Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Truman Durant has two secrets that haunt him and keep him in constant fear of discovery. First, he is gay. And second, he likes to occasionally wear women’s clothes. And Truman fiercely protects these secrets, terrified of what might happen if his baseball teammates and fraternity brothers find out. He desperately needs his athletic and academic scholarships to not only keep him in school, but also provide a home in the fraternity house. He worries if anyone learns the truth, especially about the cross dressing, he will be forced off the team and find himself unable to afford school and end up homeless once again.
Stassi Manolis is out and proud and a member of the school’s gay fraternity. He is hot for Truman and definitely wants him. At first Stassi doesn’t even realize Truman is gay, but once he senses his interest is returned, Stassi starts a full out pursuit. The problem is Truman is terrified of his secrets being uncovered and does his best to avoid Stassi, despite a growing attraction. But much to his suprise, when Stassi does discover Truman’s cross dressing, he is not only fine with it, but finds it a total turn on as well. Truman can hardly believe his luck to find a man who cares for him and is attracted all parts of him. But even as the relationship develops between Truman and Stassi, fears about others finding out his secrets continue to haunt Truman. Will Truman ever be able to be open about who he really is? Or will he have to continue to live life in the closet to protect himself?
Oh I so loved this one you guys! First off, I loved seeing Truman’s progression from scared and introverted, always worried about his secrets and closing himself off to everyone, to someone happy and in love and gaining self confidence. Before Stassi comes along, Truman’s sole focus is protecting his secrets and staying out of the spotlight. A crushing betrayal in his past has made it clear to him that no one will accept him if they find out he likes to wear women’s clothes. And even as he hates himself for it, he can’t stop. So Truman walls himself off to protect himself from future hurts and just tries to keep his head down. So Truman is truly astonished that Stassi not only accepts him for who he is, but is attracted to all parts of him. I loved seeing that light come into Truman’s eyes as he realizes he can be himself with Stassi. And that confidence carries over to the rest of his life as well, as Truman begins to realize there are other people that care for him and support him too. It is such a lovely transformation and you can’t help but root for Truman to find his way after all the pain he has experienced.
And I just loved Stassi. He is a big old Greek bear, a total flirt, a little outrageous, and incredibly sweet. Yes, maybe a little pushy in the beginning trying to get Truman to go out with him. But so warm and lovely and caring. Stassi doesn’t just accept Truman, but revels in everything about him. I love the physical contrasts between them — Truman who is fair and lean with long golden hair, and Stassi with his dark skin and huge fur-covered body. And wow, are they insanely hot together! The first love scene where Stassi finds Truman in his female clothes is just insane (not to mention much other hotness throughout the book). But they are also so incredibly sweet and loving. You can see how much these men care about each other, how protective they are toward each other, and how much love is growing between them.
The conflict these guys face is really an external one in terms of protecting Truman’s secrets. Stassi is out, which makes it difficult for them even to really be seen much together without raising suspicions. Especially when one of Truman’s fraternity brothers begins stirring up trouble. We can really understand Truman’s fears here. His financial situation is desperate, he has been hurt badly once before when people found out about him, and he really sees no other options aside from remaining closeted. And I really loved Stassi’s unconditional support here. It would be easy for him to get frustrated or push Truman toward more openness, but he stands behind Truman completely, wanting only to protect the man and help him find his way.
If I had any complaints with this story, it would be that things seemed perhaps a bit too easy in the resolution. I like to believe in everyone’s ability to be good and kind and accepting, but things seemed to resolve with just a bit too much patness. But honestly, I am not even sure I mind. Because in some ways, it works for the story, giving Truman that happiness that we want for him and the unconditional support that he needs.
Overall I thought this one was just wonderful. Such sweet loving heroes who really care for each other, lots of incredible heat and sexiness, and the story of a man who finds his way out of the darkness into something wonderful. This one is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait for more (and please will we get Mpenda’s story?) Excellent job and highly recommended.
P.S. For a chance to win a copy of Your Biggest FAN, as well as some other great prizes, stop by the Young Love Week Giveaway!