“No rose without at thorn or a love without a rival.” – Turkish Proverb
Author: Lynn Townsend
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: From the farms of Tennessee, Beau Watkins had it all in high school; the cute girl, the popular, jock lifestyle, a loving family. As a rising freshman at an out-of-state college, he’s determined to find out who he really is behind the fake it ’til you make it attitude. He joins Rainbow Connection, the gay student alliance, hoping to find himself. Instead, he finds Vin Reyes. Raised by his grandparents and the heir to a prosperous company, Vin has been out of the closet since he figured out what that meant. He has it all: fashionable clothing, fancy cars, huge houses, and a real party lifestyle, even a bodyguard. Most of all, he has a secret.
Uncomfortable with Vin’s generosity, Beau fights his growing attraction for the president of Rainbow Connection, chasing instead a series of shallow affairs. Vin’s never been denied anything that he wants, though, and now he wants Beau. But it’s not until an old rival puts Beau in the hospital that Vin realizes that Beau means more to him than a simple love affair. Can the two of them bridge the gap between their worlds and roll with the all the punches life will throw at them?
Review: We have all lived through that awkward transitional period that starts after high school graduation. Once we get that diploma, we feel like we are all grown up and the whole world is our oyster. It is a time to spread our wings and begin to know our adult selves. For Beau Watkins this is especially true. Moving away from home to attend college, Beau is finally beginning to explore his true self, his true sexuality. His first step in this direction is branching out to attend a Rainbow Connection meeting on campus. He doesn’t quite make it to the meeting but he does end up running into the president of the organization, Vin Reyes, and he ends up making some very good friends in the process.
Beau has lived his life so deep in the closet that he is starting from scratch when he ventures out into the big gay world. He has always been exactly what he was expected to be, and he is more than ready to be who he truly is now. With the help of Vin, he has started physically exploring this new world and so far, he is loving it.
Vin Reyes is everything that Beau has never been able to be. He is self assured, rich and, oh yeah, OUT. From the first moment he met Beau he was completely and utterly smitten. Unfortunately for him, Beau has placed him in the friend category, and it seems to be an uphill battle to be seen in another light. When Vin’s past comes back to haunt him, Beau is put directly in the line of fire.
When the two young men end up spending the holidays together, their true feelings are disclosed and they end up as a couple, finally. The only bad news is not everyone that discovers their relationship is accepting, and Beau and Vin will have to fight against some powerful odds to make things work.
I have to say that I didn’t immediately fall in love with this book. It kind of snuck up on me while I was reading and by the time it was over, I was checking to find out when the next book will be out. This is an opposites attract, young love, first love story reminiscent of the Country Mouse/City Mouse trope. Beau is the typical “aw shucks, ma’am” guy to Vin’s high society rich boy, and I absolutely loved them. Vin got to introduce Beau to things he would never have experienced otherwise, and Beau reigned Vin in when he would go a tad overboard. It made for a well balanced relationship that will only grow in the future, and I can’t wait to see what’s up for these two next.
The ending was clearly a set up for a sequel, and hopefully we will get some answers to the mystery Vin has going on with his family. I highly recommend this title, and I am SO ready for the next book!