When recent college graduate Nathan Harris makes a life-changing move out from under his mother’s thumb and into his own place, he is determined to take some risks. He is tired of not being good enough, tired of allowing his fears to control him.
What he thought would be an exciting adventure ends up being one jaw-dropping mishap of embarrassment after another, leaving him with a life he doesn’t even recognize anymore.
His once boring, lonely existence has been replaced by a brownstone filled with colorful friends, a rough around the edges, tattooed bad boy best friend, and a stripper for a boyfriend who’s not even sure he’s gay.
This turns out to be two stories in one!
From Grand Adventures, an anthology, CC Dado gave us Brandon and Josh, two seemingly disparate men who end up perfect for one another.
(Link to full review here: )
The review for that story (Chapter 12, The place across the hall) :
A really cute short story about a guy who falls in love with his neighbor.
Josh has a (typical-for-him) one-night-stand-guy in his apartment when someone (his June Cleaver-eque) neighbor bangs on his door to invite him to a party for one of the other tenants. John isn’t a joiner. He has tattoos. He sleeps around. He doesn’t do relationships.
Brandon is all about relationships and has “fancied” John since day one.
The brief meet and greet at the party leads to a complete change in John’s thinking and Brandon manages to capture the heart of the lone wolf.
We start the story with Nathan aka Nate aka Nathaniel, moving out from under his mother’s domineering thumb (she refuses to be called “mom” insists on being called by her first name, Aurora and she has refused to his “coming out speech” three times now and he claims he’s autistic when every mental professional she drags him to ends up prescribing HER the medication, not him.) He is very bright (3 points below genius level) and has just recently finished school and is working a dream job at a lab working on Alzheimer’s.
Nate sees an ad for a sublet, thinks it’s fantastic, but in his completely virginal and socially inept way, totally misinterprets Josh’s overtures of friendship as a come- on and nearly dies of embarrassment.
This merely serves to make them instant best friends.
So now, Josh, Brandon and Nate are bonding and so we get to see not only Nate’s story but a continuation of Josh and Brandon’s story.
There ends up being a party thrown again on the roof of their apartment and a stripper is ordered. The original stripper is sick, so a replacement (his brother) is called in a pinch. Neither the original nor the replacement stripper is gay, but willing to dance for men as they pay more.
Something happens when David – the stripper’s brother – sees Nate from across the room and the two end up in clench. David is shocked and runs away. Nate is horrified – again.
The rest of the story is Josh and Brandon navigating the changes in their relationship while helping Nate to come out of his shell and while helping David learn how to trust his instincts.
It’s a very sweet, touching story, low, to no steam, but sexy nonetheless. I loved that we got to see such a satisfying conclusion to the Josh/Brandon story and though we didn’t see as much of David and Nate as I’d like, I’m hopeful we’ll see them in the next? installment.
The writing is excellent and grabs you from the start.
I sincerely hope we see more from this author and this couple in the near future.
4.5 of 5 hearts