Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
Coby is a college student who wakes up one morning, once again, to a strange girl in his bed and no desire to rekindle their passion from the night before. If you could call it passion. Because Coby hasn’t been feeling much of anything for the girls he’s been sleeping with lately, and not for lack of trying. He looks out his window and once again sees a boy staring at him from below. The same boy who has been following him around for days and who manages to stir feelings in Coby that have made him start to question his sexuality. Turns out the boy’s name is Grayson, and he’s not really a stalker, but has some actual business to do with Coby. However, once that’s taken care of, Coby feels himself drawn to the boy in a way he hasn’t been feeling with his latest conquests. Coby is messed up, and he’s dragging along a boy who has some significant problems of his own.
This is the fourth of five short stories in Erica Pike’s College Fun and Gays series. Each one of the stories is a stand-alone, so you needn’t have read any of the others to enjoy this one. Also, each of the short stories deals with a different significant issue — in this case, it’s abuse.
This was a quick and entertaining read that had a little romance, and a little angst and drama, but still dealt with bigger issues. Coby is struggling with coming out, and he makes some pretty serious mistakes along the way, but you can feel his personal torment as he tries to accept himself. The issue of child abuse is also a part of this story and, while it only skims the surface of the gravity of the situation, it sheds light on a topic that needs to be exposed as the serious problem that it is.
The main problem with this story was, in fact, that it was short. I felt that, by introducing such major conflicts, Pike needed to give them the attention that they deserved. There was barely enough time to introduce the characters and allow them a couple of interactions and then it was all over. When you’re dealing with a coming out story as well as one where a character suffers from abuse, it merits more than a few pages. Nothing gets resolved and, while I enjoyed the characters of Coby and Grayson (Grayson more than Coby, who tended to come off as impulsive and inconsiderate on his quest to find himself), this was really just an introduction to the two of them. Everything happens quickly because we don’t have time for them to develop, and it’s difficult to become invested in the characters. I think a storyline of this magnitude would’ve been better presented in a novel-length format.
I know Erica Pike is a terrific writer and have loved her Boston Boys series of novels. I think I’ll wait for her next novel rather than continuing this series of short stories. But if you have a few minutes and need a short coming out story that will keep your attention, give it a go.