Cam knew he shouldn’t, but he stayed to watch. When they finally got comfortable with each other again, neither man knew what it meant but suddenly they couldn’t get enough of each other. Cam kept telling himself they were just friends. Friends who shared an incredibly intimate time together.
This is a new author to me. I liked her style of writing. Jude and Cam were nice characters and their naïveté was well done. As with most books about younger lovers there was the requisite “horrible” misunderstanding. An engaging book.
Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I will be following her after this. This story is so full of emotion. Both of the main characters were likable. Cam is so insecure. He may have his reasons but I had to feel bad for Jude. Jude came across as such a caring person who did everything he could. When he got hurt at the party I wanted to cry. I liked this story where the friendship of Cam and Claudia remained regardless what was happening with either of them. I think the author did a great job of bringing these characters to life. I think the flow of the story was good since I didn’t find any time I was tempted to skim across anything. I felt the sex was hot and entertaining. I hope the author goes on with these characters. I’d like to know if they stay together.
I received a free copy to read and review for Wicked Reads
This blurb had my attention and I couldn't wait to read this book. I have to say I was a little let down. With how things started off with Cam and Jude I was expecting things to get hot and heavy and just keep getting better but that wasn't the case. I felt things kind of fizzled a little bit midway. Cam and Jude are good together, we get Cams point of view, wish we had some of Judes. Then there was some drama that happened but it was quickly wrapped up. I hope this series gets better and hotter.
An okay book to read, I didn't really connect to the characters as this was in Cam's POV. The story has a fair amount of narrated voiced story telling which isn't my fav to read. Sexy scenes of them both pleasing themselves and each other is included. A friends to lovers with baggage from the past effecting the present. I would've loved Jude side of the story included. Small bantering between them I liked especially Jude's witty comments at times. I could've kicked Cam towards the ending for being an horrible to Jude. An okay ending.
Cam and Jude where room mates at collage for the past 2 yrs, walking into a akquid moment they both share in a bathroom. oops. Cam dosen't know how to deal with the after..
OMG I loved this book!! I’m not going to give you a synopsis of the story as you can get that in the book description before you buy the book but this is a storming sexy sex filled romp that I felt really invested in. I wanted to know what was going to happen on the next page and the next chapter and now that I’ve finished I want to be friends with the boys to find out what they do with the rest of their lives!!
This is the first book I’ve read written by Gwen Martin but I loved her style and turn of phrase so will be looking for more of her stuff.
My only issue would be that the proof reader appears to have given up at around the 90% mark; it wasn’t the end of the world but I might dock them a months wages lol
I received a free copy of this book and give my honest review voluntarily (because it was really readable)
This was such a fantastic, sweet, grab-you-by-the-feels, amazing, poignant, smoking hot, adorable, delightful, engaging, endearing, lovely, adorable, and totally awesome start to an interesting new series. It had me hooked from beginning to end, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
I really enjoyed this sweet romance between two bisexual dorm-mates! One thing I really enjoyed was that it's entirely from Cam's point of view. I tend to go far alternating POV stories but it's actually a fun change of pace to see only one love interest's point of view, especially when they're hopelessly pining and being such a doofus about their feelings. I quite enjoy that.
~REVIEW🖋~ The Quick and Dirty: A steamy, college friends-with-benefits story between roommates that turns into something more.
This was a quick read for me and while I enjoyed the dynamics between Cam and Jude’s roommates turned friends-with-benefits relationship, I felt like I needed a little more out of the character development and the commitment-phobe conflict felt a smidge too predictable.
My biggest qualm with this book though was how the intimacy played out. The opening scene of the book sets the tone for it to be a very steamy read but as the book progresses, the steaminess plateaus. I kept expecting them to take it to the next level but it didn’t happen. By the end, I felt like I was left with a giant case of 🔵🔵s. 🤷🏻♀️ I think the same could be said if were a MF romance — if it was all manual with a single oral scene, we’d all want more, especially when their relationship takes a turn toward “official”. The manual play is great, but honestly I was sorely disappointed in the lack of additional action. Give me more than a hand! Give me the goods!! Perhaps it’s only me - if manual play is your jam, this one would be a hit!
~QD STORY DETAILS~ Genre: Contemporary Romance, MM romance Location: Florida, primarily Orlando, also St. Petersburg MC age range: early 20s Lead: Cam Love interest(s): Jude Tear jerker: No HEA: Yes
~QD BOOK INFO~ Kindle Unlimited: Yes Paperback page count: 199 Publisher: Self - published Audible: No Series: Yes - Beyond Desire Series 1. Give Me A Hand - released 3/10/20
~QD 🔥~ Sex/kink type: manual, oral, MM Possible triggers: Abandonment
Wow! So much chemistry, perfectly intertwined with sweetness, humor, and emotions. I loved it!
Cam & Jude have so much chemistry they set the pages on FIRE! But the story also has so much depth. Each character has so much more under the surface and I loved getting to see beyond the lust and steam! The side character’s in this story are also excep0tiomnal and add that much more flair to the story! (I’m looking at you, Claudia, you’re awesome!)
I really liked Gwen’s approach to this friends to lovers story. Not only did Cam and Jude have great chemistry, but they also had a unique friendship and camaraderie. I was swept up into their world and taken along for a ride 😉 of sexual exploration, emotional healing and a unique connection that helps both Cam and Jude heal, grow and eventually, love.
I was surprised by the emotional depth and complexities of each character and how they complimented each other so well. The story is written from Cam’s point of view and getting into his head is a unique and lusty experience. I felt for Cam’s past and loved watching Jude slowly break down the walls around Cam’s heart.
I loved Jude and enjoyed the hints to his past and the slow unveiling of both character’s pasts and their hopes for the future added so much emotion to the story. I loved Jude’s sweetness, boldness, and sass. He is such a lovable character and I look forward to seeing more of them in the series!
P.S. I have a little note. Now this story is steamy, there is no doubt about that, but what I didn’t notice was that the characters didn’t have preventative sex (at all). Now a story doesn’t need it for me to enjoy it, that’s not what this is, but the sexy comments from both characters made me think that’s where they were going. It wasn’t until I finished the story and thought back that I realized they didn’t actually have that type of sex. The fact that I didn’t notice this is actually kind of a HUGE deal, as it means I was so immersed and invested in the story, chemistry and characters that I didn’t notice this. This rarely happens to me as I’m somewhat of an obsessive reader and am very rarely surprised these days. It’s refreshing to come across a story that both surprised and delights me.
Well done Gwen, I look forward to many more stories in the future and in this series!
Give Me a Hand is the first book I've read by Gwen Martin (I think it's her first published novel) and it just blew me away. It's kind of rare for me to give a 5-star rating to a new-to-me author but this book deserved it and more.
The blurb gives you the nitty-gritty so I'll try not to rehash it here. Let me start by saying this book is HOT AS FIRE! I have a weakness for stories about college-aged guys and the depth of feeling between Cam and Jude just jumped off of the pages. I was totally captivated right from the first chapter and nearly read it in one sitting. Unfortunately, my hubby wanted dinner. 😊
Cam and Jude are getting along great until Jude goes home with Cam for Thanksgiving where they run into Cam's ex in a bar. Jude takes steps to protect Cam by declaring they are boyfriends. This really freaks Cam out because he won't admit to himself that what they are doing is more than just getting off with each other. Things go down hill after this and Cam has to work to regain Jude's trust.
As a side note, I loved that this book is set in Orlando, a place that I have visited many, many times since the mid 1980's. Cam's parents live in St. Petersburg (AKA St. Pete), another city that I've visited several times. Gwen Martin gives a totally accurate description of the nightmarish traffic on Interstate 4 between Orlando and St. Pete. 😊
If I have one minor criticism of the book it's that it lacked an epilogue. Cam and Jude get their HFN (happy for now) but a little more about them a few months down the road would have been good. I did learn that signing up for the author's newsletter will get me an exclusive epilogue of the book. I couldn't sign up fast enough. ❤
A copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.
***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com*** (posting March 26, 2020)
Give Me a Hand was a fast read with loads of heat. Unfortunately, once the lust tapered off, I felt the book also fizzled. Try as I might to not draw comparisons to similar books, I couldn’t help it. I was hoping for a story that substantially developed the characters and relationship as well as burning up the pages, and Give Me a Hand focused predominantly on Cam and Jude’s start.
Give Me a Hand follows two college roommates who have known one another for years, but suddenly find themselves in a sexual relationship. Initially, their connection is mainly physical, but the author does a good job at giving hints that both men are looking for a bit more…though they fail to admit those feelings out loud (cue major misunderstandings and hurt feelings). Though I found some of this conflict overdone and cliché, I also get that it’s a fairly accurate representation of young, immature college students, so it was easier to roll with these plot points. And yet it still fell flat for me.
I started this novella expecting a lot of heat up front that led to something substantial developing between the men. I got inklings, but they amounted to a lot of build-up, some angst, and ultimately a somewhat unsatisfying happy-for now ending. Give Me a Hand is undeniably sexy and I think many readers will love it simply for that, but I wanted to see and feel the story evolve rather than simply spin around the sexy scenes and wrap with a little relationship talk and minor development at the end. So yeah, would I recommend it to those looking for some heat, definitely. Would I read more from the author, possibly. Was it all I hoped for, not quite.
*eARC received from Gay Romance Reviews. The author and PA had no influence over this review*
**3.5** So this is a friends to lovers, college roommate romance that all comes from the POV of one character, Cam. Cam walks in on Jude one night, having a little bit of fun by himself, and finds himself constantly thinking of the possibilities. However, Jude is the one to make the first move and they fall into an easy and comfortable...... thing. Something neither puts a name to which may cause a problem later on. Things move quickly, physically at least, but take a fair amount of time emotionally for Cam with the trauma he experienced a few years ago including the relationship issues that ensued - friend and romantic. From the way he talks, you can tell that Cam is a younger man. There's definitely a hint of avoidance when it comes to feelings. You just want to push him in the right direction but he does have a really good best friend for that who isn't afraid to ask him questions. I think it would have been nice to have had both MC's POV but that would be to help the reader understand Jude's thinking as we go through the book and what he experiences with Cam, especially during those times of high emotion and tension. This is an enjoyable read from the author and her 1st book. I enjoyed the characters and the relationship that develops over time. It flowed well and time moved easily through the story. There are an interesting group of characters along with Cam and Jude including the best friend and Cam's family. I received an ARC and am happily giving a review.
I think there are readers who will really enjoy this book. For me it was just ok. I liked the sweetness and kindness in much of the book and I liked the main characters. I found the angst a little too high for me, even childish at times. This may be realistic behavior for college age boys, but it cuts into the romantic potential.
There is a lot of dialogue, detail, explaining, and narration / consciousness. Some readers will love this and devour every word; the longer the story stretches, the more the feelings can linger, so if you are an "I never wanted it to end" kind of reader interested in two college boys fooling around a lot, then you might love it. If the story and the feelings are where you focus, you'll enjoy this book. If boys doing what boys do behind the bathroom door turns you on, you'll probably like this book too.
If you have already had the growing up experience, then the tenderness may be overshadowed by the (probably realistic) maturity level, which popped me out of the story several times. I needed something else besides relationship drama going on - some other plot driver to balance out the fooling around and the back and forth.
I'd have also liked to have Jude's POV, which we only get through Cam, who is kind of messed up from his past, and the narrator. If you’re hoping for / expecting more than MM hand action, you won’t find it here. A good swing with some definite highlights, so three stars for this BookDaddy.
This book starts off with Cam walking in on Jude getting off in their shared bathroom. Ever since then Cam can’t look at Jude the same way. For a month he avoids and ignores Jude. Jude finally corners Cam and tells him to get over it and that nothing should change – but it has. They embark on a journey of mutual pleasure but Cam doesn’t do relationships so that is not what this is . . . or is it?
This was written in 3rd person which is never my favorite and only Cam’s POV while I really enjoy both POVs both of these issues didn’t detract from the story for me but I still didn’t really connect with this story. I enjoyed the book for the most part but there was no connection for me and I felt that the progression of their physical relationship stalled. There was definitely chemistry and heat but it fizzed out for me as the progression did. It might be my naiveté for MM relationships but with all the talk of topping I assumed it would happen at some point. Also, there were odd moments where Cam made it seem like he was uncertain about Jude’s sexuality but then later it came out that Jude had told him that “he liked boys too”. It just seemed odd that he would be confused when there was no actual confusion. All that aside I still enjoyed this book and I loved how sweet and understanding Jude was with Cam and how he knew him inside and out.
Cam tells this story, and it’s clear that he’s still rather emotionally immature. His high school heartbreak has infected his entire life and Cam spends weeks and months convincing himself out of the obvious—that he’s totally gone over Jude, who loves him completely. To be clear, there is a LOT of sexytimes between Jude and Cam. And, they spend nights in each other’s beds. And they hang out a lot without even having sex. For me, the prose got a little silly with Cam’s constant and repetitive internal protestations. These are made in the face of Cam recognizing and appreciating Jude’s steadfast and supportive love. I struggled, really, to stay in the moment with Cam, because he’s completely obtuse about the growth of his relationship with Jude, to the point where it becomes complacent and hurtful. That smacked of an immaturity I don’t relish in my MCs, even if this is New Adult. Jude was Cam’s friend, long before they ever became lovers, and Cam’s handling of the big conversations Jude initiated was at best obstructionist, and very definitely bordered on callous.
This touched on so many different emotions The story is told from Cam's view. Cam has a strong personality but he is wary about exposing his heart first and I got that. Young, already burned once, and so desperate to want it to be real - but the fear of grasping it and finding out it's just an illusion? Enough to keep his guard up. He and Jude are close and what they share is practically perfect - why label it? Sometimes it's easier to pretend. You don't lose a friendship and no one gets hurt. Cam slowly finds his footing - after removing the said foot from mouth. Jude... I adore his balls to the wall attitude. Yeah, he sidestepped a bit but he still grabbed what he wanted. He saw past the illusion and was willing to put himself out there. I wish we were given a bit more Jude. His character called to me.
The relationship between them is an emotional slow build - They dance around the truth for a bit. A small prod there a little poke a jump back. There was something magical about their exploration of each other - both in the emotional and physical sense I felt some of the "problems" were a bit easily solved but then again Cam was the type to just steamroll past the obvious. I do not mean that in a mean way he was just a bit clueless at times.
This is a slow burn romance. While it contains plenty of hot scenes between Cam and Jude, the relationship between the two men doesn't develop until near the end. The story is completely told by Cam's POV. Cam is oblivious to his surroundings, and the most frustration trait is that he uses past hurts which dictate his life. Jude and Cam have been roommates since they were assigned together in their first year. One day, Cam walks in on Jude in a private moment and from then on, can't stop thinking about him. Their friendship slowly evolves into a sexual relationship and while Cam starts to have feelings for Jude, he freaks out and shuts down those thoughts immediately.
I enjoyed to story... to a point. Cam takes a while, a long while, to understand what his relationship with Jude is like. There is very little angst in the book, until close to the end. Soon after they come to an understanding about the start of their relationship and then the book comes to an end. I hoped for more of a commitment between the two men and as a bit taken aback by the abrupt ending. Since this is book one of a series, I hope there is more to the story of Jude and Cam.