Review: Moment of Impact by Karen Stivali

Moment of ImpactRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Collin has been trying to convince himself that he is not attracted to his gorgeous roommate Tanner. He is also trying to convince himself that he is not gay. For starters, his conservative, religious mother would disown him. Collin and Tanner have known each other for two years and have been attracted to each other. Neither ever thought the other would reciprocate those feelings, especially since Tanner has brought girls to the room while Collin has been in bed faking sleep.

One night has Collin and Tanner crossing the friendship line and their dorm room becomes their safe haven where they can be alone and explore each other. Collin cannot wait to return to his room each day to be with Tanner, but he is terrified of anyone finding out about their relationship. Tanner is open about being bisexual and wants to be with Collin in public. But, Collin doesn’t know if he will ever be ready to come out and accept the impact that it will make on his life.

Moment of Impact starts with one the best opening scenes I have read in a while and the entire first chapter is awesome. The set up immediately puts Collin and Tanner in the same space and there are sparks right away. Collin has lived a sheltered life with a strict mother and his experience with and knowledge of sex is extremely limited. He has never even had the chance to really look at what he wants. Tanner is the guy everyone is attracted to and after acknowledging his sexuality, he is secure in who he is.

The book’s primary focus in on Collin and Tanner’s sexual exploration of each other in their dorm room. Collin is experiencing everything for the first time and the author does an excellent job of describing his insecurity, nervousness, and all of the blushing that goes along with it. There are other scenes with Collin’s family and secondary characters, but they also reinforce the fact that this is Collin and Tanner’s story. While there are a lot of intimate scenes, there is also a larger plot as well, which is not always something easy to achieve.

There is so much to like here: the captivating writing that kept me reading until I was finished, the way the guys get together initially, the physical connection the guys have together, and the pace for most of the story. Being a shorter novel, the conflict the guys have does not drag out and there is a fairly brisk pace to the story. There are a few areas that I would have liked to have more of. The guys have an intense physical connection, but the emotional connection is not shown as much, and the impact of the ending is slightly hindered by this. We are in Collin’s head during the story and having more from Tanner, again, would have also enhanced the emotional side of things. We know the guys like spending time in bed together, but their feelings for each other outside of bed do not show up as much during the majority of the story. The fast pace and shorter length did bring about major life decisions quickly and the ending happens just as these decisions are made. One area that is unclear is how Collin and Tanner came to be roommates in the first place. They are juniors in college, they both have friends, yet the need for them to be randomly paired up is not explained.

Bottom line, at the end of the story my first thought was that it was simply a great book. It is what reading, in this scenario, is supposed to be: entertaining. When I learned that there are at least two additional installments coming, my only thought was….nice. I will be looking forward to continuing their journey and I would recommend that you start with the awesomeness of chapter one.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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