Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.
We met both Collin and Tanner at school where they went from friends to lovers and Collin faced the monumental task of coming out to his ultra conservative family. Now it’s summer and Collin and Tanner are together for the summer on Fire Island and finally enjoying being an “out and proud” couple. But…
Wendy and Maggie are two women from Tanner’s past that are currently still causing trouble for the couple. And there are yet more women Tanner meets at work that pokes every jealous bone in Collin and makes him feel insecure. Finally, there is a guy at work hitting on Collin and when he makes his move, Tanner is there to witness it.
I really, really like Karen Stivali’s writing. It’s engaging, erotic, and believable. I really like Collin as a character and his relationship with Tanner is both tender and erotic. I was delighted that they boys got to move their relationship further both emotionally and physically and am psyched to see Collin embracing being gay more and more fully.
What I really didn’t like was the teen-agey angst and drama being played out in the beach house. I particularly didn’t like Maggie and Wendy and their contribution to the story.
I know that when a story like this is broken down into parts rather than being served up as an entire novel each “section” has to have it’s own hurdles and problems. What I hope for is that each section will be an evolution in the relationship and not a recurring battle of “will this relationship work?”. I think that Collin’s virginity, his newness to being out, his battle with his conservative up-bringing and his newness to being a “boyfriend” could have provided enough conflict to move the story forward without throwing in a potential relationship-ending episode of almost cheating that we see with Jason.
I was grateful that the episode with Jason is brief and quickly resolved and I sincerely hope the next installment will focus more on making the relationship work rather than questioning whether it should be a relationship at all.
I will definitely read part three as I am totally captivated by their story and I do recommend this book and the series, even though it was painful to see the boys in so much pain.
World Building/Characterizations 5
4.4 of 5 hearts