Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, NA
Series: Love Lessons #1
Reviewed by Anne
Love Lessons is a story of randomly assigned college roomates who become great friends and possibly even more. Walter Lucas is a junior who ends up needing a room in the dorms last minute. He’s the gay version of the Big Man on Campus. He’s most looking forward to hooking up with the new freshman class – at least the gay male portion of it, anyway.
Kelly Davidson is a freshman at Hope University. He’s been looking forward to leaving his small town and living truly out as a gay man. He’s also a little naïve and very cute. He’s not looking to hook up, he’s looking for a Disney style Happily Ever After. He knows that’s unusual, but he knows what he wants.
At first, it wouldn’t seem like these two would work together well as roomates, but what you come to see is that Walter has a much bigger heart than he lets on , and Kelly is much more confident in himself than it appears. Together, that leads to a great story!
Kelly and Walter both have story arcs in this book. Neither one needs to make huge changes, but Walter’s journey is a bit bigger than Kelly’s. Walter’s always had all the money and not enough of the attention he needed. He’s been let down a lot. Learning to trust Kelly is a big step for him. For his part, Kelly’s just getting used to being out as gay, and wondering when he’s ever going to feel like a grown up and like he fits in somewhere.
There’s a medium level of angst in this story (something I struggle with in NA books) but it’s offset by some awesome humor and the overall light tone. Kelly’s obsession with Disney cartoon movies is a line of humor that had me smiling a lot. The contrast between Walter’s leave it all hang out style (not literally) and Kelly’s more private one is very well written.
The thing that made me really love this story was that it IS a love story. It’s so sweet to see Kelly and Walter fall for each other and then to see them realize what’s happening, too. It’s a great story. I also enjoyed Kelly’s family! There’s a scene where Walter comes to visit Kelly and his family bearing gifts. Kelly’s understanding of what’s going on, how he talks with his parents, and their response… it’s one of my all time favorite scenes.
I loved this book, and it’s going on my Best of 2014 list. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys m/m romance.
Trivia Bonus: the Disney art of David Kawena and the art of Tom of Finland are both mentioned in this story. If you haven’t seen them, then you should go look now! (David Kawena link below, just Google image Tom of Finland.) I’d already scene Kawena’s work, but the Tom of Finland stuff was interesting, too! Google them both – but not while you’re at work or with young children!