Title : Screwups
Author : Jamie Fessendon
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 204 pages (e-book)
Published : March 7, 2014
Rating : ★★★1/2
In 1996, Jake Stewart is starting his third year at the University of New Hampshire. Even as a successful business major, he is absolutely miserable. Not only is Jake pursuing a field he hates when he’d rather study art, he is utterly terrified of what will happen if his father finds out he’s gay. When he finally gets up the courage to move into the creative arts dorm on campus, his new roommate, Danny, is openly gay—and there’s no denying the attraction between them.
Danny Sullivan has been out since high school, and he appears comfortable with his sexuality. But something happened in Danny’s past—something that gives him nightmares he refuses to talk about. Unknown to Jake, the way he mistreated his friend, Tom Langois, when Tom came out to him in high school, is mild compared to the way someone very much like Jake treated Danny.
It may be too late to fix the mess Jake made with Tom, but if Jake wants to be with Danny, he’s going to have to fix the mess made by another closeted jock he’s never even met.
I love college coming out stories and the blurb sounded great. I’d never read a book by this author before and know so many people who loved Billy Bones, so I grabbed this one to review. I think it had some highs and lows but mostly just hung out in the middle for me personally.
I liked a lot of the quirky characters. They were fun and they seemed very comfortable with themselves. Sometimes to to the point of me questioning what the hell they were doing. For example, the naked party? I’ve been to a lot of parties but that one’s never come up. There’s no way I’m letting some guy who won’t shower put my pillow on his crotch. Bleh! Actually there was a lot of nakedness in this book. Showering in front of each other, naked parties, naked sleeping and a naked run to the room.
The sexual and emotional tension between the MCs was good. The escalation of their relationship from smiles and touches to mutual masturbation and eventually sex was pretty damn sexy. I enjoyed how much Jake wanted more from Danny almost from the start. Danny has some issues with himself being “boyfriend” material based on a bad experience from high school that really set him on a path of casual sex as his preference. Danny certainly wasn’t your typical anything. On one hand he’s so traumatized but he really just acts like it’s no big thing. He asked for it. In his head it was bad but his own fault. Mostly he just adopts the whatever mentality while internally chastising himself.
Jake was more your typical m/m romance closet case. Falls head over heels for his first gay crush in college. Comes from a family where the dad is a total overbearing homophobic prick. Oh, and there are brothers that match daddy’s abusive attitude. Jake is also a virgin. Him moving into the arts dorm is really his first chance at freedom he’s ever had but he still has the fear of his father’s disapproval hanging over him at all times.
I found a lot of the LARP and dungeon and dragons stuff cute in a geeky way but there was also just too much of it. I started skimming when things became over detailed. That could just be me not finding it quite THAT interesting.
I thought Danny’s mom was really fun. The guys staying at her house was a highlight of the book for me. I laughed. The guys became closer. Emotionally and sexually. It was interesting to see where Danny came from. I’d have loved it if she got the chance to kick those boys from Danny’s past asses! She could have done it,too!
So, I didn’t exactly love it but I’m glad I read it. I know this was supposed to be a lighter work for this author. I just never became invested in the couple on a level that makes me need to get to the point of the book that it happens.
Rated 3.5 stars by Whit