Title : Love Lessons
Author : Heidi Cullinan
Publisher : Samhain (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 379 pages (e-book)
Published : October 1, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.
Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.
Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.
Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.
As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.
Product Warnings : This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.
What a truly wonderful story! It was so very sweet – I would say that is totally not what I expected, given that it is Heidi Cullinan, but I have read and absolutely loved “Second Hand” – so I am fully aware of what this author is capable of on the “sweetometer”. 🙂 Like “Second Hand” the balance of the story is wonderful – it blends the beauty of a sweet, young, Disney style romance with the gritty realism of modern life and the obstacles we often face: job security and depression.
Kelly is 18 years old and a freshman at Hope University. It was a painstaking process for him and his family to choose Hope, you see Kelly has a long list of allergies, and he is gay. Hope seems to best suit all his requirements. Of course if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is. He has a single room, with AC, in Porter House, so at least that part is a done deal. He soon finds out though that Porter House is the house of jocks, and there is definitely not the happy gay friendly environment that the Hope prospectus had promised. Enter Walter…
Walter has been living off campus, but now in his third year at Hope, he is forced to move back to school grounds. He is shown a list of options, and goes for sharing with Kelly as the “gay friendly” box was ticked. So we now have the two MC’s rooming together, and they are the perfect combo. Walter is the sexy slut about campus; while Kelly is the shy, blushing, freshman. Walter immediately takes Kelly under his wing – with everything! Immediately embarking on a shopping trip to Target – getting all kinds of stuff, but most importantly everything that a roomie needs when sharing with Kelly, so that any chance of messing with his allergies is minimised.
To the outside world Walter is this slick, confident, sexy charmer, but we soon learn how much more there is to him. I honest to God fell in love with him. He is so broken. So in need of love. So desperate to be needed, and loved, and not abandoned. He is the most generous friend you could ever hope for. He has the hots for Red (blushing Kelly), big time. But will not act on it – even under duress (ok, for duress read “drunken neck licking” 🙂 ) because he is not good enough for Kelly. Or so he thinks. Kelly, thank God, knows better – and is also persistent!
There is a lot going on in the book apart from the romance, Walter’s best friend Cara is getting married; he also has to continually deal with his mum, and her dependency on him; and we see a lot of his Faculty Advisor, Professor Williams – who is amazing. He is such an important part of Walter’s life. Certainly the kind of teacher where teaching truly is a vocation, not just a job.
Kelly is adorable – he is a romantic, Disney loving sweetheart who wants the whole shebang – love, romance, dates, a relationship! The works! He never came out at High School, so has never had a boyfriend. He is a virgin in everything, and Walter wants to be his first in everything. ♡♥♡ The book delivers one of my favourite scenarios – the seemingly weak, needy one in the relationship ending up being the rock, the solid, strong one, when needed. And Kelly was all that and more.
My only niggle, which stopped my KAPOW! was that I did get kinda lost with all the philosophy and movie stuff – and the epilogue, while beautiful, had me scratching my head. Was it another movie reference? I don’t know. But I still loved the book. And I pray to God I never end up like Kelly’s mum. That broke my heart. So, if you like sweet, but not sickly; angst that doesn’t kill you and a Disney style HEA – then you will love this story! The cover and the song choices are killer, too! Go. Buy the Book!!
Rated 4.5 stars by Barb